Do you find yourself perpetually putting things off until tomorrow? What if you could get those things sorted today? At times, does it feel like procrastination is holding you back, letting you down, or basically stressing you out? Is your procrastination knocking on the door right now? Maybe it’s coaxing you to read the rest of this very article later today, maybe tomorrow, or maybe even next week? Is the battle ensuing inside of you? It feels like a constant battle, doesn’t it? Are you tough enough to resist the urge to procrastinate? Are you up for the challenge? To learn how to stop procrastinating, starting today?
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Procrastination is something we’re all guilty of at one time or another. Generally speaking, it’s harmless to put off something unimportant until you’re up for dealing with it. The fact of the matter is, procrastination only really becomes a real problem once you begin to believe your own excuses for why nothing gets done. Before you know it, different bits of your life can start falling apart right in front of you. And, in many ways, without you even realizing it.
6 Ways on How to Stop Procrastinating
The good news is, although things can sometimes feel pretty hopeless, there are things you can do to loosen procrastination’s vice-like grip on your life. Shared with you here, are 6 highly effective ways on how to stop procrastinating — whenever it strikes!
1. Start Small
Big goals can make all sorts of things seem too overwhelming. You might be excited about the idea of the final outcome, but knowing how you’re going to get there is another thing entirely. Rather than scrap that big picture thinking, your best bet is to break it down into smaller chunks.
By viewing your big goal this way, you’ll find that smaller steps are easier to achieve and, as such, you’re less likely to find yourself looking for reasons to avoid them. This will help keep you on track and enable you to stay positive and motivated throughout the entire process.
2. Have Specific Deadlines
If you’ve been through any good personal goal setting program, you’ll know about the importance of tying goals with a deadline. To stop yourself from procrastinating, use the same strategy. Along with whatever it is that you’re procrastinating about, give it a specific due date (and time if you have to). For example, set the deadline as 1 October 2018, 8:00 pm.
If there’s no sense of urgency to get something done, you’ll more than likely come up with reasons to put it aside to do later. So do the same thing with everything on your to-do list and you should begin to see those need-to-do tasks in a different light.
Once you’ve got your due dates or deadlines marked for each of your to-do items, put them somewhere you can see them. Keep your written list and their deadlines where you can easily see them. Pin them up somewhere that you can see them. The constant reminder should help you to avoid that procrastination temptation.
3. Change Your Surroundings
Another useful strategy people use is to make changes to their surroundings. Take a good look at the area you’re working in and ask yourself: “Does the environment actually get me into the spirit of working?”. Even if a particular setting has inspired you in the past, it may be time to make a few changes.
As you become too comfortable and familiar with your surroundings, it’s possible it may have lost its effectiveness in igniting the inspiration and motivation within you. Think about what type of environment motivates you. Then give some thought on how you can give your workspace a needed makeover.
4. Change Your Circle
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
This quote by American entrepreneur, author, and speaker Jim Rohn is still echoed and remains true in today’s global society. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or, who you associate yourself with. Procrastination can naturally be influenced by the people you hang out with.
Think for a moment: who are the people you spend the most time with? Are they your friends, colleagues, or peers? Are they ambitious or lazy? Do they say they’re going to do something or, do they just do it? Are they procrastinators or, are they action takers? When you are around these people, do they make you feel energized and inspired? Or, do they drain you of energy?
If you don’t know any ‘go-getters’ that you can rub elbows with, you can always keep tabs on uplifting folks in places like blogs, social media, podcasts, or YouTube. Even if you don’t know them, and they don’t know you, over time, you’ll find that their drive has a way of rubbing off on you. So have a serious think about it. Is the circle of people you spend the most time with serving you well? Who are the type of individuals you need to be around to help stop you from procrastinating?
5. Avoid Perfectionism
Perfectionist tendencies are one of the most common reasons for procrastination. If you’re putting something off because you feel it’s not the “right” time or that things aren’t lined up as perfectly as you’d like them to be, you’re making things more complicated than they should be.
If you wait too long for the perfect moment the perfect moment will pass you by.
Remember, there’s no perfect time to do anything. The longer you wait around for ideal conditions, the longer it will take for you to live your dreams. Forget about waiting for the perfect moment. The reality is, there may never be such a thing. So, the next time you procrastinate telling yourself it’s not the right time or it’s not perfect — just do it!
6. Eliminate Distractions
The modern world is full of amazing technology. The downside is, it also brings with it an incredible array of distractions. The more accessible distractions are, the more likely you are to let your attention drift towards them and away from the task at hand. Leaving your social media tabs open when you’re supposed to be working means you’re much more likely to click on them. And, once you do, hours of wasted time will feel like mere minutes.
Some people go to great lengths of in-fact deactivating their accounts. But, if you don’t want to go quite that far while knowing that you’re easily distracted by the allure of Instagram or Twitter, using a productivity-focused app or plug-ins like StayFocusd, Cold Turkey, or Self-Control can help. These apps limit the amount of time you can spend on specified websites each day helping you to keep your eyes on the prize!
See also: What is Procrastination and What is it Costing You?
The real trick to beating procrastination is to become more aware of your own actions while making the most of the Smart Strategies you’ve learned about here to keep yourself in check. Breaking down your goals, setting deadlines, changing your surroundings, and eliminating distractions can all make a huge difference. Especially when applied together. Your whole life will change when you make a conscious decision to do whatever it takes to quit procrastinating. So, don’t put it off. Put these strategies to work for you today.