I have always been bad at procrastinating and really wanted to know how to stop procrastination. I think I have done a great job of doing those things that matter and would like to give you a few tips to help you out as well.
If constantly putting tasks off till later is ruining your life, here are five tips to help you to stop procrastination in its tracks once and for all,
How to Stop Procrastination
1) Do the unpleasant stuff first. One of the reasons we put off certain tasks is because some aspect of them is unpleasant; for example we may need to make a difficult telephone call. Write down the worst tasks which need doing each day and make sure you do them first. Try not to think about it too much, just get stuck in- you find that the most unpleasant tasks often turn out to be a lot easier than you think once you take action.
One way how to stop procrastination is to give yourself a little reward when you have completed them, such as a coffee and couple of cookies. Once these are out the way, you will feel more motivated to tackle the easier stuff on your list.
2) Sometimes we procrastinate because we lack focus and direction of what needs to be done. Make a list of what tasks need to be completed each day, and prioritize them in order of importance (or unpleasantness!) Commit to starting and finishing the first item on the list before moving to the next. Make a step by step plan for each task and commit yourself to completing one step at a time.
3) Any task which appears to be too big can cause us to procrastinate, as we can feel overwhelmed by it, such as clearing your whole house or starting a business. The best way of dealing with this is to break each task down into smaller, more manageable steps- for the house clearance example, you may decide to start with one room, or an area of one room. If the task is starting your own business you may set yourself smaller tasks such as spending time researching your business idea, then working on acquiring skills you may need.
4) If you have been putting off a task for some time, commit yourself to spending just ten minutes on it. Once you do this, you should find that it is no longer so daunting- you may even be motivated to carry on! A variation on this would be to decide that you will spend an hour on a certain task, and then give yourself a small reward, for example allowing yourself to watch a favorite show. This is especially useful if you find yourself becoming easily distracted by the internet or your television.
5) Motivate yourself. Imagine how you will feel once you have accomplished the task you have been putting off, even if it’s just relief. Keep focusing on the end result, maybe even collect pictures associated with completing the task and displaying them where you can see them at all times.
Procrastination is an easy habit to get into, but once you start to implement these tips, you should be able to nip it well and truly in the bud.