How many times have you said that? I know that if I let myself, I can be a master procrastinator. It's not about avoiding big huge decisions either. I'm talking simple easy pick up the phone to make an appointment for a car alignment, shred those three little pieces of paper from the mail, or delete away that "I'll read it later because it has great info in it" email. And before I know it, my car is veering a little more to the right as I'm driving to work AND is out of oil, I have a pile of shreddables calling my name and my inbox is full with tons of "I'll read them laters".
In the rush and urgency of life, everything seems to have a deadline and needs to be done now. Right now.
Due dates at work for that big project, boss sending out last minute requests, hubby booked us a dinner party inviting his boss to our house this weekend, kids have soccer practice, ballet, baseball, basketball, piano, swimming, skiing, tennis etc. etc.
The little things that are so easy and have no deadlines are so completely within our control. And to exert our control we put it off, "it's easy, I can get it done in a snap whenever I want....later". Oh, but that later is trumped by all those urgent things above that just takes up all of our time.
And sometimes they are trumped by the things that aren't quite as urgent, but are such good distractors TV, Facebook, In Touch Weekly, etc. because we MUST know what is going on "in the world" and "I deserve down time".
Here are four quick ways to battle the "I'll Get To It Laters":
1) Ask yourself can this be delegated?
-If yes - then delegate and skip to step 4
-If no - go to step 2
2) Ask yourself if it will take 5 minutes or less:
-If yes - then ask what's stopping you from doing it? Why add it to your already long list of to dos?
-If no - schedule a time to do it and outline the steps needed. When we set deadlines and can have the steps envisioned as being completed it's just a matter of taking action. And setting a deadline gives it the urgency that it did not have previously.
3) Ask what's the worse thing that could happen if I don't get it done? Using my above examples:
-The car could explode or veer me off the road and then we would be down to one car, then we would have the inconvenience of sharing and coordinating schedules and have to buy a new car, so no Hawaii for a few years.
-The stacks will pile up, I will have pathways going through my house between the piles of junk mail and shreddables and my husband will call The Hoarders crew and televise the cleanup of our home. The clean up will be so expensive and time consuming that I have to take time off for the demolition, use up all my vacation time and I will not be able to go to Hawaii this year.
-My email inbox will reach capacity and I will not receive any more emails and no new urgent fire drills. Well that might not be a bad thing. Ok rephrase, my inbox will fill up and I will not be able to efficiently find important emails or get my job done, I will get fired and can't go to Hawaii this year.
Seeing the inconvenience of putting off a small easy task puts into perspective the time and money savings of doing it now.
4) Treat yourself. That's right, give yourself a reward for completing the task. New nail polish, a piece of chocolate, a bubble bath, anything small yet satisfying. Just like rewarding the little kiddo when potty training or older kiddos doing chores, we are engraving the behavior and creating a habit by providing a reward system for doing small things right away or figuring out who is the right person to get it done.
I'd love to hear from you in the comment section...
How do you battle the "I'll Get To It Laters"?