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4 Effective Strategies to Overcome Procrastination

Preventing Procrastination Blog Series

In this day and age, we are so inundated with choice and opportunity that you might even say we are spoiled when it comes to having choices. There is just so much that we could do – or be distracted by - that we often end up not doing anything at all. Procrastination is one of the biggest dream killers. In a world where there is so much demand for your attention, it is becoming even more difficult to stay focused and act on the things that would truly give you an extraordinary quality of life. Time is, was, and always will be, your most valuable asset and the way you use it will determine what you create or fail to create with and for your life. Having an effective strategy for overcoming procrastination is critical if you truly want to push past short term obstacles to create a life of fulfilment.

The abundance that modern life offers us tends to overwhelm us, which leads to an emotional overload that can distract you and scatter your effort and concentration. There simply isn't enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time for the most important things in your life. Success at anything in life, whether it be your finances, your relationships, or your physical health, requires an investment of time and effort from you. You need to focus and concentrate your physical and emotional resources on creating your desired result.

Strategy #1

The first step in overcoming procrastination is to get clear on what exactly you want from every area of your life. This clarity will give you the power to look past distractions that may throw you off course. It gives you a direction and a target, which can help in creating a mental picture for your life. One of the most destructive effects of procrastination is that it makes you feel out of control. If you don't know what you want, it is all too easy to jump from one task to the next. Ask yourself what you want in each of the following areas: career, relationships, family, health, spirituality, finances, growth, and fun. Add any additional categories that you feel are important to you.

Strategy #2

Apart from knowing what you want, you should also develop some strong reasons why you want it. This will give you a sense of purpose and motivation that is critical for staying focused long term. Be sure to clearly define your WHY – or the driving force – behind each of your goals. Writing your WHY down helps to reaffirm your reasons and ignite your passion. Plus, your written WHY statement can also be used to remind you of why you want the things you are working towards, especially during times when you feel demotivated or you want to reexamine your goals.

Strategy #3

One of the most powerful strategies for overcoming procrastination is to learn how to break your tasks up into bite size pieces. Any task, no matter how big, can be broken down into small manageable tasks that are easy to do. If you focus on climbing Mount Everest it will probably put you off immediately, but if you focus on climbing seven small sections of the mountain, it becomes more believable. The power of chunking down your "big" tasks empowers you to take back control of any overwhelming situation – you cut it down to size.

Strategy #4

One of the quickest ways to overcome procrastination is to learn and utilize the power of immediacy. What can you do immediately? What action can you take right now that will move you closer to your goal? Doing something, no matter how small, will immediately break your mental pattern of procrastination and put you back in control. Taking the first step, even if it is small, will create momentum and you will almost automatically be driven to take another step. Don't wait for everything to be perfect before you take the first step. Just do it. Just get it going. Often you will only know what to do next after taking that first step.

Put it Into Practice

There are many strategies and skills you can use for overcoming procrastination. You don't have to be stuck or spinning your wheels. Like any skill, you need to learn and practice it until you get good at it. Eventually, it will become an automatic response and you will develop the habit of taking action despite your fears and apparent limitations. So, the next time you’re feeling that pesky procrastination coming on, give these strategies a try!


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