Blog #206~ Stop Procrastinating
“Procrastination is the thief of time.” It’s not always about being lazy, sometimes it is rooted in other causes. So why do we procrastinate?
Being a parent of a child with special needs, brings additional pressure. There are many responsibilities of being their caretaker, that are lifelong. My son Nick is 24 years old and has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism. Taking care of my son is a never ending job. Yes, sometimes I have check out and binge watch shows on HGTV and Bravo. We all need some time to escape, but not at the expense of shrugging our responsibilies. Perhaps, I’m writing this piece to remind myself to be more disciplined. So, how do you kick the procrastination habit?
Here are 5 Tricks to Kick the Procrastination Habit:
1. Set Goals
Define what needs to get done and hold yourself accountable. Re-assess your goals on occasion to make sure your priorities are where they need to be at this point in your life. Commit to your goals!
2. Define Mini-Tasks
Breakdown your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. Ask yourself what steps need to happen to reach your goals. For example, say you want to create and organize an IEP binder for your child. An IEP (Individualized Education Plan) binder can help you prepare for IEP meetings and better collaborate with teachers and other IEP team members. Break down creating this binder with tabs for each section (communication, evaluations, copy of IEP, report cards/progress notes, sample work, and behavior). Breaking this project down into mini-tasks will be less overwhelming and easier to handle in stages.
Click here get started on your IEP binder: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/ieps/how-to-organize-your-childs-iep-binder
3. Make Lists
I use to make fun of all the lists my Mom had going around our house, growing up. But you know what, Mom was right, they do keep you organized and focused. To do lists help track your goals. There is a real satisfaction to checking off items after you’ve completed the tasks. It rebuilds faith in your own abilities when you complete action items on a given deadline.
4. Eliminate Distractions
Cell phone alerts, social media, TV and a cluttered work space will distract you from working. Free yourself of these, so you stay focused on your tasks. Clutter is the enemy that is both dibilitating and anxeity ridden. This weekend I cleaned out and purged my bathroom drawers and cabinets. Why? Well, A=It was raining and B=I couldn’t find one bobby pin. The end result, I threw away a big bag of stuff I wasn’t even using. I won’t be rummaging around the clutter, and wasting valuable time in the mornings. Oh, and I found a lot of bobby pins 🙂
5. Carve Out Time That Works For YOU
You know yourself, and when your energy level and focus is most productive. I say this all the time to my fitness class participants. I’m NOT a morning person, so I do everything I can the night before that I can to prepare for the following day. This includes laying clothes for myself and my son, jotting notes in his communication journal, and planning my fitness class agenda for work.
Nick’s grooming bin…..
It’s also important when you have a child with special needs, to get things done when it is quiet so you can concentrate. I never try to write or edit when my son is home. Instead, I take advantage of the time when he is at his adult day program to do the tasks that require a lot of focus. Also, be sure and carve out free time for extra curricular activities. Find the balance of both a schedule and unscheduling.
Breaking the habit of procrastination can be done by setting goals, breaking those down into mini-tasks, making lists, eliminating distractions and carving out time that works for you. Building in flexibility, forgiving yourself, and rewarding your accomplishments are positive ways to keep up your momentum. Stop procrastinating and make good on your promises. Share your goals and tasks with friends and family who can encourage you and help you make good on your promises.
The wise words of Benjamin Franklin said it best, “You may delay, but time will not.”
That’s what is in my noggin this week. Now where is that list pad? I’m ready to get things done!
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