Space Management Survival Guide: Managing Your Time - Put Off Procrastination

by Michael G. Allen

As the new year is just beginning, you may have had "becoming more organized" on your list of resolutions. Have you already broken it?

This article is going to help you stop procrastinating and putting off things you know you need to do (including getting more organized). These seven tips are borrowed (and modified) from a wonderful book called "The 15 Minute Organizer" by Emilie Barnes. I highly recommend it. These hints can help you free up your time and hopefully give you more "space" on your calendar to work with.

  1. Break down large, overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks -- Try to limit yourself to one project at a time so you reduce frustrations. Also, limit your time on these projects to five to fifteen minute increments. Any task can be done over time - why try to eat a whole pie in one bite?

  2. Do a start-up task -- Start with something small so you build up your confidence. After your first success, it is easier to go on to the next project.

  3. Take advantage of your moods -- If there are tasks you don't feel like doing today, find those tasks that you do feel like doing and do them. Just take action. Do a little project everyday.

  4. Make a commitment to someone -- Enlist a friend to hold you accountable for getting started and following through. Decide to do a project or two together until you get more comfortable with your own motivation. Most projects are more fun to do with others anyway. Why not choose a buddy and tackle your projects together?

  5. Give yourself a reward -- Find an important goal that you have been dodging and decide upon a fitting reward for yourself when you accomplish the task ("if I finish organizing my sock drawer, I will go out for ice cream").

  6. Give yourself deadlines -- Mark a certain (realistic) date on your calendar by which you will have a task completed. Break it down into smaller tasks if necessary (see item 1). Highlight the date on your calendar or otherwise mark it clearly so you are reminded of it every day.

  7. Recognize the negative impact that procrastinating has on your life -- Do you really want all of the guilt, frustration, shame, and fatigue that comes with constantly putting things off?

  8. Ask yourself, "What's the best use of my time and energy right now?" -- If you are not doing what is the highest priority right now then switch. What you are doing might be good, but is it the best thing you can be doing right now?

Are you ready to face your neglected tasks yet? I found these tips very motivating when I ran across them in Emilie's book. I hope you will take them to heart and take action - How about right NOW!

Michael Allen is a part-time planning consultant and professional organizer in Denver, Colorado. He offers workshops and organization services to homes and businesses to help people get and stay organized and maximize their personal satisfaction and professional productivity. For more information, contact him at

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