Perhaps you recognize what I want to talk about today. Procrastination and especially the mental stress that this causes. The feeling of ‘I still have to do this’ that haunts you for days, weeks, or even months. Until you finally do the task.
I also have quite a few of these tasks on my to-do list. They reach from business to private, from things around the house that I have to do or leading an unpleasant conversation with someone. Sometimes the tasks take a few minutes, sometimes they take more time. What do they have in common? We don’t feel like doing them and/or find them unpleasant to do.
Robbing your energy
What those tasks are also very good at is robbing your energy. Not when we manage to forget them for a while – but when we remember them again. The further delayed, the more annoying they get.
We all know it. First, we postpone a bit – then again and again. Sometimes procrastination also leads to not doing it at all. Not a pleasant feeling…
What can we do about it?
Start with a list
We keep many of the to-do lists in our minds. Especially the less pleasant ones. Take fifteen minutes to list your procrastination to-dos, with pen and paper. Make a distinction between private and business tasks, and also indicate the time that the tasks require.
Prioritize your list
Prioritize the tasks on the two lists. What would you want or need to deal with first on your private list, what on your business list? These can be the tasks that have the highest urgency, or also involve the heaviest feeling.
Make a plan
Make an agreement with yourself about the time you spent on handling the lists. Do you do one task a week? Or two a month? See for yourself what is feasible, also in relation to the time commitment required.
See what works best for you to motivate yourself to get started, to take action. For some, this is to do some exercise beforehand so that your energy is a bit higher. For others, this is the appointment with a friend, a kind of accountability partner.
Don’t forget to celebrate
Last but not least, be proud of yourself when you have finished some things from the list. If it helps you to stay on track, arrange “treats” for yourself. For example, hanging out on the couch and reading for an hour, or going outside for a walk when you have finished a task.
I hope these tips help you to make your to-do list sometimes smaller and maybe even prevent it from reappearing!