Procrastination – the action of delaying or postponing something.
Procrastination happens to us all at some point and it’s basically our way of avoiding a big or serious task. We put things off until a deadline is looming or until we can’t put it off any longer, but what if you could take control and stop procrastination in its tracks? Stop the stress of seemingly insurmountable tasks!
This seven step guide will give you some tips to avoid procrastination and to get rid of it if it does strike.
Step 1 – Write down a Plan of Action.
If you have a plan for carrying out a task then you are more likely to actually get that task finished, especially if it is actually written down in front of you and you have blocked time out in your day to actually get it done.
Writing something down also takes it out of your head so you can stop worrying about it and breaking it down into smaller chunks makes it more manageable.
Step 2 – Just Start the task (or not)!
It may sound simple – but in the words of Nike “just do it”. Or don’t do it.
But make a definitive decision as to whether or not you will do that task today. If you ARE going to do it today then get on with it but if you decide you are not going to do it today say it out loud that you will not be doing that today – so you’ve made the conscious decision not to do it it is no longer procrastination, it is a decision.
Step 3 – Remember why you need to do the task
Procrastination often occurs because we don’t have enough commitment in the task at hand. How can you get committed? Are people relying on you? Do you want to let them down? What will the consequences be if you don’t do this task? Write it down!
Step up 4 – Think Positive about the task.
Refer back to step three and think about the positive consequences of having got that task done.
Will your client be happy that you have done it early or on time? Will you be happy that you have freed up sometime your mind will be free of worry? Don’t see it just as a burdensome task – that will only lead to more procrastination. See it as a challenge, one that you are excited to overcome.
“Following-through is the only thing that separates dreamers from people that accomplish great things”. ~ Gene Hayden
Step 5- Remove Distractions.
My husband always says he knows when I’ve got too much work on – our house is clean! And he’s right. If I become overwhelmed I find something – anything – else to do instead of what I should, and it’s usually the housework.
It’s all too easy to do something rather than the task in hand if the opportunity arises. So turn off the TV, close the door on the ironing and any other activities you may be tempted to do instead. Better yet, work it into your plan, see step 1, to ensure everything gets done. And there’s always David Tracy’s advice – “Eat that frog!” ie do the biggest task first.
On a more practical level, you could take yourself somewhere where there are no distractions. A change of scenery may just be what you need to get the task finished. Your local coffee shop maybe?
“When there is a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it smaller.” ~Author Unknown
Step 6 – Plan a Reward Yourself
Think about what reward we could give yourself for completing the task.
Will you have a break and some down time now that the task is no longer looming? Will you go out and get some fresh eggs will you enjoyed coffee with friends just a simple little reward you can give yourself to look forward to when you have completed
“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” ~ David Allen
Step 7 – Accountability
This is probably the biggest tool in combating procrastination and it’s accountability.
Tell somebody what your plans are. Tell them what you need to get done and when. Once it’s out in the open and you know somebody else knows then it becomes easier and more important to complete that task. You could even post on social media that is what you were doing give yourself a deadline make it public and then get on and do it.
Accountability is the enemy of procrastination.
If you need more accountability and ways of combating procrastination then join us in The Wellness Academy, where our members keep each other accountable as well as get the tools they need to get shit done.
“Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the only cash you have, so spend it wisely.” ~Kim Lyons.