Pre-start to Prevent Procrastination

Copyright 2012

It’s back to school week here in lovely Portland, Maine. Whether you are a student or not, it seems like an appropriate time to revamp work habits. Last week I detailed my dislike of procrastination and this week I think it is high time we do something about it.

It’s easy. My first piece of advice for addressing procrastination is to know how to get started. Actually, I’m not even going to make you start, only pre-start. It’s like preschool for procrastination. It gives you a solid foundation and it’s pretty easy. Really.

Take 2-5 minutes to get the drift. The idea behind pre-starting is that you simply take 2-5 minutes to understand what the project, assignment, or duty is that you need to complete. Pre-starting means that from the moment you know about an assignment or some other thing you need to do,  you take 2-5 minutes to be sure you know what exactly it entails. For example, read the assignment, look at the directions booklet, ask your spouse questions about the house painting project.  That’s it. You simply start to understand what the process will be all about.

Do it now. The point of pre-starting is to take a very short amount of time to get the basics of the project immediately when you know about it. So just do it! I know you can.

It’s important. When my clients are struggling with procrastination, I find they often do not know exactly what an assignment or project really involves. We have the tendency to estimate that it is bigger or more difficult than it truly is. Pre-starting helps you get an accurate view of what you are doing so you know from day one. Plus, you are already practicing facing the situation head on as opposed to avoidance, which sets the stage for procrastination. I’ve seen a lot of successes with this strategy in my office.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Why not, right?


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