I don’t know about you but on occasion I suffer from procrastination, however it is possible to end procrastination if you set up a plan to do so. It only takes eight tiny steps to beat it, if you read these steps and keep them in mind before you get started on anything, you should be able to stop procrastination before it gets a foothold.
Change Your Perception
Often when you think of the end project and all of the steps involved to complete it, it can be overwhelming. It’s important to switch your perception of the project and not see it as an end product. Plus, you don’t want to let your false opinion of any one thing to cloud your judgement, whether that is that the tasks are dull, or that they’re worthless, or that you just can’t do them. You have to let all that go and try to find some excitement in doing the actual work, focus on the things you like.
Let Go of Fear
Realize that most procrastination is often rooted in fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of not being good enough. Many people get so tied up in perfection that they can’t finish anything and never succeed as a result. This fear often becomes self-perpetuating and never-ending. If you can let go of judgment and fear as you work through the tasks, you’ll be able to end procrastination.
Split Up the Project
No project is just the deliverable. All projects have steps that need to be done some in order, some together, but no project is just the end. In school, when you first started doing reports, your English teacher assigned to you different aspects of the project with due dates. You probably did the outline first, perfected the outline, worked on your topic sentences, and then each point of the report, a little bit at a time. Split up the work you need to do in the same way and work simply on each task.
Just Get Started
You may not realize it’s that easy, but it is. Our minds change focus when we get started on things. It’s like that workout you don’t want to do; in the middle of it, you’re perfectly fine with it. And of course when it’s over, you’re satisfied and feeling great that you did it. It’s the same with any work that you don’t want to do. Get started, spend fifteen minutes committed to doing it and someplace in the middle you’ll feel differently.
Talk About It Publicly
Social media is great for this, just announce it on Twitter or Facebook to your friends, or a special group, that you’re doing xyz right now and will be for the next 90 minutes. Telling people you’re doing it will help you actually do it because you don’t want to be seen a liar.
Work in Short Periods
If you have a long day of tasks you don’t like doing, and you cannot outsource them, work in short periods and have breaks in-between. In fact, even if you like doing the tasks, you need to have breaks in order to keep focused and stay healthy. Eat right, exercise, and drink plenty of water no matter what you’re doing, it will help keep your mind clear and your body healthy. And no I’m not a health nut and I perhaps need to listen to this advice myself more.
Ask for Accountability
If you are having problems, try to find an accountability partner. You can pay for that in a life coach, or business coach, or you can ask a trusted friend or business associate to help you break your pattern of procrastination.
This is my favorite and the one I tend to use the most, everyone likes to be rewarded for a job well done. Work in ways to reward yourself that are healthy. If you finish a huge project on time, go play a round of golf or go do something special that celebrates you finishing the task.
Procrastination doesn’t have to beat you, you can control the desire to put off things by just taking small steps each day to end procrastination and by rewarding yourself when tasks are complete you’ll find that your focus completely changes.