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A Declutterers Guide to Procrastination and How to Overcome it!

Updated: Jun 25, 2022

This DOCC Blog is talking to the procrastinators amongst us!.

Procrastination: The action of delaying or postponing something

Procrastination can often be the biggest enemy of the person trying to get organised by decluttering.

  • You probably have tidy piles of paperwork waiting to be filed

  • In fact you may have piles all around your home - neat and tidy - but not getting sorted or put away

  • Maybe you are struggling with a certain category of items which mean a lot to you

  • Are you waiting until you have more time?

  • Are you waiting because you need help?

  • Is it just too difficult to know where to begin?

  • Maybe you began decluttering or organising and found it harder than you anticipated

  • Would you ALWAYS rather do some other chore?

  • Are you worried that you won’t be able to achieve the result you want?

  • Are you scared of failure?

My most successful method of overcoming procrastination - because, yes, I am a huge procrastinator! - is to make sure I am clear on why I am doing a particular job, what are the benefits to me personally? Self centered, I know, but if massaging the ego works then I’m all for it!

Why am I sorting through the family photographs? To get rid of the unnecessary pictures, make sure we have the absolute best and to make it easy and a pleasure to look through them in the future.

Why did I start going through ALL my clothes? To make it easier for me to get dressed in the morning without the time consuming chore of deciding what goes with what or wondering where a particular top has got to. I want to know exactly what is in my closet and know that I can wear everything in there and feel good.

Other methods of beating procrastination include:

  • Promising yourself a reward for different stages of the project

  • Setting alarms or using a timer so you know there is a set period of time to work and then you can have a break

  • Make yourself accountable to somebody

  • Break larger projects down into achievable chunks - don’t overestimate how much you can do though - be kind to yourself

  • Lower your expectations - if you expect too much you could disappoint yourself and not do any more decluttering at all.

So - you’ve read this far, now try to answer these questions:

What are you putting off doing?

Do you understand why you are procrastinating?

Can you find a way to motivate yourself into completing the project

Yes - Go for it! Do it now!

No - Try one of these solutions:

Get an accountability partner, someone who will work with you and support you in achieving your goals

Set a timer for 15, 20 or 30 minutes, work solidly for this time and then have a complete break for 10, 15 or 20 minutes. Only try this if you can trust yourself to obey the timer

Set up a reward system for levels of completion. If necessary, have someone else be in charge of them.