Most volunteer coordinators have a million and one urgent things that get in the way of planning for the future and getting important tasks done — agency roles that need filled, partnership meetings that need to be attended, reports that need to be written, and fires that need to be put out.
It’s soooooo easy to let strategic program planning fall to the bottom of the To-Do list! After all, if it’s not done, it’s not going to make or break your day, right?
But, what if you had a plan in place that guided you through your year? One that could get you off the incessant gerbil wheel and on to a more purposeful approach? One that could help you plan for your greatest areas of need and helped you identify who might best be able to fill them?
It all sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t want to stop the guessing game and have a more solid plan in place?
That’s why we created the Level Up Your Volunteer Management Game Plan in 2019 Mini Series. All free, all for you.
The end of the year tends to slow down making it a great time to dedicate yourself to reducing your future stress by planning your future reality.
But, first, you need to deal with your demons.
This week, we tackle another barrier — procrastination. Below you’ll find a ton of tips to inspire you to get off the fence and start making your dreams a reality.
AND, to get the momentum going, we give you a tool that makes your first step toward strategic planning easy and fun (scroll to the bottom to get it).
Volunteer Coordinators, Here Are Your 25 Ways to Beat Procrastination
Below are a variety of ways to get time back on your side. Test them out and tell us about those that worked best for you in the comments below.
1) Meditate on what’s holding you back What are you afraid will go wrong? Is this fear warranted? What can you do to plan for success?
2) Make a list of the reasons why you think you procrastinate. Try to eliminate one reason each week.
3) Give yourself a break. If you’ve been hard and your productivity has recently begun to slip, it may be a sign that you need to take a few days off to recharge your battery.
4) Estimate the time you need to complete it, double it, and then block out time on your calendar to complete it.
5) Work on the task first thing in the morning, before you check your email.
6) Develop a routine that details where, when, and how you take care of tasks that you dislike. Stick with it, and the task will lose its bite.
7) Reward yourself with a treat, a break, or a more exciting task when you’re done.
8) Play music in the background, or stream a video, to soothe yourself as you complete something that is causing you stress (while accepting the trade off that it will take you longer to complete).
9) “Seed” a blank page with similar things you’ve written, if you’re experiencing writer’s block. Simply having something down can help you get over the hump.
10) Visualize what success looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like. How will things change when you get the current monkey off your back?
11) Delegate or trade tasks with volunteers or co-workers. Is there something they don’t mind doing as much as you do?
12) Notice in your body how the stress makes your body feel. Where are you holding stress and guilt for not completing your task? When sensations do you feel? Simply by noticing physiological responses can help reduce their impact (it really is amazing how this works).
13) Set up an accountability buddy. Set specific dates to check in on each other’s progress and to brainstorm how to overcome what’s getting in the way.
14) Sing your special “fight song” to get you revved up to go. Choose one that already exists or create your own (Seriously. I do this!).
15) Break a larger task into smaller steps. Then, do one a day in short sprints until you’re all done.
16) Turn off your phone and email alerts. Sometimes to really dig in, you need to stop all disruptions. You can let folks know when you’ll be back online.
17) Clean up your desk. Yes, this sounds a lot like procrastination, but sometimes, it’s clutter that’s getting in the way.
18) Walk around the block to get the juices flowing again. Visualize your steps and being done.
19) “Good enough” it. Put away perfectionism and be willing to put up with an inferior end product until you can swing back by and improve it again. It’s better to be done than perfect.
20) Take it off your list (of this is possible). Accept that the task simply won’t get done and move on with the understanding that another opportunity will come your way.
21) Celebrate each completed task, however, small, with enthusiasm. You’ve beat procrastination one more time, after all! Hoo-ray!
22) Set your intentions at the start of each day, and review them at the end of each day to ensure you’re following a purposeful plan.
23) Get medical help, if you need it. If you think your procrastination is really a symptom of a larger physical or psychological problem, set an appointment with a professional with no shame. There’s no reason to suffer in silence, and you may be surprised at the relief you feel after you figure out what’s really up.
24) Recognize you have zero control over the past, some control of the present, and most control over the future. So reflect on what’s helped you defeat procrastination and what has not, and vow to leave what’s not helpful behind.
25) Forgive yourself! Research shows that self-forgiveness can actually decrease the chance you’ll procrastinate again in the future.
Now that you’ve got some tactics to defeat procrastination, let’s keep that momentum going!
We’ve got a great “quick and dirty” tool to help you quickly focus your planning for the next year. Let get ‘er done did!
Level Up Your Volunteer Management Game Plan in 2019 Mini Series
This November and December, we’ll be sharing a series of six free downloads to help you get a jump on 2019. They’ll appear here in our blog, so be sure to visit each week to grab your tool.
Each will help you take one more next step toward your best year ever!
YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD
Tool #2 - The SPOT Matrix Worksheet
Explore YOUR CURRENT CONTEXT so that you can proactively plan to seize emerging opportunities by playing to YOUR PROGRAM STRENGTHS next year.
HOO-RAY! Your freebie is on its way!