It doesn’t matter whether you’re a chronic procrastinator or someone who only occasionally procrastinates – you can still stop this habit for good, by doing these 5 simple methods.
Procrastination is merely a symptom. Once you have an awareness of the underlying causes, you’ll be able to address and eliminate it.
1. Do the hard tasks first
Most times than not we tend to procrastinate on the work that’s important and really matters. These are usually the more demanding tasks that will help us progress. Brian Tracy discusses this in his book, ‘Eat That Frog’. He writes about how one should do the most unpleasant tasks first.
Once you complete those, you’ll have a burden off your shoulders. Now you’ll be able to breeze through the rest of the tasks much more quickly and you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment.
2. One step at a time-Progress over Perfection
But what if you just can’t eat that frog? The thought of it can be overwhelming and a heightened sense of anxiety kicks in, exacerbating the habit of procrastination. When this happens look at it with the African proverb, Eat the elephant one spoon at a time.
The best way to do it will be to break down your one big task into smaller, ‘bite-sized’ tasks. Once that is done, the job becomes less overwhelming.
Now you can start working on the smaller tasks first… and as you complete each one, you’ll be well on your way to finishing up the entire job.
3. Eliminate distractions
We live in a world of distractions. From phone calls, social media and email notifications, intrusive colleagues, and family members (if you work from home). The problem here is that when you’re engaged in a task you perceive as difficult, your mind is usually looking for an exit plan.
When it gets the opportunity (distraction), it tends to hop on it and ‘weeeeeee….’, away you go on the joy ride. After the joy ride is over you are left with the reality that you’ve wasted precious time on unimportant matters and your job is still not complete. Time to panic.
The best way to prevent this indirect type of procrastination will be to remove as many distractions from your environment as possible.
4. Visualize the end result
Visualization is a very powerful tool to keep you focused. When the job looks intimidating, visualizing the end result will help you get and stay motivated. Get clarity on why this is important. Our thoughts have the power to make things happen or ‘NOT’ happen. Get excited about the vision, and relish in that feeling.
Too often, people lose sight of their goals and end results. When this happens, procrastination becomes easier because they forget the cost of procrastination. In the end, they’re sacrificing their goals and dreams for just temporary relief.
Visualization will remind you of what you truly desire and it will be the power source for the light in your heart and soul to follow through.
5. Productivity apps
There are many productivity tools and apps such as Asana, IFTTT, pomodoro timers, etc. to keep you on track. Working with these apps and timers will help to keep you accountable and focused.
You’ll be less likely to get distracted when there’s a timer counting down… and you’ll be more accountable at the end of the day when you have boxes to check off on your to-do list.
Nothing keeps you more accountable than seeing what needs to get done constantly. Remember, what get’s scheduled, gets done!
Use these 5 methods to end procrastination. When there’s a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it smaller. Start climbing now.
But now I want to hear from you. Have you struggled with procrastination? Which one of the following tacks I discussed today have you tried? Or can you add it to my list? Please leave me a comment below.
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