Stop Procrastinating – How A Tickler File Can Help You Stop ‘Putting It Off’

Why does everybody procrastinate sometimes?

All of us, at some point or the other, have put off things. For some it’s not a big deal, but many people have difficulties to stop procrastinating. Maybe you just have a ‘to-do’ list stacked with a pile of daunting and boring chores, or maybe you are simply terrified of catching up on your paperwork. You might also dread following up with a problematic client. The result? You procrastinate and these tasks keep getting delayed, unfortunately leading to a more complicated set of problems. Stopping procrastination is always a challenge, but it is achievable.

Procrastination, especially in the case of work, can have terribly adverse effects. It can lead to a lack of productivity, resulting in stress and burnout. Also, it can lead you to deliver inferior quality. Not enjoying what you do and rushing it, in the end, can yield results that are far from desirable.

Three strategies to stop procrastinating

Avoiding procrastination can be difficult. There are three main strategies to cope with or overcome the problem. First, you should try to work on things that provide you with a greater sense of purpose. It’s much easier to do what you believe in. However, everybody has to take care of some aspects of their life that are difficult, not fun and give no great feeling of fulfilment. 

Secondly, you should be aware of the feelings and emotions that drive you to procrastinate. Often anxiety or fear of failure, not laziness or apathy is the real reasons to delay important tasks. 

The third strategy should be used to support the first and the second: Apply a simple and reliable system to organize your tasks. This system should support in making it easier to start be avoiding typical traps. To efficiently help you stop procrastinating it must fulfil some requirements:

  • Be easy to use
  • Reduce complexity
  • Provide a predefined and simple structure
  • Be efficient in reminding you, when to start

One such system is a tickler file.

Read more about how a tickler file works here.

How can a simple system help to stop procrastinating?

Keeping a constant track of everyday tasks and actionable documents can be quite challenging. A Tickler File System helps you organise reminders and documents by their date so that you can be reminded of tasks that need to be performed and the ones lined up for the near future. Many productive people make use of paperless tickler files to track actionable details like meetings, travel confirmation, conferences, appointments and pending activities.

An electronic tickler file system lets you streamline your time management by planning your tasks by the day or month. The best part of the system is that it enables you to verify all your activities in one single spot. It successfully allows you to keep track of the cessation dates for important forms, due dates for invoices and contracts and anything important needed. In fact, quite unlike the traditional paper tickler files, the digital version lets you easily locate what you need without having to wade through a stack load of paper. There are set reminders that are directly sent to your Smartphone to ensure that you never miss out on a vital due date.

Implementing the use of a simple electronic tickler file, can support you to stop procrastinating and prevent you from ‘putting off’ things for the last moment.

Here are some of the ways:

1. It Lets You Focus on One or Few Tasks at A Time

A Tickler File lets you stay organised by setting apart tasks in folders based on their dates. However, the other major thing that helps take care of is task management. Multi-tasking is never a great idea when it comes to business dealings. This is mostly because the attention gets scattered, preventing you from completing tasks to the best of your ability. The Tickler File helps you break down these tasks into individual ones, helping you focus on one task at a time. Thus, it prevents you from being overwhelmed by a long list of tasks in your inbox. With fewer things on your plate, you can focus your complete attention on executing one task at a time with ease.

2. It Prevents You from Being Overwhelmed by Too Many ‘To-Dos’

The fact that a Tickler File lets you move future tasks in separate, hidden folders makes it an amazing way to distribute your workload. Having too many tasks to cater to at the same time can naturally seem extremely overwhelming. It increases anxiety and thus the likelihood of procrastination. The best way out? To organise them based on their priority and attend to them individually. This is exactly what a tickler file helps you attain.

3. It Helps You Structure What Needs to Be Done

Using a Tickler File lets you structure your tasks easily by arranging them into individual files in a systematic manner. Structuring what needs to be done refrains you from panicking or feeling burdened at the time of execution. It helps to stop procrastinating, if you always know, where to start. This prevents you from bowing down to pressure. Another benefit of having your work effectively structured into various time slots is that you never miss out on a deadline.

4. It Gives you a Feeling of Achievement & Accomplishment

Being able to execute and deliver your work on time instils a feeling of accomplishment and achievement within you. A list of pending tasks usually signifies a lack of enthusiasm and dedication towards your work. It is also a sign of diminishing productivity and evading responsibility. This is not the impression that you would like to put across to yourself. Using a Tickler File ensures that you can take care of today’s tasks and praise yourself of your day’s work. You can be proud of having achieved what you aimed for today, even if you know that you still have a lot on your plate for tomorrow.

5. It’s A Tool for Self-Accountability

Your Tickler File provides you with the exact information and highlights the task you need to do for that day. In doing so, it enables you to intricately organise, access and work on time-sensitive work that you can otherwise overlook amidst the rush of work. This way, it successfully functions as a tool for self-accountability as well. It helps you be more responsible for tasks that need to be performed on a specific date and time. Having an organised set of tasks allows you to be accountable for your own work and execute them with ease. In fact, it is the best way to ensure that you do not miss out on anything important that might have a crucial role to play in your business proceedings.

6. It’s An Effective Reminder for Deadlines

An important way to organise your work using a Tickler File is related to probing yourself with reminders to cater to prior tasks and meeting urgent deadlines. This way, you arrange and manage your tasks by using a Tickler File. In fact, it not only helps by reminding you of deadlines but also clears your list of extra tasks that need your attention by organising them into a single file. This prevents you from panicking the first thing when you start work. You have reminders for the exact tasks that need your immediate attention now and not a plethora of mixed tasks in hand.

What’s next?

Procrastination can result in lost enthusiasm towards work that needs to be done. It can ruin your relationships with your consumers in case of missed deadlines, failure to reply to their queries in a timely manner and the inability to deliver products or services on time. It can greatly hamper the equation you have. The implementation of a Tickler File can help you evade all this. If you want to stop procrastinating, now that you are aware of the benefits, it’s time to avail your own Tickler File. Structure your work efficiently and bid adieu to the habit of putting it off for later.