Feeling the effects of procrastination...from someone else?
There it is. Every day you see it and get a little angrier that it's still there.
When is it going to get done?
You're cornered between having to nag and bottling it up until you explode. It's not a good place to be, but what else can you do?
Whatever it is,
the physical manifestation of a family member's procrastination is enough to drive you bananas.
I get it.
My husband gets a lot done and is definitely a productive powerhouse at work. However, when it comes to certain things at home (like opening his mail), he tends to put it off. Who can blame him?
Who wants to open their mail?
I understand, BUT it has to be done so we came up with a system that curbs his procrastination and keeps my neat freak voice in check.
Here are 3 tips for living with someone who procrastinates AND keeping your home tidy.
Before you read on, it's important to note that the following tips need to be adapted to work for your specific situation (e.g. husband, roommate, parent, kid). I use my husband as an example, because I don't have kids yet. When I do, I would switch out #2 with the appropriate praise and so on.
Okay, without further ado, here are 3 tips for living with a procrastinator.
Things are definitely more likely to get done if the onus isn't solely on your family member. Offer your help, schedule a time to tackle the project together and make it a team effort.
Here's what this can look like:
My husband's mail pile is at the point of toppling over or has become multiple stacks, so I'll ask him if we can "do piles" this weekend. That's the terminology we use for decluttering his paper together. He always replies with a yes for 2 reasons:
When we do tackle the project together, I try to make it as easy as possible for him. He sits at the dining room table, and I hand him one piece of paper at a time. He then tells me if it's something to keep, recycle or shred. I put it in the appropriate pile, and take care of the actual filing and discarding at the end.
Essentially, all he has to do is make the decisions. We get through his mail pile so quickly now that he practically doesn't procrastinate about it at all anymore. It's superb and a win-win.
According to a whole bunch of studies, those who receive positive praise are more productive.
I'm seriously paraphrasing here and there's a compliment to criticism ratio, but overall positive praise encourages productivity. In doing research, I couldn't pick just one source to cite, so check out this Google search to read a few.
That said, let's use this to your advantage in your household.
For example, when my husband unloads the dishwasher or takes out the trash without my prompting him to do so, I let him know how sexy I think it is. Whenever I say that, his eyes light up. LOL.
This has a domino effect, and he now does or often offers to help with these little "sexy" things regularly and with a chipper attitude. It's wonderful, so give it a try!
If it's possible, offer to make a trade. You could get done whatever it is that needs to get done in exchange for a task that is on your to do list.
For example, I don't like to vacuum and my husband isn't big on doing laundry so we came to an agreement that suited both of us. My husband would take over vacuuming duties, and I would be responsible for the laundry. It was a wonderful trade that meant I didn't have to vacuum and he didn't have to fold any clothes.
Are there any tasks that your family members procrastinate about that could be swapped with something that you need to get done? Or perhaps they could make task trades with each other?
There you have it, three things that work in our house for busting procrastination and getting stuff done. What works for you and your family members? I would love to know! Leave me a comment below.