What if you could put to rest the nagging feeling that accompanies procrastination? What if you could stop guiltily rewriting the same tasks over and over on your to-do lists? Designating one day a week as your personal Anti-Procrastination Day can dramatically increase your efficiency and help you feel lighter and more accomplished.
Select a day of the week when you typically have a lighter or more flexible schedule. Mark it in your calendar to yourself accountable. For most people, it's best if this can be consistent from week to week. But if it needs to vary, consistently decide which day will be your Anti-Procrastination Day before your week starts. (Always add it to your calendar on Sunday afternoons or Monday mornings, for example. Or maybe at the end of each Anti-Procrastination Day you can plan the next one.)
Put a short list in writing. What have you been avoiding accomplishing over the last week or so? What will bring you the most satisfaction? What task will give you the most bang for your buck, so to speak?
For example, maybe you really need to make a dentist appointment and you've really been dreading it but you also know from experience it will take you all of three minutes to get it scheduled. That's the sort of chore Anti-Procrastination Day was made for. You don't necessarily have to put the most important things to do on your list. (If they're super important you might naturally get to them faster anyway.)
We mean it when we say short. Stick to no more than three tasks and commit yourself to no more than 45 minutes of effort. There's no shame in limiting yourself to one chore or 10 minutes of work, either. Your end goal is to relieve some of your stress and guilty feelings and to make your to-do list feel more doable.
Keep your list separate from your daily to-do list to help these items stand out.
It can also be helpful to use your list to record the time you estimate each task will take. (These Russell+Hazel sticky notes suit the job well and are readily available in their online store and at The Container Store.)
Work your way through your Anti-Procrastination list. The way you go about this depends on your personality and the flow of your day. Maybe you're an "eat the frog" sort of person who needs to do what you've been avoiding at the start of the day and then move on. Or maybe you need to block off a period of time when you are less busy later in the day. It might be easiest to alternate your usual responsibilities with items from your Anti-Procrastination list.
Regardless of your methods, get all the way through your list.
Pay attention. What makes it easier to finally cross a few things off your list? What kinds of tasks wind up on your Anti-Procrastination list week after week? Should you let go of some commitments, such as something you always agree to do that you just don't time for or a task you often convince yourself you should do that isn't worth the effort?
Recognize the changes you see and feel. Let the sense of accomplishment you feel on Anti-Procrastination Day last. Celebrate it with whatever will feed your motivation.
Make it a day you actually forward to, so you can create a more positive mindset about all the chores and responsibilities you face each week.