3 Ways to Stop Procrastinating

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It takes time to shake off the dust from a holiday.

I knew December would be a quiet month, experience has shown me no one is interested in going to a workshop in December.

I spent the first couple of weeks of December following up with lots of coffee meetings and the latter half making cards and hampers for people for Christmas, then putting my feet up – with sporadic feasting and drinking (and being a Christmas Birthday Babe).

It’s taking me a while to get back into the swing of things, having got out of some of my healthy habits (I wrote about this last year).

Inevitably, I’m orbiting my comfort zone of procrastination.

i'm not a procrastinatorSuddenly, making a fuss of Homer…

Homer the cat
Homer Morse, the cantankerous 18 year old cat

…or emptying the dishwasher, have become priorities.

I wouldn’t advocate procrastination; however, I did recently write about how you are more creative than you think and that sometimes procrastination can be part of your process.

Don’t beat yourself up about it, but recognise when you’ve strayed so far down a path of pointlessness that you need to have a word with yourself.

Hearing about this article in the Telegraph on BBC Radio Bristol (I’m a regular guest) got me thinking.

The author suggests strategies to improve your working day. One of which is note three positive things that have happened in your day.

I love this three-a-day approach.

Today my 3 are:

  1. Watching the golden winter sunlight dancing over the surface of Bristol harbour
  2. Buying a new type of goat’s cheese in Lidl and discovering how delicious it is – nom nom
  3. My 16 year old Clio (Lizzy Blue – my scruffy little tireless workhorse) going in for an MOT and the work costing £84 at Mr Clutch – I was expecting hundreds, especially considering there was a puddle behind the drivers seat!

But the phrase that caught my eye in the article was ’email grazing’…

Here are 3 things I’m going to stop doing to curb my procrastination habit:

1) Stop email grazing

Close my email so it doesn’t beep at me every time I get a message and I take an unnecessary diversion into my inbox. Instead, I’ll check my email at intervals: morning, afternoon and before I sign out for the day.

2) Stop treading the social media stepping stones

Like email, I dip in and out of social media intermittently throughout the day. It usually follows an email beep to tell me that someone has commented on a Facebook thread, retweeted me or repinned a pin.

Before I know it; I’ve been sucked into a political debate on Facebook, sent out a projectile vomit of retweets or found some lovely recipes for orange polenta cake then created a whole new pin board of polenta recipes!

3) Stop reacting to my phone

I don’t get many phone calls, but when my phone rings, I’ll drop everything to answer it and inevitably it’s someone trying to get me to make a claim for a mythical car accident or non-existent PPI. Instead, I’m going to keep my phone on silent when immersed in a task then check it at intervals. If someone really wants to talk to me they’ll leave a voicemail, text or email me. And if it’s my husband, he’ll do all three then call the landline… maybe I’ll pick up for him (he’ll probably be in Lidl asking me if I’ve run out of goat’s cheese!)

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