How to Overcome Procrastination
We all have felt that feeling of not wanting to do something that we know needs to get done. We make excuses on why we can’t do it now, but in the end, it’s just our way of procrastinating. So how do we overcome this and get it done?
1. Be Flexible.
You need to be flexible, not only with your schedule, but with what you are wanting to get accomplished within a certain time frame. Sometimes if a task seems impossible to do, our defense mechanism is to keep putting it off. Look at your timeline for when you need it done by and ask yourself is this a reasonable about of time? If the answer is no, cut yourself some slack and come up with a new timeline if the answer is yes, then go to number 2
2. Take that big task and break it down into manageable small pieces.
A lot of time when we procrastinate, it’s because we are looking at the mountain and thinking, “No way can I climb that.” However if you took a few steps every day up that mountain, in no time you would be half way up it and then as you continue a few more steps each day, eventually you would make it to the top. You tamed that mountain and you can do the same for the task that you are putting off. Imagine steps on a stairway, and then break your task down into baby steps, putting a small task on each step. Write down all the baby steps you need to do to reach your goal and then start immediately on the first step.
3. Reward yourself along the way.
It’s so important that as you are accomplishing your task that you reward yourself along the way, even if just a verbal good job. Acknowledge and praise yourself for taking that first step and continue with this until you finish the task. You can also reward yourself by doing other things. Example: for every one hour you work on the task, you get 15 minute that you can do something you love (like go on social media, watching a mini show, meditating, etc.)
4. Take the big bite first.
It might be a little challenging, but if you take the biggest thing you are putting off and do it first thing in your day, you are setting up the rest of your day for success. It’s like the Nike commercial says, “just do it.” You need to just take that bite. It doesn’t have to be a scary bite, just the first bite. Using the stairway analogy, it can be the first step on the stairs, but for the task that you have been putting off the longest.
5. Focus on the positive.
When you focus on what the emotional reward will be when you complete the task, it changes it from a dread to a feeling of accomplishment. Think of how great you will feel. For example: say you want to organize your kitchen but have been procrastinating forever. I want to to focus on how good you will feel once that kitchen looks amazing. How will you feel? I can imagine that you will feel great. Remember that feeling and get it done.
6. Schedule it.
This is such an important step because what gets scheduled gets done. I’m a big advocate about scheduling in things that you want to accomplish. Remember either you rule your day or your day rules you. Also make sure you give yourself enough time to get it done. I recommend always adding on additional time, just in case.
7. Don’t beat yourself up.
Life sometimes gets in the way. Even the best laid out plans can get messed up with unforeseen events, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just reschedule and move on. Also don’t be hard on yourself for putting it off for so long. You are taking the necessary steps now to get it done, so focus on that instead.
8. Get rid of the perfection attitude.
Oh my dreaded friend, perfectionism, how you have made so many people stop before they ever start. Don’t let this happen to you. Done is better than perfect. Stop worry that it’s not perfect and just get it done. So many times I see great manuscripts, but the author doesn’t want to submitted it yet to an agent because it still isn’t perfect. Four years later, they are still on the same manuscript. This is insane. Obviously we all want things to be as great as possible, but at some point you have to just accept that it’s good enough.
I really hope these tips have helped you. When I find myself procrastinating, I remind myself of them and it moves me forward to get my work done. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
To your success!!!