Excerpt: Eight strategies to stop procrastinating

The following is an excerpt from my book Unclutter Your Life in One Week, which comes out next week on November 3. If you have pre-ordered the book, THANK YOU! and also don’t forget to sign up to receive the special PDF bonus worksheets. And, to let you know, the electronic Kindle version is now available for pre-order (still no word on the other e-book formats).

Now, on with the excerpt from the Thursday chapter, “Working While at Work” section of the book:

“… try these strategies for improving your productivity when you don’t really want to work:

  • Similar to what you might do when exercising, play music with a fast rhythm.
  • If you drink caffeine, consume it in small, frequent amounts instead of just one large cup at the beginning of the day.
  • Set time-specific goals in two-, five-, or ten-minute increments. Identify what you want to accomplish in a very short amount of time, and then set a timer and go for it.
  • Isolate yourself. Remove the desire to procrastinate by not having any other options but to work.
  • Acknowledge that you’re procrastinating. Often, just realizing that you’re putting something off is enough to get you working.
  • Challenge a colleague to see who can get the most work done in a set time period.
  • Ask someone to help you stay accountable. There are professional motivators who will call you once a day to see how you’re doing, but a trusted and willing friend or coworker can do the same thing for free.
  • If the task doesn’t require much though, listen to an audiobook while you work. Agree to only listen to the book when you’re working on the project you don’t want to do. This way, you’ll be interested in hearing more of the story each time you take on the undesirable task.”

12 Comments for “Excerpt: Eight strategies to stop procrastinating”

  1. posted by Hanni on

    Doesn’t look like the Kindle version of the book is available in the UK – do you have any plans for a UK version?

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Hanni — That’s weird. You can order the print version in the UK already, so I’m confused why the Kindle version isn’t yet available. I’ll ask my sales team at Simon, maybe they know something I don’t.

  3. posted by Sheryl on

    Soooooooo then…I guess I should add “quit reading blogs, get dressed, and go vacuum kitchen” to that list…?

  4. posted by Don’t Put Off Reading This « My eSeMBe on

    […] organized. I notice they are posting some excerpts from an upcoming book and I really liked these Eight strategies to stop procrastinating. Might have to add this one to the wish list… Tagged as: procrastination Leave a comment […]

  5. posted by Janet Bailey on

    I’ve heard timer recommendations before, but what I like about your tip is the idea of setting a specific goal tied to a short two- to ten-minute period. I’ll try this.

  6. posted by Michele Connolly, Get Organized Wizard on

    About #2, Erin:
    *pulls out hair and screeches*

    Sorry about that.
    M 🙂

  7. posted by Hanni on

    Thanks Erin, keep me posted – I’m so eager to get my er, virtual hands on it.

  8. posted by bg on

    I use the last strategy to motivate me to exercise. I get a good TV show on DVD, and I can only watch it while I’m on the elliptical machine or doing a strength training routine. It also works with music. Make a playlist you love, and only allow yourself to listen to it while you exercise.

  9. posted by Hanni on

    Hi Erin,

    Sorry to bother, is there any news?

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    […] Remove distractions from your office: Keep magazines, toys, personal mail, and other distractions out of your office. […]

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    […] Remove distractions from your office: Keep magazines, toys, personal mail, and other distractions out of your office. […]

  12. posted by Organization – How do you keep motivated and not lose faith? on

    […] to yourself that you’re avoiding a task can help get you motivated to change. Check out “Eight strategies to stop procrastinating” for tips on what to do […]

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