How would your life change if you could stop procrastinating today? Typically, I am working with my team on new blogs on the day I want them published. Would it be better for me to have a few done so that I have some breathing room? Of course. We all procrastinate. The question is why and how can we overcome this all too common habit (yes, procrastination is a habit).
Figure Out Why You Are Procrastinating
You can probably come up with a lot of reasons for not getting something done. You are too busy, too tired or have other things you need to get done. The truth is, those probably aren’t the REAL reasons you are procrastinating. We most often resort to procrastination in order to avoid something uncomfortable (either physically or emotionally) or because we have an underlying fear. For example, you haven’t told your family about your new business idea because you know they won’t see the opportunity. Or you haven’t asked for that raise because you are worried your boss will get upset or your request will be rejected. In addition, many people procrastinate because they do not feel there is adequate value associated with completion of a task. The first step to stop procrastinating today, is to determine what is causing you to procrastinate.
Stop Beating Yourself Up
Negative emotion leads to more negativity. If you are beating yourself up over not getting something done, this is not a productive pathway to completing your task. It will simply result in more time be wasted and you dis-empowering yourself to achieve your goal. If you want to stop procrastinating today, learn how to give yourself positive and empowering feedback. For example, try a self pep-talk. It may sound silly, but you will be surprised by how well this works. A pep talk does not include the word “should”. Rather than saying, “I really should get this done” say to yourself, “I am going to feel great when I get this completed”. Use affirmative language about the steps you will take to complete the task and how great you will feel when it is done. Words are powerful- be sure the words you use when talking to yourself help your mindset.
Commit to Time Blocks and Smaller Tasks
For tasks that are require large amounts of time, it can be hard to get started because the payoff or completion seems too far into the future. Rather than requiring yourself to work to completion, commit to working for blocks of time and take short breaks in between. Set a smaller goal that you can work towards in your time blocks. By doing this, you will create opportunities for completion throughout your process to get the bigger task done. Productivity and accomplishment feel good and will motivate you to dig into your next time block and keep going. Motivation is the best remedy to help you stop procrastinating today.
Stop Procrastinating Today by Focusing
This sounds trite, but it is amazing how often we forget how much distraction there is around us. If you have a task that you’ve been avoiding, it is very convenient to find reasons not to do it when so many distractions are available. Turn your cell phone off. Close your web browser (use apps rather than browsing if you need sources for information). Find a quiet environment and give yourself permission to do only 1 thing: the task you are avoiding. Avoid multitasking because when you multitask, you are feeding yourself distraction.
The Take Away
We all procrastinate for various reasons. Before you can commit to stop procrastinating today, you have to identify why you are doing it. Then set yourself up for successful completion of your project or task by using affirmative and positive self-talk, committing to working for blocks of time and work towards smaller goals and then give yourself the best opportunity to focus be removing distractions. By implementing these tips, you will be better able to stop procrastinating today.