How to Stop Procrastinating

By Carmen Coker

I find that, when it comes to organization, getting started is half the battle.

If you’re procrastinating on an organizing project, the key to pushing past the procrastination is to find out what motivates you. Know your motivators before a wave of procrastination hits, and you’ll be prepared to deal with it — head-on — as soon as it arrives.

So ask yourself, “What makes me want to get things done? To get organized?”

Here are some possibilities…

(1) Free time.

It’s well-established that if you simplify life, you save time.

But just how much time, exactly, will you save? US News and World Report recently demonstrated that the average American spends 1 year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items at home and in the office.

1 year = 365 days = 8,760 hours = 525,600 minutes = 31,536,000 seconds

Any way you put it — it’s a lot of time! A lot of time you could have been doing other things…

(2) Money.

Think about your biggest organizing problem. Let’s just say, for example, that it’s your home office.

Assume that you’re losing $20 a week ($3 a day) in personal resources — lost time, energy, productivity, sanity — because you don’t have an effective organizing system in place. (It’s probably much more than $3/ day, but we’ll go for a moderate amount.)

Imagine you decide against de-cluttering your home office and continue down the same unorganized path for the next 5 years. You will lose over $5000 of resources!

Although that $5000 is just a hypothetical figure, it puts disorganization in a whole new light.

(3) Positive energy.

According to the book The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by Dr. David Niven, it’s important to establish a schedule to take your tasks from “To Do” to “To Done.”

Dr. Niven writes: “We often feel overwhelmed by the chores that have to be done on a regular basis. We clean the kitchen, then the living room needs to be vacuumed…and 16 other things need to be done. With a routine, you will not be lost in wondering what’s next.”

Precisely how much will a household routine boost your level of happiness? 100 Simple Secrets explains: “In a study of families, regularity in household routines improved daily personal satisfaction by about 5%.”

(4) Shaping your destiny.

I realize that for some of you out there, home organization may be just about as fun as boot camp. But in this day in age, when life keeps getting crazier and crazier, you can’t afford not to be organized!

Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”

Isn’t that so true? It definitely applies to organizing…

If you know you have to get organized, you can choose to procrastinate, and your disorganization will just cause you more frustration. Or you can choose to get motivated, get organized, and truly know the freedom that comes with it.

It’s always your choice…

(5) Tough love.

There can be some undesirable consequences that accompany disorganization.

– Can’t find your keys in the mornings = late for work

– Forget a birthday = guilty feelings (you) and hurt feelings (birthday boy or girl)

– Neglect to declutter the house = embarrassing mess to explain away to visitors

– Pack a suitcase without a purpose = too many socks and too few undies

– Pay a bill after it’s due = excess late fees

– Overlook expired car registration = traffic ticket and possible fines

I’m sure you could add a few more examples to this list!

It’s time to get organized — and stop putting yourself in situations where you wish that you had made organization a priority. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

For the purpose of this article, I’ve applied the above motivators to organizing specifically. But you can relate this same formula to other areas of your life where procrastination plagues you.

Knowing your strong inner motivators + Knowing where you’re vulnerable to procrastination = Knowing how to push past procrastination

It’s that simple. Although sometimes we tend to make it harder than that!

Martin Luther, German priest and scholar, opined “How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’.” Your “nows” are fleeting — don’t let them slip away!


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