Stop Procrastinating About The Little Things.

Stop Procrastinating About The Little Things.

Why Do I Put Off Simple Tasks That Would Take Only A Few Minutes To Do?

Does this sound like you? “All I have to do is buy a stamp and mail the letter, move a box that has been in my way for weeks, or even send a thank you note that I should have sent last month. For some reason though, I don’t. I’m constantly procrastinating about these little things.”

Procrastinating about larger tasks can be due to many reasons, most of which relate to fear. But if you are procrastinating about very small tasks like the ones mentioned above, there is a different reason. The operative word here is “attention.” When you keep little tasks uncompleted, it keeps your attention occupied, so you don’t think about the bigger and less pleasant things that need your attention.

The impact of this behavior is compounded. The conscious rationale you provide yourself with is “I’ve got more important things that I need to do to worry about. I can’t be bothered with these little things.” This is how your life gets out of hand and nothing gets done. The small things are kept undone to keep you from thinking of the bigger things, and the bigger tasks remain undone because your attention is occupied with the little things. In the end you take a walk in the park, or sit all day and watch TV because you feel overwhelmed and don’t want to do anything!

Very often you use the everyday tasks in your life as a substitute for living. Letting the little things pile up gives you the illusion that your life is complicated, productive, busy, and maybe even fulfilled. Your perspective, which is narrowed, relieves you of the burden of looking at the larger picture.

So what can you do to end this cycle of unproductive days? Try using one or both of these methods:

Method 1: Make a list of all tasks that you need to do that would take less than ten minutes to complete, and finish just two per day. Writing them down is important, just to get these tasks out of your head, where they bounce around and take up more of your time and attention that they should. Putting these tasks in a list form will more than likely lead to action on your part. You will also derive much satisfaction from crossing the items off the list as you complete each task. What if the list is so long that you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Simple. Close your eyes and randomly use your finger to pick an item from the list. Or even tape the list to a wall, throw a dart, and see where it lands. (With your eyes open, of course!)

Method 2: Reevaluate your values and goals in life. If you have to let many tasks pile up to give you the illusion that you lead a productive life, maybe deep down you don’t feel that your goals are really worth pursuing. So take the time now to examine what your priorities, values, and goals are. For example, do you profess that health is one of your top values, but you get so busy with day-to-day activities that somehow you never find time to go to the gym? Either you need to act more in alignment with your stated value, or you need to admit that health isn’t as important as you pretended and put your energy elsewhere. Once you’re honest with yourself, you can stop creating the distraction of a mountain of “undoable” tasks and focus on the goals you really believe in.

Of course, the actions needed to bring a goal to fruition may be numerous indeed. Categorize them according to priority and time required for completion, and tackle them as suggested above.