Last Updated on June 9, 2017 by Dave Schoenbeck
You know that feeling – when you feel like temporarily postponing a project when you should be focusing on it right at that moment. Common excuses include “I’ve still got time” or “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Then tomorrow becomes the next day and then, the day after. Before you know it, you’ve wasted a chunk of time on unimportant things.
Procrastination happens to everyone. Despite what we may believe, it’s not a sign of laziness; it’s just what we do with tasks we deem too stressful and want to avoid tackling.
There are ways to overcome procrastination. So if you’ve been putting things off, try the following tips.
1. Write a to-do list.
A great way to help you handle the overwhelming feeling about a project is to break it into smaller, more manageable steps.
Make a to-do list of the smaller tasks you need to accomplish in order to achieve the bigger one. This way, you can prioritize your time. It’s also easier to get some momentum going.
The biggest roadblock is always taking the first step. We tend to defer starting because the task seems too large. Start with the first logical task. Once you tip over the first domino, it is much easier to gain traction.
2. Calendarize the steps.
Get your calendar out and mark the deadline for each step. This simple act helps you visualize your goals. It turns “I will do this when I have time” into “I need to finish this by (insert deadline).”
When you block out time for a task, you’ll be able to focus on getting it done instead of getting distracted by other trivial things.
3. Enlist an accountability partner.
One of the best ways to overcome procrastination is to find someone to hold you accountable. They can be your colleague, a family member, or your coach.
It’s one thing to plan tasks out and handle them on your own. It’s another thing to prove your commitment and responsibility to a partner.
4. Optimize your environment.
Your surrounding environment can either minimize or maximize your productivity.
With numerous distractions in today’s digital world, it’s important to actively create an environment free of such temptations. This is useful, especially if you’re easily interrupted or waste a lot of time at work.
5. Don’t overthink.
Overthinking kills. So does perfectionism.
When you spend too much time questioning yourself or waiting for the perfect moment to get started, doubts creep in, resulting in procrastination.
Some of the most effective ways to overcome procrastination are to drop the negative thoughts. Worrying solves no problems. Be mindful. Strive for better work rather than perfect work. And more importantly, focus on getting the job done.
6. Be kind to yourself.
Learning how not to beat yourself up over a past mistake is an essential life skill. Things happen and it’s okay if you don’t meet every deadline. Research has shown that self-forgiveness can help mitigate future procrastination.
In addition, you can always learn a thing or two from past procrastination. This development of self-awareness will give you strength to fight distraction, fear, doubt, and ultimately, procrastination.
Procrastination is everyone’s enemy. Luckily, you can combat it successfully by using these proven ways to overcome it and become a better version of yourself in the process.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful. If you are interested in becoming more productive, click on my contact form for a complimentary video coaching session