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Categories: Inspiration

Stop Procrastination – Set a Schedule and Follow It

It is terrific to take the mystery out of procrastination by setting a schedule and following it. Procrastination is that thing that makes you put off doing things you should be doing. There are as many reasons or procrastination as there are procrastinators. One reason for procrastination is that to do lists are too long. Think about your own to do list. If it is like most no matter if it is a list for home or work the list probably is very long.

It is good to create to do lists. To do lists help us to keep track of all the things we have to do so that nothing gets left behind or forgotten. The problem is that most people don’t realize the list is the starting point, not the ending point. Once you create your to do list get out your calendar and schedule each to do item. In my calendar for example, all my to do items are added to the calendar to be done at a specific time.

For example, each week day, no matter what else is going on, I must do the following items:

* get the kids up and dressed for school
* feed the children breakfast
* write articles for my blog
* complete freelance writing assignments
* look for new writing opportunities
* pick children up from bus stop
* prepare diner
* do laundry
* do household chores
* help husband with business
* read and respond to email

In addition to these items, things come up that must be added to the to do list including the following:

* prepare questions for parent/teacher conference
* plan dinner with husband and his business partners
* do research for blog event to learn about new technology
* create networking event for local bloggers
* weed through book review requests




These things must be added to the calendar, not just listed on the to do list. However, not all of these things can be done in one day or in one hour. The reality is each of these things take time to do. Some of them take a lot of time. In order for me to succeed and get done everything that needs to be done, I must schedule my to do items. This means I must find time on the calendar to do the items. For example, If I have an item scheduled for 10:00 am such as “write blog post,” I cannot do another item such as “prepare questions for parent/teacher conference” at the same time. So, in order to do the conference prep work at 10 am, I must reschedule the blog writing task.

That is why it is important to take out your to do list and calendar a the same time. You are more likely to get the things on your to do list done if you schedule time for them. Keep in mind that once you do all the work of planning, scheduling and putting to do items into the calendar, OBEY THE CALENDAR. It is important to your success to follow your calendar and to do the tasks you have scheduled when you have them on the schedule. When it comes to your to do list, plan and schedule. Keep in mind, when it comes to getting things done, if you fail to schedule your plan, you plan for your schedule to fail!

When you have control of your to do list and can see on paper or computer screen that there is time set aside for all the things you want to do, it will take away some of your fear and need to procrastinate. Having a time for everything will help you to look at each task one at a time instead of as an overwhelming and never-ending list. This method of handling your to do list helps defeat procrastination because there is a time for everything and everything has a time. For example, when you sit down to work at 10 am and look at your calendar, you don’t need to pay attention to a to do list with 10 items. Instead, you only need to pay attention to the one item scheduled for 10 am. This approach is less stressful and more manageable.

In conclusion, it is terrific to take the mystery out of procrastination by setting a schedule and following it. So, the question for you this terrific day is how are you scheduling your day?

Janeane Davis

View Comments

  • Just found your blog and I'm so excited! I'm a freelance writer too and I've been looking for likeminded bloggers to connect with!

    Love to do lists it keeps me on track. One other thing I like to do that has helped me is making my list relatively short every day.

    If I try tackling a long list I have a tendency to do all the easy things and time consuming things get pushed out.

  • I try to keep a schedule. However, with the kids sometimes it is impossible.

  • I'm great at making a schedule,and terrible at keeping to it!

    • I had that same probelm until I made my calendar electronic and had alrms go off when it was time for a new task.

  • These days, I don't think my issue is procrastination. I think I am just trying to juggle too many things at once!

  • Great post! It's exactly what I need right now, and I need to actually follow-through... I have lots of lists--but I do need to sych them all, and be realistic.

  • I needed this article. I'm a horrible one for procrastination.

  • Great advice, but it's easier said than done! I'm great at making lists, just not so good at crossing things off of it...

  • I love the idea of synicing the to do list for the calendar!

    • It works well for me because if I cannot find time for it in my calendar I cannot fit it in my life.

  • I used to pride myself in college on how much I could get done after procrastinating. But now I see that wasn't really being productive. Now I do a much better job with scheduling, although I have learned too the importance of being flexible with the schedule. Being too rigid also has it's issues. - Katy

  • I love to-do lists. They keep me on track and I find I get more done when I have it all written out.

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