Procrastination is an art form. I get addictions to silly things. Learning to juggle. Getting really good at iPhone games. Following updates on Facebook obsessively, anything to stop from thinking about the report/essay/bill/phone call. It takes a unique set of skills to genuinely convince oneself that the morning crossword is an Alzheimer’s prevention.
Savouring a cup of coffee is a human right, and I think much better if I go for a walk or have a chocolate every ten minutes.
Yeah right. Procrastination can often seem trivial, but it is a major reason why a savings plan will never get off the ground. Everything can be solved tomorrow because today is far too complex. But today is the best day to start putting your plan into action. Here are some tips to stop procrastinating and to start getting things done.
Why are you procrastinating? The task is too hard, too unpleasant, too dull? If it’s unpleasant or dull, get it done as soon as you sit down to work. It rarely ends up as bad as you anticipate, and if you procrastinate, you’ve spent several days agonizing over a task that could have been done in half an hour. This goes for saving. Understand why you feel like you can’t start saving or paying off debt today. Knowing your motivations might help in overcoming the procrastination.
You’ll probably never feel ready, so maybe you should just start. This goes for small things, like starting an essay, through to starting your budgeting plan. Stop waiting to feel ready, because you never will. Think about a small, manageable task and start there. If you get to the end of the week and you haven’t saved your planned $100, then set it aside before the start of the week where you can’t touch it. You’ll make the money stretch for the rest of the week, and starting is half the battle.
Block it off
Don’t block it out, block it off. Break down tasks into small blocks that can be achieved quickly. Set up a system of rewards every time you finish off a block. Understand when you work best, and schedule the complex tasks for that time of the day. If you’re putting off doing your tax, allocate the first task as collecting and ordering receipts. Once that’s achieved, think about getting your Group Certificates together. Finish one task and move to the next. Reward yourself along the way.
Get a bit Zen
Work environments are incredibly important to productivity. You’re not going to concentrate properly on the task at hand if you’ve got Twitter, Facebook and mail constantly distracting you. Turn them all off for a set amount of time. Tell your co-workers or family you can’t be disturbed. It’s easy, in the contemporary technological chaos, to justify a lack of concentration. But all things, saving included, require periods of concentration and focus.
For the smaller tasks requiring concentration, Focus Booster can be downloaded for free here. Based on the Pomodoro Technique, Focus Booster counts the 25 minutes of work and five minutes break, which is suggested as one of the more effective ways to break up work. It also stops you procrastinating, as you have to start when the clock does. If procrastination is your enemy, start beating it in 25 minute slots.