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Strategize Organize LLC
Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 10

Procrastination Part Two: Those Pesky Tasks We Want to Avoid

Background

Last  month I discussed a definition of procrastination and sketched out some general strategies for dealing with it.  This month the newsletter is more practical.  

It is human nature to enjoy completing some tasks while loathing others.  Sometimes, however, when we dislike a task we put it off until it starts to negatively affect our lives. There are an infinite number of examples of these pitfalls. While, thankfully, it is rare that any individual would find all of these tasks difficult, many of you will recognize something on the following list that you find easy to procrastinate.

  • Changing the batteries in clocks and fire alarms
  • Checking the oil in the car
  • Going to the post office
  • Repotting plants
  • Cleaning large items (like duvets) that don’t fit in a regular washing machine


For some people the reason these tasks are frustrating is they require something that is not found in your home. Changing batteries often necessitates the purchase of the correct size of battery. Repotting plants mandates good potting soil, adding oil to the car requires having the right kind of oil. Having to run an errand to solve a problem can often feel like too much.

Solutions

The following list of possible solutions may be helpful in solving these dilemnas.

  1. Trading places
    Often times what is difficult for one prerson is easy for another.  Perhaps baking a casserole for a pot luck dinner is fun for you while dealing with automobile maintenance is a chore, while for your best friend the opposite is true.  Consider swapping tasks so that you each can use your strengths to solve the problems at hand.
     
  2. Make a list
    Write down items you need for these special tasks somewhere separate from your regular grocery list.  Set a low number (like 5) and make an agreement with yourself that onece the list reaches that number you will run all the errands and solve all the issues.
     
  3. Set a date
    Pick one day every 6 months when you are going to take care of these difficult to do tasks. Keep a running list and then on the day you’ve chosen (say June 1 and December 1) complete the tasks. Either put this day on your calendar or call a friend and chose a day together to help hold each of you accountable as well as making the tasks more fun.
     
  4. Make connections 
    Connect the diffiult task with something that is easy for you to do.  For example, if it is easy for you to plant spring flowers, decide that when you go make purchases for your new garden you will also make the purchases required to complete some of these less pleasant chores.

Summary

Putting off unpleasant tasks can actually cause much more trouble, stress, and anxiety than is necessary.  Finding ways to completely these frustrating chores in a timely manner can go a long way to making life more joyful.

Good Luck,
Susan


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