Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination-II

When the Project Feels Overwhelming

If you simply feel overwhelmed by a project, we've discussed the fact that it usually means that something is missing. Once you've identified what that something is, you have the opportunity to ask for that support or resource that will help you to lessen the sense that you are overwhelmed by all that there is to do. You can also try some of the following techniques whenever you feel overwhelmed:

• Take the task and break it into smaller, easily achievable tasks.

• Start with the easiest or fastest tasks first so that you feel some sense of accomplishment.

• Reward yourself as you complete each sub-task. Such positive reinforcement can help you feel more optimistic about the rest of the project.

• Ask for input from others, particularly if you haven't managed a project of this size before. Getting a brief lessons learned from someone else can equip you to recognize pit falls before you hit them.

When You Are a Perfectionist

Perfectionism is often based on the fear of what will happen if you make a mistake or a fear of looking bad. However, you can take some steps to avoid these negative consequences without getting stopped because you are afraid the results won't be perfect. Some tips include:

• Review the expected results for the project with your supervisor. What would he or she consider success to look like?

• Schedule regular check-in points with your supervisor and/or team mates so you can identify any potential problems before they occur.

• Realize that no one is perfect and hiccups will occur. Instead of letting this cause you to procrastinate, consider it a challenge to your problem-solving skills.

• Practice some stress-management techniques so that you are prepared for those moments when problems arise.

When You Are Having Trouble Making a Decision

In any project there are times when you will have to make a decision. Yet if you aren't sure which option is the best one, you will undoubtedly find yourself at a standstill. However, you need to realize that this is just another form of procrastination. You can take a number of steps to help you make that decision and keep on moving. Some suggestions include:

• Use one of the prioritization tools discussed in Chapter 4 to help you identify the best choice.

• Use group consensus to come to the best decision.

• Ask for input from your supervisor or others.

• When all else fails, just make the best choice that you can. Moving forward in any direction is usually better than not moving at all.


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