How Much is Procrastination Costing You?

Most of us procrastinate, at least from time to time. It’s a habit that’s hard to avoid. When you do too much of it, however, it seriously limits your progress.

When the procrastination impacts your home business, there may be a more direct financial impact. Just think how much better your business could be doing if you just cut out the procrastination.

Try Scheduling

One way to avoid procrastinating is to create a schedule for working. Pick times that you’re going to work and plan what you’re going to work on. This bit of time invested can help you get more done.

There are different ways to schedule. Some like having a physical planner to look at. Having things written down on paper is just that much more motivating. That one drives me nuts. I don’t do so well with schedules on paper.

Put it on the computer and keep it more general, and I’m content. My schedules are more general, with tasks and/or priorities and I’ll deal with it. I think it’s mostly that a schedule on the computer feels easier to change when things aren’t working out. My daily life is generally not that amenable to a strict schedule. Three kids will do that to you, especially when they’re young.

Your schedule can help you to limit the time you spend on activities that are good in moderation but can easily become a time suck. Schedule an adequate time for things such as checking email, blog commenting and social networking, and don’t let the time you spend on these activities become excessive. You may need to schedule multiple times throughout the day for these depending on how you’re using each.

Have an Overall Plan

Having an overall plan is a help in general. I plan not only what is most important to me, but have options for those times I have a mental block in one area or another. It really helps when writer’s block is driving me nuts to work on something else… so long as I don’t overdo it and avoid writing tasks for too long.

With a plan you can think both short and long term. You can see if you’re making the progress you’d like. It can be motivating to see if you’re approaching the goals you set up in your plan, whether you’re way behind and know it, or see the end in sight. Just don’t make short term goals so challenging that they’re frustrating rather than motivating.

Know What Encourages Procrastination for You

There are probably some things in your life that make you more or less likely to procrastinate. If you can spot the troublemakers, you may be able to avoid or control them.

That said, sometimes procrastination is worth it when you have kids. Time with them is usually well spent, even if it puts you a bit off schedule, so long as it’s not going to destroy the income your family needs to get by. You do need to be realistic about your financial needs and that the kids will usually be just fine if you tell them you need to work. But adding in a late night or early morning so that you have time during the day for the kids isn’t always a bad thing.

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