General Question

danclements's avatar

How should I deal with my procrastination?

Asked by danclements (82points) July 11th, 2008

I am a horrible procrastinator, but I love the ideas that programs like GTD offer but I have a strange mental block on those kinds of things. I will sit down and establish a list of things that I need to do and try to get it all organized but after about 2 days I stop updating my task lists and calendars. How do you stick with it?

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7 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

I’ll tell you later.

janbb's avatar

I would put it off. :)

Seriously, though, I once heard a lecture about time management nad the speaker suggested making a list of everything you have to do that day. He then said, “If you have a lot of frogs to swallow, swallow the biggest one first. After that, the rest seem easy.”

I thought this was good advice – don’t always do it but when I do, it works.

St.George's avatar

I think the goal should be to make progress in your new system and not try to be perfect. Do one part or try for updating once a week. If you do it fine for a while and then forget, just start again when you remember/have time. We each need to figure out our own systems and what works best for us. So maybe only part of GTD will work for you, but not the whole process. has some good ideas for adjusting the way you might approach change.

robhaya's avatar

One of the key elements of GTD is renegotiating your commitments; In other words, don’t commit to something you may not ever get to and put it on your some day maybe list. If you need to get out of procrastination slump, try doing things in bursts of 15 minute time blocks. Get as much done in those 15 minutes and move on to something else. What usually ends up happening is that once your first 15 minute block is up, you end up completing what you started b/c of forward progress you committed to.

BTW 43Folders is a great resource for GTD tips.

Good Luck!

dragonflyfaith's avatar

This question couldn’t come at a better time for me. I’m moving in three weeks and having a hard time getting things done. Personally, making a list is just another way for me to waste my time so I don’t have time for what I need to do.

I don’t have any real answers, just wanted to say you’re not alone.

spendy's avatar

The first thing that crossed my mind was…how long did you wait to ask this question? :)

classyfied's avatar

I was on a site about running and I read a quote that said, “The hardest part is getting out the door.” I think that applies here too. At least, the hard part for me when it comes to doing work is getting started. So when I realize I’m procrastinating I stop what I’m doing and force myself to start on something I need to do. Sometimes I get bored, but saying little things like “just five more minutes” or “just a couple more pages” gets me through it faster. Every time the five minutes end, I just say five more minutes. It works for me. Planners help me a lot as well. Physical planners, not google calendar or things like that. Just writing it down helps and I just love the accomplished feeling I get when I cross things off a list and especially when I accomplish everything I want to do that day.

My planner also listed a suggestion: When you don’t get to something that day, draw an arrow over to the next day. A lot of arrows indicates that you’ve been procrastinating (or overplanning) and that changes need to be made accordingly.

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