6 Moves to Tackle Dad Procrastination

Man, let’s give it up for middle school football coaches! I’ll never forget my coach. We called him “Coach B.” He had a smooth way of teaching our team strategic ways of tackling by demonstrating proper techniques with safety, explaining the key components, and conducting practice drills that focus on developing the skills. I didn’t realize back then that the skills he taught us in tackling would be so useful later in life.

Though fatherhood is no middle school football game, we are faced with some tough tasks every day that need to be tackled. Procrastination is a big one. It does our family team no good to put off a task that needs to get done. Learning how to stop procrastination is essential to being a good dad. Channeling the voice of Coach B and my experience, here are 6 moves to tackle dad procrastination.

1. Identify your targets or goals.

It doesn’t help me when I go around saying I need to repair things around the house without having a clear, written list of what needs to be fixed and why. Coach B taught us that our defense needed to have a clear goal of tackling the opponent to prevent them from advancing. Similarly, as dads, we need to define specific and achievable goals for the tasks we need to complete. Write them down and make them visible to reinforce our commitment. I place my list on the fridge, tape it to our bathroom mirror, or even tack it to the wall in our closet.

2. Map out your steps.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Just like breaking down the opposing team’s offense into smaller plays to take them down, we can divide our dad tasks into manageable steps. Smaller tasks feel less overwhelming and are easier to start, reducing the tendency to procrastinate.

3. Time it right.

Good tacklers time the takedown just right. As dads, our most expensive asset is time. Let’s make the most of it. Online, we can research and apply some time management techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique (working in focused bursts with short breaks) or time blocking (allocating specific time slots for different tasks), to enhance our productivity and avoid wasting time. I challenge us all to find a great tool that personally works, print it or download, and allow it to equip you as a dad who gets things done! This is a pivotal step when thinking about how to stop procrastination.

4. Tune out distractions.

Tackling is no joke, and the last thing we need is a distraction, so we’ve got to tune out anything that takes us off our game. When needing to complete a list of tasks, I’ve needed to set clear and fair boundaries with family members or colleagues and establish a daily routine with specific time blocks for work—I’m even thinking about getting a “do-not-disturb sign” for our home office. I’ve had to say no to an outing with friends from time to work on high-priority tasks. Taking down the opponent of procrastination requires focus in a way that doesn’t isolate you from your family and friends but still allows you tap into the zone of getting tasks done.

5. Celebrate small victories.

There’s nothing like a good touchdown dance. We loved celebrating a successful tackle or defensive play. Similarly, let’s acknowledge and reward ourselves for completing each step or task. This positive reinforcement helps to build momentum and maintain motivation.

6. Have accountability partners.

Coach B always made sure we had our teammates’ backs. We found motivation in our team’s success, but we were also held accountable by our teammates to eat right, do the workouts well, and invest in getting good results. As dads with long to-do lists, we can seek external motivation and accountability in our role. We can share our goals with a supportive friend or family member who can hold us accountable and provide encouragement.

Sound off: Do you know how to stop procrastination? What advice would you give to a fellow dad about it?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are some parts of life where you procrastinate?”