Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.
P.A. Tools for Recovery
From the P.A. Meeting Materials...
Tools for Recovery
- Reward Success: Acknowledge and celebrate your progress and accomplishments, no matter how small.
- Bookend Tasks and Time: Use an accountability partner or the P.A. Web site (procrastinators-anonymous.org) to check in throughout the day, or at the beginning or end of specific tasks you are dreading.
- Keep a Time Log: Increase your awareness of time by logging what you are doing throughout the day. This is a great diagnostic tool for discovering where your time went, and an excellent way to become better at estimating how long tasks take.
- Break It Down: Break down projects into specific action steps; include preparation tasks in the breakdown.
- Develop Routines: Routines help structure your day, and make habits of tasks you always need to do like making the bed or handling mail. Develop routines for what you do when you wake up, regular tasks of your workday, and what you need to do before going to bed.
- Avoid Time Bingeing: One reason procrastinators dread starting is that once they start they don't let themselves stop. Plan to work on a task for a defined period of time, then set a timer. When the timer goes off, you're done.
- Avoid Perfectionism: Procrastinators have a tendency to spend more time on a task than it warrants, so tasks that should be quick to do take an agonizingly long time. Notice this tendency and stop yourself. Some things require completion, not perfection.
- Recognize You Can’t Do Everything: All of us have infinite to-do lists, but limited time. We have to make choices. Procrastination is about making choices that are not in our best interest. Decide what to say yes to, and what to let go.
- Ask Yourself Why: Visualize doing the task, and see if you can detect what about it feels odious to you, what uncomfortable feeling you are avoiding. Knowing what's behind the avoidance can help you get past it - for example, address real problems or ignore irrational fears.
- Focus on Long-Term Consequences: Remind yourself why you want to do this task, how it will benefit you to complete it, how it aligns with your life goals and dreams.
- Use Small Blocks of Time: Procrastinators often have trouble doing tasks in incremental steps, and wait for big blocks of time that never come. When you have small blocks of time, use them to work on the task at hand.
- Do the Hardest Task First: Do the tasks you least want to do first, when you are fresh and best able to cope.