4 Time Management Tips From a Recovering Procrastinator

This is where most folks mess up with work-life balance. Me included. Time management. I'm writing this post as a recovering procrastinator. It can be difficult to give 100% attention to all the things on your plate when you're running a side hustle. If you have to work and take class, what time do you have left for yourself or your side hustle? Next to none basically! But understanding that procrastination has a compounding impact on your schedule can make things a little easier. The longer you wait to get your tasks done for the week, the more stress you're putting on yourself (and others in some cases) in the end. I can't tell you how many times I've put more stress on myself by putting things off. Finally, I'm starting to see what it means to manage your time properly. Now, maybe my parents won't finger wag for waiting until the last minute. Here's how I'm trying to get past my procrastination.

Assume that it won’t take that long

Like I said in one of my earlier posts, I like to try to do everything in one sitting. Then if I didn’t complete all the items on my task list for the day, I’d be upset with myself! I had ridiculous expectations of what I was supposed to do with my time and how long it would take. No one can get nearly a week’s worth of work done in a few hours. So with this mindset, it’s hard to be productive. Who can actually be a Superwoman in real life other than Beyonce? Next to no one, right?

One way to get overwhelmed easily is using black and white thinking or catastrophic thinking. For some folks, getting tasks done can seem like a pain in the behind when you think it’ll take forever. Most of the time the anticipation of working on a task or project is worse than actually spending the time to do it. For your small chunks of time, household chores, or smaller business tasks, just think it'll take less time. Here’s me when I don’t want to do laundry “It’ll just take 3 minutes to load, then I can get XYZ done before it’s time to dry.” BOOM. Multitasking...ish. Or like Tax season. Hopefully, everyone has their taxes done by now. If you have all of your documents and payment information in place it’ll take less time than you think. But the anticipation of it being difficult because it is more difficult than a tax system needs to be, makes you procrastinate.

It’ll take as long as you want it to take

If time is a social construct, then you can make it mean whatever you want. If you think it’ll take forever, then you’ll take forever getting it done. If you think it’ll only be a few minutes, you’ll get it done earlier, and then it won’t even matter if it takes longer. You’ll already be in the process and can adjust your project timeline accordingly. Create an If-Then statement that’ll light some fire under your behind. For example, I work most days of the week, and Saturday evening and Sunday is usually the only time I have to myself to do chores for the week. But to get my stuff done I’ll tell myself something like “If I don’t meal prep now, I’ll have to stay up later and compromise my sleep-wake schedule for work.” Don’t want to be overwhelmed? Don’t let things hang over your head for long periods of time.

Pair the mental pain with some enjoyment

I’ll tell you what. When I’m busy brainstorming, if you have sizable future plans for your online business it’ll be all the time, I don’t want to worry about household chores. I got more interesting things to do like think and plan and listen to podcasts. But it has to get done. So you pair it with something you can actually tolerate. Like music or a podcast. You can apply the same with your business projects and personal wellness goals. If you don’t particularly like the treadmill you can add TV shows or music. You’ll likely be disconnected from the actual act of working out but you’re getting through the process, especially if you’re just starting out.

Think of a cue that gives you energy

What is it that gives you energy to do what you need to do around the house or in your business? Is it a checklist? I hope so because ya girl loves a good checklist. Checklists run my life like my roommate’s cat runs the place. For household chores, what do you look forward to doing? Do that first. For me it's loading the laundry so I can get some social media work done before drying.

What thought process is helping you recover from procrastination?