I am a planner, an organizer, a scheduler. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am on top of things, I always get the job done, and I rarely let anything fall through the cracks. Normally, this is true, but what many people don’t know is that I am a chronic procrastinator.

Procrastination isn’t all bad. In fact, I willingly let it happen sometimes because a burning desire to blow work off usually means I need a break, so I take one. But sometimes, I get into that procrastination gutter and can’t seem to roll out of it (you know what I’m talking about, right?).

Being the systemic planner that I am, I of course, have a process for getting away from procrastination when it’s not productive and starts to cause that slow burning panic. Here are some of the techniques I use to stop the procrastination cycle and get back on track.

  1. Prioritize!
  2. Focus on no more than your three top priorities at a time (put the rest of the list away!).
  3. Tackle the biggest of those three priorities first thing every morning.
  4. Break down big tasks into manageable, bite-size chunks.
  5. Be aware of your distractions.
  6. Allow yourself time to be distracted.
  7. Force yourself to focus for short periods of time (start with 10 or 15 minutes).
  8. Shut off email notifications, instant messages, social media and texting during focus periods.
  9. Give up on doing everything perfectly and just get it done.
  10. Create a baseline to keep you moving every day.
  11. Set SMART goals…and actually use them to push yourself forward.
  12. Ask yourself periodically if what you’re doing, right now, supports your goals.
  13. Use an Action Planner to stay on track.
  14. Get an accountability partner.
  15. Pad your schedule to include some buffer time and take off some of the pressure.
  16. Create self-imposed deadlines to challenge yourself.
  17. Remind yourself how bad you want it.
  18. Acknowledge your successes and reward yourself for a job well done.
  19. Delegate tasks that don’t require your individual attention.
  20. Create motivational mantras that get you moving.

Have you ever fallen into the procrastination gutter?
What did you do to snap out of it?