How to beat procrastination | Claire Tompkins | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Reasons people procrastinate

    • 3. Class Project to beat procrastination

    • 4. What kind of procrastinator are you?

    • 5. How to stop procrastinating

    • 6. Techniques for all procrastinator styles

    • 7. Make beating procrastination part of your life

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About This Class


Procrastination means you don’t do things you’re supposed to, need to and even want to do. That’s the basic definition. If we back up a little further, the reason you don’t has to do with decision making. If you don’t make a clear decision on something, you don’t take action. Hello! procrastination.

Procrastination can strike anyone and it’s not a new problem. The Greeks called it akrasia, which means lack of self control and doing things against your own best interests. It can be tricky to defeat because there’s not just one cause and not just one solution.

In this class, I’ll reveal the real reasons people procrastinate, how to recognize your own style of procrastinating and the best solutions to use so you can be free of it for good.

Meet Your Teacher

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Claire Tompkins

Professional organizer and clutter coach


Claire helps creative, busy and/or overwhelmed folks get organized at home and at work. She uses her ten+ years of experience, along with copious reading and study, to discover the best and easiest organizing techniques for each client. There's no one size fits all  answer.

Claire specializes in out-of-the-box thinking and loves it when her clients have those "ah ha!" moments. So often, the best solution is the simplest one. After all, very few of us really enjoy organizing! The right technique for you is the one you will actually use everyday.

Services include in-person sessions, telephone and email coaching for getting organized, decluttering, time management and maintaining your system. Claire writes a blog, sends a free semi-monthly ezine, and hosts a podcast call... See full profile

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1. Introduction: procrastination means you don't do the things you're supposed to do, the things you need to do, even the things you want to do. That's the basic definition. If we go back a little further, it's about decision making. If you don't make a clear decision about something, you don't take action. Hello, procrastination. That's where it begins. Procrastination construct anyone that it's not a new problem. The ancient Greeks had a word for it. McCray Jha. A crazy means, lack of self control and acting against your own best interests. It can be tricky to defeat because it doesn't have just one cause and just one solution. Hi, I'm Claire Tomkins, professional organizer and clutter coach. I help my clients get organized because it makes their lives simpler, more relaxed, less stressful, more fun and full of time where they can spend the way that they want to. Procrastination is a big problem for them, and we work on that a lot because procrastination is where a lot of clutter comes from. Things that they haven't decided on that equals clutter. So I'm very motivated to look for solutions to this problem, and I'm going to share those solutions with you in this class, I'll reveal the real reasons that people procrastinate Had it identified your own style of procrastination and how to choose the best solutions that will work for you so that you can overcome this problem for good during the class. I'll ask you to give it a thumbs up. If you like it, that will help other procrastinators find it and get help from it. I'll also ask you for reviews, which also further boost the ratings so people can find it easier. I can't respond to reviews, but I love them and I really appreciate them. I do respond to comments, and I'm looking forward very much to see what your projects are, and I will definitely comment on those. Okay, let's get started. 2. Reasons people procrastinate: Okay, I'm gonna talk about three reasons that people procrastinate. Reason one. They haven't taken the time to make a decision. It sounds kind of weird, but it's true. It happens a lot. People often don't get two square want of making decisions. If there's a document on their desk, maybe a new credit card offer every time they see it, they think, Oh, yeah, I have to take care of this. But in that moment, they don't do it for good or bad reasons. And then they move on to the next thing. Reason to that wedding for more information that might be needing information, needing input from somebody else are waiting for a phone tall to be returned. So you've made a call to ask for something. They haven't called you back. You can keep track of that. But this problem can be tricky because sometimes you don't stop that. Consider what information you need. You cannot seek out information when you don't really know what you're looking for. And you just kind of got lost in a hole, you know, downward spiral on that one. I see this a lot. I asked, declined about a letter that's been sitting on her desk for a while. She'll say she needs to decide on it, but she hasn't figured out what will help her make the decision. Another problem again, is that information that your wedding to come back to you? So once you put in that phone call across the task off your list, you still need to check back to see if their return call doesn't come. Reason number three People are planning to sit down and figure it out, but they haven't had any spare time to do it. Does that happen to you? Okay, I got a hint for you. Spare time does not exist. It's a myth. You will routinely think that they will have more free time in the future and more motivation to do what they've been putting off. I did a class about willpower, it Stanford recently, and we read about an experiment where people were asked to predict how much they would exercise in the next coming weeks. Most people predicted they would exercise a lot more than they actually did. That's not too surprising. But then they were asked the same question preface by the phrase in an ideal world. So in an ideal world, how much will you exercise in the coming weeks and their predictions? Exactly the same. So what does that mean? That means that they were predicting their own behavior all the time as if they were in an ideal world. And, of course, predictions were way too high. The lesson is you have to schedule time to do things and not wait for it magically to appear all that time next week that you have to do the things you're putting off. It doesn't exist. Here's some examples of what people are thinking about when they're procrastinating. See how many of these apply to you. Remember that word? ACR Asia. It means acting against your own self. Best interest. Try to figure out why you're doing that if you are acting against your own best self interest. If you want, get into the things that you actually want to do. Any kind of destructive behavior is done because you think you're gonna get something out of it. If you can determine what that is, you got a better shot at overcoming 3. Class Project to beat procrastination: the project for this class is identifying how and when you procrastinate, choosing a strategy, just one or two to try and then putting it into practice. That last part is the most important. Changing bad habits into good ones takes time and effort, but daily practice makes that easier. In the next sections, you'll be learning what makes people procrastinate, and what are the best strategies to beat it? Start your project whenever you feel ready and let me know about it in the comments, read comments from others to that's helpful for inspiration and motivation. 4. What kind of procrastinator are you?: the first type is the over analyzer. This person finds itself hard to even get started on a project for fear. That's not gonna be perfect. If this is you, you'll keep going over and over something with a fine tooth comb making little tweaks. And you're convinced that they're just some other little thing that you could do to make it just flawless. The next type of person likes to keep their options open. If this is you, you're probably better ideas and execution. Actually, doing the work on something seems kind of tedious and bore. It's much more appealing to imagine to dream about what you could do. We're a little vague about how to make things happen. In the worst case scenario, you might believe that you're gonna be magically rescued. The third type is a worry wart. Were your sphere risk and they was think, What if it is you? You excel it thinking of worst case scenarios and then planning all your actions based on votes you often put off active. If it means doing something unfamiliar, uncomfortable because you don't know what's gonna happen and you feel paralyzed by that next type is Miss cranky pants. This type says you can't make me often You're not aware doing this, but you just have a knee jerk reaction to anything that sounds like an order Must. You may interpret even innocent requests for help as demands. This is especially true if the requested Wallace in that kind of mundane beneath you, you think, Why me? Why can't somebody else do that? You have a strong sense of not wanting to be controlled by others, but sometimes it backfires and prevents you from controlling yourself. The next type is Mr Busy Pants. If this is you, you regularly overload your schedule. Maybe so people will like you because you feel guilty. Maybe you feel responsible for everything. Maybe it's because you and you alone like the world go round. This is a recipe for burn out, not to mention procrastination, because you can't possibly get it all done. You also may be this indecisive and unassertive because you say yes to everyone and everything. And then you get stuck in the moment. It feels like you're being used, but helpful. But one ends up happening. Is that you over commit and you burn out. And then people are disappointed, you included. Finally, there's the adrenaline junkie. These people thrive on even creating your disasters because exciting, they find a normal speed of life. Love. Taymor. Boring. Yes, this is you. You may be challenged getting into in finishing projects unless someone lights a fire when you stay up all night working to get the thing done, it was just you. That's not really a problem. But if you work with others, you may delay or threw a wrench into things just to get yourself amped up. And that does cause problems for others, not to mention hurt feelings and arguments from that happens in your personal life. 5. How to stop procrastinating: Okay, This is the solution section. When you've been waiting for here, I'm gonna give you some solutions to try listed by the types that I referred to in the previous section for the overall analyzer. Remember, that done is better than perfect. Your projects need to see the light of day. If you're always working on them to make them perfect, that means nobody gets to see them. Nobody gets to enjoy them. You don't even get the credit for them because they're just unfinished and hidden. Remember that information overload is paralyzing. You will never have all the information, right? I mean, you'll never have it. There's just way too much information. It's coming out every day in tons and tons of quantities. So if you could make peace with the fact that you won't ever have all the information, then you can get to the point of deciding how much information is enough. Are you the kind who wants to keep all your options open? Here's some solutions. You must decide to decide if you don't You know what that means. It means other people will decide for you when you put off decision making, you know, time keeps moving forward, other people step in, they make decisions and those options are gone. Now. Sometimes it's a relief not to make decisions yourself, and that's fine. But you have to strike a balance between making the decisions for things that really matter to you and remember that not deciding is a decision. Again, you put off decided. You have said, I'm not gonna decide on this. I'm gonna try to keep his options open. But you open the door to other people coming in making decisions for you. And finally, those options are illusions. Until you decided one, you don't have any of them. None of them choosing. One of the options means you only have one, but you will have it. Solutions for the worry worked. You often won't know if you've made the right choice unless you take action. That even applies to thinking about which drew your socks go in. You might worry they're gonna make the wrong decision. But how will you ever know you don't have any evidence that you've made the wrong decision until you decide and do it, and about if the mistake could cause you a lot of money or time damage a relationship, those airworthy considerations. In the case of a coupon, the dollar amount saving on orange juice. It's not gonna be a great loss. The purchase turned out to be a mistake, and you hate stuff. The bigger mistake is getting suckered into saving money on something you don't really even want to begin. Project yourself into the future next month. Next year, in 10 years, you will regret this decision or we were not making a decision. Here's help from his cranky pants practice listening closely. So you've been here that people are requesting you to do something, not demanding. Be aware of instinctive reactions. Have that aren't based on what's really happened. Don't take it personal, ever. Even if someone does seem like they're demanding something from you, People do what they want. They're pretty much always thinking about themselves about you, even if your spouse finally do what you know is right, even if it means doing yet and Bryce, Truth of a victory. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. You're some ideas for Mr Busy points. You realize that you want Superman or even Supergirl. You just fine the way you are. don't let the priorities of others take precedence over your own. Do you allow your time to be swallowed up and your energy depleted by others? Well, there's not much left there was you what you want, what you love. Keep the end goal clear and in mind. If you don't embrace the goal of each task, that's a sign that it's not really your goal. It's somebody else's, and you should get back to your own work. Remember that you're already in control of your own talk you were choosing every moment you spend your time. Let that empower you to make positive decisions. And here's some ideas for the adrenaline. Don't wait to feel excited about project. What might not happen until you get involved in waiting for inspiration means you'll always be gracing an inspiration actually can come as you were. Satisfy your need for speed and more benign ways, like speed cleaning your kitchen race the clock in. It's just for fun when nothing important is on the line. Friendship or your career before you act. Focus on how you'll feel later, not just in the moment. This type the realm Truckee type, tends to live for the moment, just often delightful way to be. But the downside is that you're always reacting to your current feeling state, whether it's a property. 6. Techniques for all procrastinator styles: were some other strategies. They're not type specific. Ask yourself what is the worst that could happen most of time. The consequences are that great. Play out the scenario, your minds new deal with what words that could happen. It's You're so move forward. Make a decision on after limit your options when we have too many choices. It's really easy to get in a lodge. You can limit your options by, say, choosing a number of websites to look at for your research. You can select three restaurants and consult the reviews on those before you make your reservation. At one. There was so much information available. If you don't know what you take in, you could be researching forever. Similarly, you can choose a time or give yourself three days. Do you say Come up with the topic for your skill shared flats. Limit yourself to a week to decide whether you're gonna return that shirt or not. Make a list of pros and Hans. This is a time honored technique. Sometimes you'll surprise yourself what's on each list. Use a list to have a debate with yourself, defending and shooting down each item on the list. Parent comparison is another classic. It's a great tool for tests like reading out photos. So each of 30 photos, a group of it that are all similar and you really only want to. What you do is you compare the 1st 2 and you put one. When you take that one to prepare it to the next one, I'm stick one. Then take that one compared to the next one, just pick one. So you keep doing that into you with that. That prevents you from having to compare one photos 29 hundreds. You're gonna expand the ranking system. If you have, say, 10 or fewer things to compare, you could bracket from, what, 10 and the given points. Or you can give them points of various qualities were preparing light. Whether people are smiling, those defects, the final thing I'm gonna give use. What would somebody that you respect and admire doing situation? Imagine a wise mentor or friend happy to make this decision. What would that person do to be model that sees 7. Make beating procrastination part of your life: in this section, I'll give you ideas for how to integrate these solutions into your daily life. She can be procrastination whenever you want to. First substitute good behavior for negative behavior. You can't just stop doing something. Well, you can try, but it takes a lot of energy and willpower to do that. Instead. Replace your bad habit was something good. Otherwise you're gonna create a vacuum. Develop your awareness. Many of us, maybe even most of us, go through our lives without really paying attention. If you look back on the day and wonder where all that time went, setting alarm, go off, say every half hour so for a couple of days and just record what you did during that time. This is not necessarily a way to figure out exactly when and where you're procrastinating, although that's good information to. It's more a way of just to be more mindful of where your time goes because you'll remember that were notoriously bad at estimating how long things take. Third go easy on yourself. Changing habits takes time and energy just because you figured out why you procrastinate, and now you know what to do about it. it doesn't mean it's gonna happen overnight. Realize that you replacing counterproductive behaviour with habits that serve you much better. And that takes time. Keep getting back on that horse. Find ways to remind yourself of the good habits you want to develop. Send yourself an email once a week or once a day. Put a big note upon your bathroom mirror, team up with a friend for accountability and visit my website to learn more about this topic and my organizing services. I'm a clutter coach dot net. You'll also find a link to my weekly podcast and a place to sign up for my bi monthly newsletter. In fact, go sign up right now. Don't procrastinate.