The Procrastination Prevention Trio

My cell phone battery died today.  Evidently, they have to be replaced once in a while (I didn’t know I managed to live over 1/2 my life without one).  My husband happened to be home for lunch and when I was telling him that it would not charge, he said that was the reason and then told me to go to a particular store to get a new battery (after I checked on-line to make sure they had it).  I started to stall because I was concerned that if the schools called me (the boys were both borderline under the weather this morning), I would not be home and of course, I would not have my cell phone.  He very reasonably pointed out that both schools had his number also and could call him.  He went back to work and I decided I needed to go ahead and take care of the phone battery rather than put it off for a day (or two which would have probably been into next week).  Ever write an entire blog post in your head while doing an errand?  That’s what I did today!

Cellphone battery change completed.

Cellphone battery change completed.

I’m going to share my insights into what I’ve dubbed the “Procrastination Prevention Trio.”

I doubt I’m the first one to discover these things and if you do not procrastinate  like some of us around here and just already knew these things, please read on and tell me if I’m on the right track.  I think if I could consistently apply these three items to my day, I’d be well on the way to being on of those super organized people who I sometimes give off the illusion of being.  Ready for the oh so simple (but note I did not say easy) strategy?

  1. Apply the “Do It Now” principle.   This is such a basic thing but if something takes 5 or 10 minutes to do, why wait for 5 or 10 days to actually do it?  I’d stretch this to say if something takes less than an hour to complete, why wait?   I thought about getting my phone battery later but then thought I should do this NOW.

  2. Discipline is necessary to make the Do It Now principle work.  I really don’t want to admit that sometimes the reason I put things off is because I simply don’t want to do them or I’d rather play games on Facebook than fold a load of laundry.  I try to justify this to myself by saying “it’s harder to play this game when the boys are home because I’ll get interrupted all the time but laundry I can do while getting interrupted.”  Of course, we all know which activity is more important unless you happen to live in a nudist colony.  We do not.  I wanted to sit home and watch Netflix today (I planned to fold  my laundry while watching it) but forced myself to make the more important choice.

  3. Diligence is sometimes needed along with discipline to keep from getting discouraged when a task takes a little longer than you thought.  I could not find the battery store this afternoon but I told myself there was no excuse to go home that I just had to be a little more patient and look harder.  When I did, I found it.  I went in, bought the battery (apparently, it is strange to not take your phone with you to buy a battery for it.  I had the phone type written on a piece of paper.)

It feels so good to not have the need for a new phone battery hanging over my head.  I even went ahead and tackled another item on my list (the grocery store…yes, I live there sometimes) while I was out and about.  Then, I came home and wrote this post while it was fresh in my mind instead of waiting until later.   I think the Procrastination Prevention Trio could actually be remembered as ADD:  Apply The Do It Now Principle, Discipline, and Diligence.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule which makes prioritizing an important piece of the puzzle as well.  I’m still struggling with that one although I did get some great ideas while reading Attack Your Day Before It Attacks You last week.  Discipline is important, of course, but so is knowing when you need a break from an activity.  Persistence is a great trait but again, it is okay to step away from a problem for a few minutes or overnight (depending on what it is) if you are stuck.  The important thing is to return.  I’m not always great about that one either.  Still I think keeping ADD in the front of my mind as I go about my day is a great starting point for pushing that problem with procrastination away.

What about you?   Do you apply the Do It Now principle or do you have another secret for avoiding procrastination?

(While I wrote this post the same day as the cellphone battery incident, I actually saved this post for about 2 weeks to see how it would work putting ADD into practice.  I’m finding the Discipline part of the equation is the hardest and I have not come close to mastering that part.)


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40 thoughts on “The Procrastination Prevention Trio

  1. Elizabeth

    Overall though that’s about the sum of how to stay productful is how you’ve got it down. I try to work on that later *goes back to her procrastination trying to match candy* LOL
    And yeah we need to replace the batteries on our phones too but they hold charge a little while so we keep putting it off ourselves but yeah if they didn’t hold charge at all we’d be rushing down to the battery store I’m sure.
    Elizabeth recently posted..Egg BagelsMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Yep, sometimes knowing the answer and applying the answer are two entirely different things. I spent way too much time crushing the candy yesterday. SIGH.

      1. Elizabeth

        LOL I got to lvl 20 then realized I had to have help to get paid lvl 20 and I know how much help requests annoy me so that was a very short lived game for me.
        And yeah the application is ALWAYS the hardest but don’t get down on yourself too much!
        Elizabeth recently posted..Busy Monday Edition, September 9My Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      My husband is very much a do it now person as well. Must be that opposites attract thing? 🙂 I’d love to read your blog post on procrastinating whenever you get around to finishing it!

  2. Tristan

    I have found that having someone to hold me accountable helps in the diligence area! It may be my husband, my children, a friend. Right now for example I’m working on losing the baby weight (just had baby #8) so my mom is keeping me accountable for the way I eat while hubby is my motivator/accountability buddy for moving more and sitting less. Just knowing I have to answer their questions motivates me to ‘do it now’.
    Tristan recently posted..Children Lighten My LoadMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      I think that is always a struggle. I always find it easier to do things right away if I know other people are depending on me to do my part so that they can do their part.

    1. Jean Post author

      Good for you! I pick a few (usually 3) tasks every Friday that I’ve been putting off and blog about in my Follow Through Friday link up posts, if you have other things to cross off your procrastination list 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Brittany @ The Pistachio Project

    I can definitely relate. I really do need to think about things in longer terms though… like laundry vs computer time. Doing laundry while the kids are awake is much easier (and probably more productive) than trying to be on the computer when the kids are awake. Definitely something for me to think about.

    1. Jean Post author

      I think it is all about balance and prioritizing the tasks. It’s just hard to not put those tasks I don’t want to do at the top of the priority list sometimes.

  4. Dona B

    That first one – actually doing it now – is the one that I struggle with. And it is almost always a phone call I am putting off. I hate making phone calls! Even when just doing it would take me two minutes and get it off my to-do list for good. Great tips – thank you!
    Dona B recently posted..The Practice of MotherhoodMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Isn’t it funny how the things we put off doing take such a short amount of time once we actually get around to doing them?

  5. Amy Boyington

    I luckily am not a procrastinator but know people who are. It gives me anxiety to think about putting important things off for later. I’m the type of person who HAS to get something done right away or I’ll feel like I’ll forget it or I’ll just worry about it all day. Sometimes I wonder if my anxiety about it is worse than procrastinating!
    Amy Boyington recently posted..Don’t Miss Zulily’s Rugged Bear Event!My Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      I think some sort of balance would be nice. I’d love to be the type of person who HAS to get things done but I wouldn’t want the anxiety that comes along with it. Of course, putting things off for later creates a whole world of worse anxiety if we wait too long.

    1. Jean Post author

      I do that one as well especially after dinner. I’ll load the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen during the commercials of a show. Doesn’t work as well if I’m watching Netflix and there are no commercials 😉

    1. Jean Post author

      I struggle with procrastination but you are right. It does feel so much better when I don’t do it and get stuff done.

  6. Vita @ EcceVita

    I am certainly the queen of procrastinating. But I love the high that I get when I actually go and complete something – the feeling of accomplishment is powerful. 🙂 I also like promising some kind of treat to myself in exchange for completing a task I don’t really like doing. For example, if I hoover and mop the floor right now, I can read my favourite book in the sun for an hour. It always works for me.
    Vita @ EcceVita recently posted..How I Got Rid of My Acne – Why on Earth Does It Appear?My Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Yes, I think the feeling of accomplishment is very powerful. My problem would be that temptation to not complete the task and skip right to the reward!

    1. Jean Post author

      I find on days I tell myself “do it now” that I get a lot more done. However, there are still too many days where I tell myself that I should play a game of Candy Crush, check Facebook, browse Pinterest, and maybe have a snack before I do anything.

  7. Nikki

    I procrastinate like crazy. Actually, I prefer to call it “proving I can excel under tense deadlines.” Sometimes, though, there are things that I really need to stop putting off. I’ve had a cell phone for almost a year that I want to get switched over to a different phone. I just haven’t found the time. Other things, though, procrastination serves me well. I write better under the threat of a looming deadline, for example! For those things that need to be done (like my phone issue), though, I’ll definitely try your tips!
    Nikki recently posted..Boost Your Energy the Delicious Way with Energems!My Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Ha! I like how you re-named it 🙂 I think we all have things like you said where we do actually excel under a little pressure.

    1. Jean Post author

      I’m glad you found it useful. Let me know if you can get it to work. I have had great starts with applying it but then seem to fall back into my old habits very quickly.

  8. Rochelle

    I’m a big procrastinator, especially when I don’t want to do it or think it’s going to be harder/worse than it really is. I tell myself “just get started” and with the idea that if I want to stop after I’ve gotten started that I can. I never have stopped. I finish it every time. But I so have to do that first step of saying to just get started and then physically force myself to get started. I’ll have to try your method.
    Rochelle recently posted..18 (More) Things to Never Say to a Deaf Person!My Profile

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