Take action! Yes, that’s the only answer to how to stop procrastination. It sounds like a simple solution, yet if you’re a habitual procrastinator, you know that overcoming procrastination is not an easy task. You can use these three simple tactics to stop procrastination immediately.
If you could pin-point why you procrastinate, you would very easily be able to overcome procrastination. All you would need to do is remove the cause. However, the real challenge is finding the cause for procrastination. People procrastinate for several reasons. Here are three significant reasons and action steps you can take right away to overcome procrastination.
What do you really want to do?
When you are unclear about what you want to do, it is very easy to procrastinate. It’s the old saying, if you don’t’ know where you’re going, any road will take you there. In other words you may travel many roads and get nowhere. You might find yourself doing many things but never doing what is really needed to accomplish your goal. It is vital that you think through and figure out what you want.
Action Step: Clarify your goals. Set clear goals and write down your manageable and achievable action steps.
What’s blocking you?
If there are tasks that feel like a thorn in your side tackle those first and get them out of the way. Suppose you’re a writer working from home. You have a pile of dishes that you just don’t feel like doing, yet you believe you must clear the clutter first and finish that chore before you can start writing. You delay washing the dishes, you don’t write your article and you feel guilty about doing other things that might be enjoyable, because you haven’t completed your work. You end up puttering around performing unnecessary or less important tasks like making your fifteenth cup of coffee or doing more research for your article! If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to do those dishes, then it’s in your best interest to find someone who will do that task for you or come to terms with your conflicted feelings about it and accept having a pile of dishes in your sink. Then, consciously put it out of your mind, until you have finished your writing.
Action Step: Do it, delegate it or ditch it.
What is important?
Figure out what tasks are most important for you to complete. Going back to the dishes and writing example - only you can decide which task is more important to you. There is no right or wrong, unless you are working on a deadline. Pick the task you feel is more vital to your mental well-being, in other words choose the task that will help you move forward. If you do not have a deadline, select the work that is more enjoyable for you.
Action Step: Prioritize according to deadline or enthusiasm.
Procrastination is part of being human. It is important to understand that overcoming procrastination is challenging for everyone. Therefore, beating yourself over it or feeling guilty about it serves no purpose. With practice anyone can overcome procrastination. What is imperative is to be aware of your thoughts and feelings and make conscious decisions and choices. Volumes can be written on how to stop procrastination, although the most effective solution is to just start! Start with these three steps. The only antidote to procrastination is to take action.
What do you do to overcome procrastination? We’d love to hear your tips and solutions. Please comment and share.
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