How do you stop yourself from procrastinating?

marie26August 30, 2008

There definitely are places to purge and organize in my house. But I find myself getting on the computer instead of doing what needs to be done. To be fair to myself, I work full time and am at home at 3:30 pm each day. So, I use the excuse that I'm too tired. Somedays, I definitely am but others, I'm not.

I just find myself playing games on the computer instead of doing what needs to be done. How do I stop myself from doing this?

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I sure can't help you! I'm sitting here, procrastinating away, in a house that needs serious attention. I know what I should do, and I probably know how to do it, but motivation is something I lack. I have lots of wishful thinking, though.

Good luck, Marie26.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 2:59PM
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I think I should be banned from Kitchen Table and Gardenweb, then I'd have no excuse for spending so much time at the computer.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 4:50PM
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Ladies, I have some web pages I think might help you. They are actually on an MSN website I started, but it's been slow with summer and all, so when I found this forum on Garden Web (I used to only frequent the decor board) I opened it up to share here. There are two pages with a link at the bottom of the page linked below that will take you to the second page. You are very welcome to check them out and see if it helps.

Another idea that helps me is to use a kitchen timer (mines on cord I can wear around my neck). Set it for fifteen minutes and do one little job. Like dirty dishes. You'll be surprised how much you can get done in that short amount of time. If I'm really UNmotivated I'll do fifteen on and fifteen off. Off time meaning playing on the computer. Eventually I'll find myself wanting to do an extra fifteen of work. Sometimes even working up to a couple hours at fifteen minute intervals before I want to take a break. I'm guessing you are like me and have no concept of time without the little beep beep beep reminding you time is passing.
Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Getting Started Page 1

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 5:04PM
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Sorry to say but I am the same way. Need things to be done and waste time.

I have been reading on here and that has helped me get moving as others have been cleaning closets and I started doing more and I have been using the 15 minutes and it has been helping quite a bit as it is only 15 minutes and once I start I am OK, its only getting started that I have the problem.

I have started really cleaning my house instead of making it presentable.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 6:01PM
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I'm not a procrastinator, but I will admit every once in a while I feel I'll get behind in tasks, chores, and/or errands.

I make a list of the things that are bugging me or I'm behind the most and mark them as HAVE TO (balance checkbook, buy cat food, etc.) or SHOULD DO...but life will go on (sort undies drawer, vac my car, etc.)

The 1 thing I absolutely commit to is a deadline (say a week) and ensure I meet the date. Every day I make sure I do 1 HAVE TO, and 1 SHOULD DO...or however many tasks I need to in order to meet my deadline.

Bottom line is that I stay honest with myself and follow through with what I promise to myself. Knowing that I made the commitment to myself to get things done works for me...but then I've always been one where if I announce or say I'm going to do something, I always follow through. I will never let myself or anyone down.

On good days, knowing I have some energy, I may go ahead and do something extra on the list and it feels I worked extra hard, or something. And, I know that I've freed myself up on another day if I actually am tired or something comes up.

That's the mind game i play with myself. In my own head, there is an absolute difference between tossing around ideas & chores in my head versus making an honest commitment to get something done. It's a definite choice, not just a general blur of thoughts & ideas that keep stewing on the back burner.

Marie26, I'm going to give you some tough love regarding your computer time. Maybe one day plan to shut down your computer all day and take a day off...kind of like a scheduled day off of work. Realize that there's not a whole lot going on - on the web that's going to completely change your life if you went missing for a day. Everytime you see your computer is shut down, it's an in-your-face reminder that you made a choice to move ahead with tasks and you need to stick with it.

That's what I would do with myself if I found I was putting in too much web time & it was taking away with keeping my home & life moving where I want it to be.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 7:10PM
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Oh if it were that easy Gayle. Not that it's not an awesome idea, but I promised myself that sooo many times it's not even funny. The best I can do is do the timer thing and spend more time working than playing.
I live out in the country with no one near enough to visit with except my online friends. It's my sanity. Though I still know I need to get things done and have been doing much better lately. Both using the timer AND music. Dan Fogelberg really helps me relax and forget the computer even exists until I've worked myself to the pooped stage.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:46PM
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I believe that my procrastination comes from three sources, and when I am successful at overcoming the urge, here is how...

1. Perfectionism. As long as I keep it in the future, I can keep it perfect. So I remind myself that done is better than not, and excellence is possible, though perfection is not. Then I remind myself (with a smile) that perfectionism is a kind of arrogance, really. Who made me the one who could achieve that, anyway!

2. Tiredness. I do just what Marie does...if I am sitting at my desk, I have the illusion that I am actually doing something, even if I'm not. The cognitive error here is that I don't deserve to rest when I am tired. The truth is, sitting in the chair with my feet up and my eyes closed just for 15 or 20 minutes is often sufficient to restore my energy. Then a big glass of water, a washed face, maybe a clean shirt, and I am ready to start again. The twenty minutes returns the hours I lose fiddling around aimlessly on the computer.

3. It's something I really don't want to do. So the question is, why not? And do I really have to do it? Sometimes just allowing myself to question the need makes me realize that I really do want to do it. Otherwise, I can pitch the project entirely, or put it off legitimately to another time.

In all three cases, the most helpful thing I can tell myself is, JUST START. The momentum is often enough.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 9:10AM
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My motto is "Progress, not Perfection". Just do something!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 10:14AM
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I agree with Bronwynsmom and Jannie. Perfectionism is often the reason we are afraid to even try. It does not have to be perfect. When you have been procrastinating so long, ANYTHING you do is a huge improvement. The more you practice NOT procrastinating, the more often you make yourself JUST START, the easier it gets.

This is a new habit, and it takes time for it to gather momentum. You are so brave to even try. Just build on the previous day. Don't be discouraged if you stumble. When you accomplish a small task, the feeling of satisfaction can motivate you to start the next chore.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 11:48AM
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JUST START is the key. I have been doing that a lot lately and seeing much improvement. I have a dog and lots of hair so I don't have to vacuum the whole floor moving chairs etc. I can just vacuum the walk ways at times as the other parts don't have that much traffic. I just love the do it in 15 minutes because once I start I don't stop until I get finished or have even started other jobs. I am even going to clean out my garage after it stops raining and isn't 90 degrees. I am actually looking forward to it.

Before I had my computer I would watch decorating how to's but was so busy watching that I didn't even try any of the things that I learned. It was just procrastination.

What I do now that I did differently was look at small pieces instead of the whole room. I can go and wash the 2 windows in the family room instead of washing all the windows in the house and that has helped.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 12:13PM
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Make a promise to yourself that you will not go on the computer to surf or check your e-mails or even do anything pertinent like on-line banking until you meet a simple goal. That way you have some computer time as a reward. Also you have an accomplished goal as its own reward.

If you can't handle that I have to pull out the big guns: invite everyone you know to your house for a party.

Get crackin'.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 8:09PM
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My procrastination tool is the TV - after dinner, it's hard to get back up off my butt and get working on something. That's what my alarms are for - loud, and now "customized" with songs, my alarms remind me to get up and do something, even if it's only switching the laundry.

And I'm careful not to expect too much of myself after spending all day at work too - it's helpful to keep your expectations to the bare minimums, and then tackle the big stuff on the weekend, when you're not worn out from the day.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 11:28AM
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I'm not too much of a procrastinator, the house is in decent shape, but I do waste waaaaaaaaaay too much time on the computer that could be spent doing more. Now that the kids are back in school, I'm trying to limit my online time to an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon before the they get home. My To Do list keeps me pretty focused and I'll add another vote for the 15 minute timer - it works great!

I still find September to be the best time of year to start something new or to get geared up for projects around the house - I still feel that back-to-school energy, I guess.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 1:02PM
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