Preventing Procrastination Blog Series
We’ve all done it at some time or another. We talk ourselves into delaying our exercise routine until tomorrow, or we procrastinate working on that big, upcoming project; or we continually put off starting that business we’ve always wanted.
Procrastination is the killer of dreams and can literally stop you in your tracks from achieving all that you desire.
Here are 4 effective ways to help keep you from becoming a victim of procrastination.
1. Do it Now
Hold your breath and jump right in! Putting things off until the last minute is a bad habit and like all habits ingrained in our subconscious mind, they can be extremely difficult to break. It feels comfortable to us to stick to our old routines. To complete a task immediately may even feel strange or like a forced action, but it is the exact remedy needed to overcome procrastination.
2. Take It One Small Step at a Time
Sometimes we procrastinate because the task may be intimidating to us. Perhaps we have no possible inkling where to start. In these cases, it is quite fine to take it one small step at a time. Let’s say you are preparing a business plan and for the 5th time this week, you’ve opened your laptop and looked at a blank screen. Or you’ve just remembered you need to do some more research before you begin…you’re still not ready. When you become overwhelmed like this, you simply need to break down the project into smaller pieces and tackle each bit separately. Make each task an individual project and after completion of each one, celebrate and acknowledge your achievement.
3. Evaluate Your Reasons for Procrastinating
If you have been ‘dragging your feet’ on something for a very long time, it may be for a reason. Something inside of you may be trying to tell you something. That something is your intuition, and it is usually right! Think about something that you have been putting off again and again. Now ask yourself these questions:
What are the reasons that I need to complete this task in the first place? What will motivate me to do it?
Does someone else want me to do this? What is THEIR agenda?
What are MY reasons for this lengthy delay? Why don’t I want to do it?
If your reasons for delay are easily rectifiable and you are willing to complete the task, then by all means, you should begin to make progress on it. Conversely, if you conclude that your reasons aren’t strong enough to move forward, it is not only reasonable, but wise, to let the project go. However, disregarding a project after a long period of procrastination should only be done as a last resort or when your intuition is telling you something else.
4. Ask for Help
Do you put off tasks because you feel that they are too big and complex for you to handle alone? Or because you need assistance? Be honest with yourself. No man is an island. Ask for help! There are many free resources out there that can provide you with all you need to carry out your job. You just have to look. If you’re a solo-professional and you put off answering emails, then don’t answer them yourself. Hire an assistant, find some college students that want experience, get a family member to help, bring on an intern or volunteer. Procrastinating on life-changing activities could be as a result of fear of the unknown. Join a support group or meetup group, find a mentor, interact with social media pages or groups related to your topic. You don’t have to do it all by yourself and you can gain new perspectives when you come together with others.
No More Procrastinating
You will have more success in overcoming procrastination if you choose a method that you are comfortable with and that works for you. No matter what strategies you use to kick the habit of procrastination, do what feels good to you!
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