It is Thursday again. Time for a blog! Sitting behind my desk, because it is time for a blog… Well, what is it going to be about?
*mindwanderingoff* “The weather is really nice out there. And it’s holiday time.” Then a scream: “Mo-hom, can you help me with this? Mo-hom!!?”
*15minuteslater…* “Okay, where were we? Ah yes, a blog. Maybe I’ll check Facebook first. Find some inspiration there… Oh no, wait, a mail from my old elementary school about the school’s reunion in September. Interesting! They’re missing email addresses from eight people. Hmm, maybe I can find them in all the social media. Let’s check.”
*30minuteslater…* “And found two of them! Now, back to business. Ah yes, the blog, the blog…”
Maybe you have been there too. You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, reading blogs. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.
Procrastination. Mason Cooley said it already: “Procrastination makes easy things hard, and hard things harder.” If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you know the pains and stress that come with putting things off. Although you may have the desire to accomplish something, getting the motivation to do it is a different matter. Fortunately, overcoming your procrastination is easy to do when you put your mind to it!
So let us delay no longer: here are seven ways to end procrastination.
BREAK YOUR WORK INTO LITTLE STEPS
Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because, subconsciously, we find the task at hand too overwhelming for us. So break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking, “Gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”
FINISH THE HARD STUFF
Brain Tracy wrote a whole book about it: Eat that frog! Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that is probably the worst things that is going to happen to you all day long. Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. That is the one that makes most of the difference. And once you’ve done your most important task, you’ll find that the whole day will flow much better.
Maybe the reason you procrastinate is because you work best under pressure. So what do you do if your projects don’t have any deadlines? Make your own. Set a time that you must complete your project by, and reward yourself at the end of that time!
CREATE A TIMED WORK FRENZY
If you find yourself being pulled off into the depths of daydreams, set a period of time to do nothing but work. Take ten minutes and remove all distractions – your phone, magazines, all social media, your mail – and go into a working frenzy. Work in a focused, perhaps even frantic manner for that short stretch, and watch what happens. Chances are, you’ll get into a groove and keep working at a high pace even when your frenzy time is out. Working to a timer [or time-boxing] is generally regarded by most experts as being one of the best ways to develop self-discipline and stop procrastination.
DON’T BE A PERFECTIONIST
If you’re waiting for the perfect time, the perfect supplies, or you won’t stop until you’ve “perfected” your project, you’re putting off completing your task. Ditch those thoughts because there’s no such thing as perfect.
If your project doesn’t require perfection but you’re still focused on it, stop and move on to your next task.
START YOUR DAY OVER AT 1PM
What’s more irritating than witnessing your morning fly by without having dealt with your to-do list? Watching your afternoon roll right along with it. Implement a reboot at 1 p.m. every day. Assess how much you’ve accomplished, remind yourself of what’s critical, and alter your plan so you can tackle the most important thing. If you wait until 5 p.m. to evaluate your day, you’re out of time and in crisis mode, putting out fires.
JUST DO IT
At the end, it all comes down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing and planning, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Reality check: no one has procrastinated their way to success before and that is not going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip and do it.
And with that my blog is finished…
“Sharing is caring!”
How about you?
What techniques do you use to combat procrastination?
You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below!
MIRJAM STOFFELS // seven2success
I am the founder of seven2success, author of Daily Little Secrets to Success. In my mission to make seven2success the biggest platform of knowledge and inspiration for women, I want to inspire you with our content! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter! I’d love to connect!