We all do it sometimes, but procrastination is not a happiness habit. Often we know what we need to do, but we just don’t feel like doing it, and so we delay getting started until we feel stress.

Which means that to reduce stress in our lives, we sometimes need to reduce procrastination. Here’s how:

• Lower the bar. Since the key to ending procrastination is to just get started, telling yourself that you only need to work on a dreaded project for 20 minutes (vs. two hours) will make it easier to overcome your desire to stall.

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• Just get started. As the addage goes, “a task begun is a task half done!”

• Eliminate your go-to stall-tactics. For example, I often delay getting started on big writing projects by checking my email, which leads to Facebook, which…you know how it is. I now write from a desk away from my office—where there is no email or Facebook access.

This week, see how much time you can save by decreasing procrastination (and increasing your focus). And then go “squander” all that extra time goofing around with your kids!

We’ve teamed up with  our friend Christine Carter, to bring you 52 simple tips (one each Monday!) on bringing joy and happiness into your own Mommyhood. Get more happiness tips by taking the Raising Happiness class or by reading Christine’s blog.

Want more great tips?
Happy Mom Tip #1: Disconnect
Happy Mom Tip #2: Stop Rushing Around
Happy Mom Tip #3: Express Gratitude
Happy Mom Tip #4: Organize
Happy Mom Tip #5: Forgive Someone
Happy Mom Tip #6: Get Excited About Someone Else’s Good News
Happy Mom Tip #7: Celebrate a Mistake
Happy Mom Tip #8: Talk To Strangers
Happy Mom Tip #9: Share Your Good News
Happy Mom Tip #10: Flex Your Generosity Muscle
Happy Mom Tip #11: Be Kind
Happy Mom Tip #12: Take a Break 
Happy Mom Tip #13: Dance Around
Happy Mom Tip #14: Make Yourself Guffaw
Happy Mom Tip #15: Take a Stroll
Happy Mom Tip #16: Go Out and Play With Some Friends
Happy Mom Tip #17: Give Out Some Hugs
Happy Mom Tip #18: Find Some Inspiration
Happy Mom Tip #19: Get Out into Nature
Happy Mom Tip #20: Imagine Your “Best Possible Future Self”
Happy Mom Tip #21: Get Enough Sleep
Happy Mom Tip #22: Let Yourself Feel What You Feel
Happy Mom Tip #23: Expose Yourself to Someone Else’s Pain
Happy Mom Tip #24: Turn Off the Boob Tube
Happy Mom Tip #25: Don’t Buy That Thing That You Really Want
Happy Mom Tip #26: Take a Blatant Nap
Happy Mom Tip #27: Play a Game That Makes You Happy
Happy Mom Tip #28: Spend Some Time Alone
Happy Mom Tip #29: Take a Power Nap
Happy Mom Tip #30: Learn Something New
Happy Mom Tip #31: Have an Easy Morning
Happy Mom Tip #32: One Kind Thing.
Happy Mom Tip #33: Exhale. Twice.

Photo credit: Praisewalking.com