Here in Michigan, spring is taking its time to arrive. Still, that doesn’t mean we should keep procrastinating on spring cleaning and other chores needing to be done, whether it’s 40 degrees out or 60. It can be hard to get started on our to-do list when we’d rather be doing something more fun, so I turned to an expert to give us some advice: Rhonda Pawlan, M.S.
Rhonda, an ADD coach, is my guest blogger today. Her sage advice and practical tips should get you moving and shaking.
Rhonda Pawlan, M.S.
Springing Out of Procrastination
Spring is a time when so many of us think about projects we’ve been neglecting. You may be thinking about cleaning out the garage, painting the exterior of your house, planting flowers, rotating seasonal clothing from one closet to another, or possibly all the above. Whatever may be on your list, the word list may be just enough to send you into the state of overwhelm. And where does that lead most people with ADHD? To the land of procrastination. Have you arrived yet?
Here in the land of procrastination, we put off what we could do today. And then again, tomorrow. Oh, maybe we’ll get around to it next week. How about next month? You get the idea, and if you’re reading this article, you’re probably quite familiar with this issue. Being aware that a particular challenge exists, is always the first step to making positive change. But you’ve probably been here so many times, you know the land of procrastination has its own zip code. The question is – how can you procrastinate less, and accomplish more?
Procrastinating is a way of not dealing with things that create discomfort. Something about a particular project makes you feel anxious or overwhelmed. Very often, the larger the project, the more it gets procrastinated. But frequently, if we only had to do one little piece of a project, it wouldn’t be quite so unbearable. I’m asking you to look at just one small step at a time. Simon says – take one small step forward.
To start the process, you’re going to choose just one project. It may be best to begin with one of your less complicated projects to get yourself into the groove. Next, you’re going to break your project down into doable steps or tasks. Small tasks that you feel you could handle. What would you need to do first, then second, etc.? You may find that there are some steps that don’t need to be in any special order. If you’re finding it difficult to decide, just toss a coin. The most important thing is that you divide your projects into steps, and the great thing is that you can make the steps as small as you need them to be, just so you can get started.
Once your task list is completed, the next step is to create self-imposed deadlines. These are deadlines you’ll give yourself for each individual task. Finally, those deadlines go into your calendar. Some people may do fine by simply assigning a due date for each task, while others may find they’re more successful by also choosing a specific hour of the day to tackle each task.
Now that you’ve got your project blueprint, its time to get started. Here’s a summary of the key points:
- Choose your project
- List the steps necessary in order to complete the project – doable steps
- Arrange them into the most logical order
- Assign a due date for each small step and record in your calendar
Keep in mind, it’s a step at a time. Start looking forward to accomplishing something by imagining how good you’ll feel once it’s done. Think of these steps as a fresh way to complete a project you’ve been procrastinating. It just may be the springboard you need to get you started this spring.
Rhonda Pawlan, M.S. has been an ADD coach for over ten years. She specializes in coaching adults and college students throughout country. Her goals are to establish a great rapport with her clients, help get them on track, and stay on track – in the workplace, in school, and in all areas of life. Rhonda has presented webinars for various ADD organizations, and was a workshop presenter at CHADD, when their conference took place in her hometown, Chicago. In addition to having a B.A. in Education, and an M.S. in Counseling, Rhonda received her coach training through the ADD Coach Academy, Jodi Sleeper-Triplett’s program for high-school & college students with ADD, and the Fast Track coaching program. Her clients comment on her warmth, sincerity, and her delightful sense of humor.