Confessions of a Reformed Procrastinator

I read an article on Spark People recently that stood out to me, so I wanted to share. Here’s  a couple excerpts from the article and the link to the entire is at the bottom. I love the illustration of how much time, stress, and brain cells it costs us to put things off. And I especially relate to number 3 in the list of her anti-procrastination plan. Here’s the excerpt:

Here’s what happened: On the way to work, I stopped at the intersection at the end of our street. On that corner is a mailbox, and I had three letters in the car to mail. Being late for work, though, my first thought – as it has been for years – was “I’m in a hurry, I’ll just mail them at lunchtime.” But instead of driving on, I stopped my procrastinating self. I realized that I was actually prepared to take 5-10 minutes out of my lunch hour, get back in my car, slog through traffic, and run to the post office – just for the sake of not having to do it right now. Such is the irrational nature of a procrastinator.

I scolded myself for being so stupid, got out of the car, dropped the mail, and was on my way. Cost: 10 seconds. Payoff: No more brain space wasted on mail, and a traffic-free lunch. Lesson learned.

Anti-procrastination plan:

  1. Erase your To-Do List every day or week and start over. Running lists end up with items that stick around too long, sink to the bottom and end up as invisible as Lincoln’s ghost.
  2. Hang around action-oriented people. People with energy often have a thrill for life, and it’s easy to pick up some of that spirit.
  3. Get plenty of exercise and sleep. Nothing makes you want to put things off more than feeling groggy or drained.
  4. Filter down and simplify. Does everything on your To-Do List belong there? As lists get longer, we procrastinators can freeze up and not know which way to turn first.
  5. Right now – before you read the next paragraph – go do something you put off earlier today…There, doesn’t that feel better? Remember and cherish that feeling.

Link to the full article:

Confessions of a Reformed Procrastinator

  1. #1 by Lola Fierce on April 14, 2009 - 11:51 am

    Oooh, perfect. Love this article. Thanks for sharing.

  2. #2 by Tara on April 19, 2009 - 6:08 pm

    Wow– this comes at quite the opportune time, as I’m taking a “break” from writing my final paper for a class…back to work, I guess.

    I just popped over here to let you know that I posted a big update on my blog and that I’m back to dieting (more explained on the blog). We should catch up soon. I should have a lot more time come May 1st.

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