“In the end, all it takes is one small action, by one person. One at a time” -Susan Cooper
Taking on a task or achieving a goal can look like a big scary monster because of the time and effort it may take. When we look at these big tasks we tend to get overwhelmed. I know for me I look at a 10 page paper in grad school and do whatever I can to procrastinate doing it. Meanwhile, I know that if I sat down over the course of 4 days I could probably get it done and even have time to edit it two or three times over.
So where do you begin when you have a huge task to take on? I know for some people it is better to begin by making a list of what needs to get done. Let’s say for example you have a presentation to complete for work or school. Do you jump right in, feet first and hope that you know what you’re doing? I used to do this all the time and realized this approach would overwhelm me. I didn’t really accomplish much because by the time I started the project I would be over it.
Here are some ways in which you can stop procrastinating and start taking small actions:
Create a list of the steps it will take to complete the task. Do you need to research more? Will you have to speak to someone to get more information?
Once your list is created, take it one day at a time. If you’ve procrastinated and this needs to get done by tomorrow sounds like you’re in a time crunch. On the other hand, hopefully you’ve started a couple of days early.
Write out specific time goals for the day. If you have multiple days to complete the task take it day by day. Then take it hour by hour.
Write a timeline of how you want your day to go. When will you work on the task and when will you take scheduled breaks. (Break time is important for your own stress and mental well being!) Make sure you schedule those.
While this may sound tedious and you’re wondering, why would I do that? You may find that you will stay on task, feel less anxious, and be able to complete your task in a timely, efficient manner.
Each small action you take can manifest itself into the bigger picture and results you’re looking for. We can all agree that taking things one step at a time, while keeping the larger goal in mind is much easier than stressing over getting things done right now, right?
You’ll find it really easy to stop procrastinating now! Let us know how you do.