I’ll stop procrastinating tomorrow!

Who hasn’t stopped in the middle of whatever they were doing just to watch a butterfly glide by (or check email, Twitter, Facebook)? This might be a pleasant way to pass the time, but eventually, it can lead to stress and dissatisfaction. So what can we do about it?

The increasing number of distractions is always a good excuse — consciously or not — to lose a whole afternoon doing nothing but wasting time and energy over something that doesn’t really matter. Harvey Deutschendorf offers seven small ways fight procrastination and enhance positive feelings. They’re easy to do and can help even career procrastinators. But remember, easy is a relative term here. You still have to get started and incorporate these tips into your daily routine. Here are three that I selected:

1- Link your project to an objective that interests you — the positive emotional charge that comes with the idea of participating in a larger project will keep you focused.

2- Remove all distractions before getting started (emails, alerts, etc.). Full disclosure: I’m not great at this myself.

3- Start with the easiest project: it’ll give you the energy you need to keep moving forward.

 

The reasons for procrastination are landmines: they provide nothing in terms of satisfaction, well-being, or value, and they prevent you from clearly assessing what’s important and what’s not. This is a must-read article, one that will help you find ways to apply a few simple guidelines to your daily life. And if you’re interested, you can take this quiz, designed by Deutschendorf, to take a closer look at your emotional state: www.theotherkindofsmart.com/ei-quiz

Learn more:

7 Ways to Use Emotional Intelligence to Beat Procrastination,” by Harvey Deutschendorf (Fast Company, January 2019).