Next On Your House To-Do List: Overcoming Procrastination


One of the most infamous enemies of the mind is procrastination. It makes it difficult to deal with items on your house’s to-do list, on top of dozens of other daily responsibilities. It’s important, though, to prevent everything from piling up, because that just makes for added stress— which means you can’t enjoy your precious free time as easily. So, how to do it? How does one go about overcoming procrastination, in order to get things done at home?


1. Prioritize


Procrastination is one of the most common bad habits of  this day and age. In fact, approximately 80% of students and 25% of adults admit they are chronic procrastinators. There are simply so many distractions, among them smartphones and other tasks that need to get done.

The latter has a simple solution that you are probably familiar with: prioritization. Yes, many people find this challenging, but even the worst procrastinators could benefit from this tip: make an actual list.

When you have, say, five things to do, instead of feeling overwhelmed, you can make a list that states the tasks from most to least urgent. That way, you have defined goals, and can check off the most urgent task before moving on to others.


In the home setting, this tip applies as well. You may have several things to repair or touch up, but it is important to prioritize. Instead of having a jumbled mental list of all these things, write them down in order of importance.

For example, you may be thinking: I need to paint the window frames and fix the toilet. Oh, and I should probably check out that leak in the basement and polish the floor.

This kind of fretting won’t help you much, because all it really does is amplify stress and make you feel less inclined to get anything done.

A better option would be to write this down:


  • Fix upstairs toilet (buy new flapper)

  • Check out leak in basement/hire someone to fix it.

  • Repaint window frames.

  • Polish wood floor.


You will find it easier to choose what to do first if you’ve written down the most crucial task beforehand.

Prioritization is one of the antidotes to procrastination, and it helps to take a healthy dose of it.


2. Remember that you only have two hands


It may be tempting to attempt to deal with several house tasks all at once. Sometimes, such as while cooking, this is fairly reasonable. However, when dealing things that require less waiting around, it’s not a good idea. It is another component of that fickle fiend, procrastination.

What often happens when one tries to tackle several tasks at once is that an excess amount of stress builds up from all the flitting back and forth, until one’s energy is gone and the initial goal is set aside, or time has been wasted.

For example, while repairing the bathroom sink you may notice that the bathtub is dirty and switch tasks to cleaning it, only to realize the trash is full.

To avoid this sort of situation you should simply discipline yourself to one task at a time. You’ll accomplish more in the long run by focusing on a singular thing, and telling yourself that you only have two hands.


3. Organization is key


The human brain can get very cluttered. Often, the environment you find yourself can either lessen or increase this clutter.

When trying to accomplish a house task, it can be quite helpful to clear away the space concerned. Think about it: are you more willing to get something done in a messy area, or an organized one?

Most people would say the second is their preferred option. Taking the time to tidy up a bit can do wonders. For one, the task will feel much more approachable if it isn’t taking place in the midst of an indoor tornado. On the other hand, the task itself will be much easier if you have space to work, whether you are repairing something, washing the dishes, or sweeping.

The inviting open space will help repel procrastination.


4. Don’t put electronics first


A common piece of metal in most people’s pockets is one of procrastination’s greatest assets. Smartphones have become the go-to way to kill time… except people often end up wasting time as well. Which is why many times phones need to be put away while trying to focus on something.

When you need to get something house-related done, ditching the electronics is also very handy. The constant notifications popping up will inevitably lead you to take longer than you need to finish any given task. It’s not enough to simply put your phone on silent or vibrate, because when you check the time you’ll still see the notifications. It’s better to stash it away until you really do have time to kill.


P.S. Not only will a phone cause things to take longer, but it could be the reason you miss an important detail while repairing something.


5. Just Get It Done.


A tremendously helpful strategy for getting things done is simply this: do them right away. For example, instead of letting the dishes pile up, or letting the sink become grimy, clean up as soon as you have the chance. If you have a little while to spare, put it to good use. This will ensure that you only spend ten minutes or so at a time , instead of the better part of an hour. (This mostly applies to cleaning.)

Often when the clean-up job becomes too large, procrastination becomes easier, because you don’t have enough time to get the whole task done. Just another excuse we make for ourselves…


The moral of the story? Complete the tasks you can as soon as you can.


Of course, there may be things around the house that you can’t do on your own, where you may need to hire a Skilled Doer. However, this is also something you may want to procrastinate, so don’t let yourself fall into undesirable habits.


And, as we like to say, just get it done.


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