I’ll do it tomorrow! We’ve all heard or said it before, right? Many of us are pro procrastinators, but let’s use the opportunity of a new year to put these expert tips in place to help us stay on track.

Randzu Vukeya is a habitual procrastinator. So she wants to make 2021 the year in which she overcomes the tendency to put off important tasks until the last minute. Knowing that stress is the reason why she ‘leaves things that she should have done today for tomorrow’, doesn’t make it easier. ‘I’m studying part-time while I run my legal practice from home.

I know that I need to manage my time better. But I keep putting assignments or exam preparations off until my deadline approaches,’ she admits. Instead of studying, Randzu finds household chores she simply must do, or even catches up on some TV shows. ‘I’ve started following the Zondo commission.

I need serious help,’ she chuckles. We’ve all been there. It doesn’t matter if your to-do list includes starting a diet or fitness programme, finding a job or something as mundane as clearing out a closet. Psychology Today says 80% of college students and 20% of the adult population are procrastinators. Some reasons include stress, depression or poor distress tolerance. This means that you put tasks off because they are difficult, boring or unpleasant. Another reason could be that you find it hard to break complex tasks into simpler ones. The good news is that you can overcome procrastination. But where to start?

The first step is to ask yourself, what do you want and why, says Zanele Nkosi, a Johannesburg-based Self-Leadership and Executive Coach. ‘Knowing the “what” gives clarity to your desired goal. Knowing the “why” will keep you motivated when your spirit flags or other demands come calling,’ Zanele explains.

She says you’re more likely to stay on track if you have a plan. ‘When you fall short of your goal, go back to your plan and adjust it. Setting short-term goals will help you meet your long-term vision. Make the gains gradual and measurable,’ Zanele adds.

1. Write down your ‘what’ and your ‘why’, then add short-term SMART goals to your ‘what’. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic and Timebound. This gives you clarity on what you need to do, and makes it doable and realistic. For example, a goal to run 5km a week when you don’t even have a pair of running shoes is unrealistic. A better alternative is to walk daily while you save for a good pair of running shoes. When you plan this out, you start seeing your action plan coming together.

2. Decide how you will celebrate your milestones.

3. Ask yourself what support you’ll need. This could be an accountability buddy or a mentor.

4. Figure out what resources you’ll need. This could be equipment, money, a journal or the right food.

5. Decide what the cost will be to you for not seeing it through. If your answer is nothing, find a new goal that means something to you, and let this one go. Or hire someone else to do it for you. If you can’t hire someone, then see below.

6. Ask yourself what the first step is that you need to take to get going.

7. Take that first step and try to stay on course!

You’ve got the goals and action plan. Great! But how do you stick to it? Self-belief is vital, says Wilma Calvert, a counsellor and facilitator with The Family Life Centre in Gauteng. ‘If your goal is similar to what someone else has done, use them as inspiration,’ she says. Wilma suggests looking at your achievements and successes.

‘We’re more afraid of failing than we think, so focus on your successes. Continue taking small, manageable steps rather than trying to leap. Brainstorm new ideas so you’re not fixated on only one. Set time frames and use a calendar to keep track,’ she adds. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to kick into action.


STOP PROCRASTINATING STOP PROCRASTINATING Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on January 11, 2021 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.