• Author Carlijn Dreijer

Yesterday you said today

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How do you handle deadlines? Are you always done in plenty of time? Great! Or are you more like me, racing against the clock with an increased heart rate to get your work done at the last moment?

Every time you want to get started, you find yourself instead on Facebook looking at your neighbor's 2012 vacation photos from Spain or reading an inspirational article about life without shampoo. And all of this while feeling guilty because you haven't gotten anything done. This isn't a good situation for yourself, but also not for your coworkers or clients. By the way, did you know that perfectionism can be a cause of your procrastination?

5 tips to hit your deadlines

The tips below will help you become more effective today, and you'll have enough time left over to do fun things without feeling guilty.

1. Just start

Ha! This may be the most difficult one of all. You'll see that once you've started, even if it's only an hour, it will be much easier for you to keep going.

2. Tackle your biggest challenge

What is the thing you dread doing most? Start with that first thing in the morning. It will give you space, both literally and figuratively.

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3. Baby steps

Create shorter, feasible deadlines for that one major deadline.

4. Work with to-do lists

Whether or not you're a fan of Getting Things Done, to-do lists are highly effective. And nothing feels better than checking off completed tasks. It gives you energy to start on the next task.

5. Do the small tasks immediately

Did an e-mail just come in from your coworker? Does that mess on your desk irritate you endlessly? Then answer the email immediately and clean up your desk. Then you'll have the peace of mind and room to continue.

Of course, these are merely home remedies for curing your procrastination. If you really want to achieve permanent behavioral change, you have to take action. Check out our learning journeys:

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