17 powerful tips to end your procrastination, starting now
- 1. Make a master list of everything you’ve been putting off
- 2. Ask yourself if your procrastination comes from fear, anger or sadness
- 3. Once you understand why you procrastinate, take action to stop
- 4. Identify negative thoughts towards a task and turn it into a positive one
- 5. End your procrastination towards tasks you put off by breaking them down into mini-tasks
- 6. Reward yourself for every accomplished task
- 7. Be prepared for anything that could go wrong
- 8. Expect your monkey mind to resist and keep you from doing things
- 9. Celebrate when you check something off your list
- 10. Create a workspace that inspires you
- 11. Jot down your major goals on a calendar
- 12. Get rid of distractions when you work
- 13. Surround yourself with those who inspire you
- 14. Get an accountability partner
- 15. Connect with someone who has accomplished what you aim to
- 16. Review your goals to end your procrastination
- 17. Consider whether you are holding on to perfectionism
I would be a billionaire if I had a penny for each time my exasperated Mom said, “I wish you would end your procrastination! Why won’t you do it right away and check it off your list!”
I know procrastination is the thief of time. But in my defense, I did have a full plate most of the time and an overflowing to-do list. I simply learned to prioritize over which things needed my full attention in the order of their importance. Nevertheless, I am also guilty of putting some things off. True that worked to my advantage more often than not – somehow, I had this uncanny sixth sense of postponing certain things and it would turn out to be a good thing I did.
But yes, there were things I put off and regretted deeply.
Truth is, every single one of us tends to procrastinate over something or other. Of course, this can often make a deadline more exciting as the shortage of time makes you rush to the finish line. And yes, I am one of those people who works well under pressure.
But if putting things off is something that ends in self-sabotage, you have to end your procrastination. It is just a lousy habit that you need to get rid of.
When procrastination is an ingrained habit, it messes with your relationships. For example, if your loved one expected you to do something and you didn’t, imagine the disappointment, the accusations and the resentment it can cause. The messing up also extends to the work scenario where you put something off for so long that you end up feeling guilty and stressed – and maybe even lose your job.
The good news is procrastination is a choice. To end your procrastination, the first thing is to recognize that it is a habit and changing it to replace it with a positive habit will take time and effort.
You need to be consistent with practicing the new habit so that you can make the right choice when you must make the decision – to procrastinate or not to procrastinate.
So here are 17 powerful tips you can practice to end your procrastination. Start with a few. Work them into your daily routine. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in your life.
Here you go!
17 powerful tips to end your procrastination, starting now
1. Make a master list of everything you’ve been putting off
A big part of why we postpone things is because we don’t keep track of what to do and so, can’t prioritize. So, make a list of what you need to do. Use a calendar to assign dates – because when you can’t see it, it is not on your mind.
Then, tackle each task one by one in a focused manner until you can check things off our list. I personally endorse the amazing feeling of motivation as we tick off tasks from the list. It’s a visual reminder that you really got to work and did what you were supposed to do.
2. Ask yourself if your procrastination comes from fear, anger or sadness
Understanding why you procrastinate can help you end your procrastination. Every person has different reasons to put off things. Sometimes, it can be a result of something that happened in the past – so examine your feelings to know why you have the tendency to procrastinate.
Research states that a better understanding of why behavioral delays occur in early phases of action implementation is of importance in understanding and preventing procrastination.
3. Once you understand why you procrastinate, take action to stop
Let’s say having to do something you don’t like to do makes you angry. Get over the feeling by spending physical energy on something – such as punching a pillow or beating a stick on the ground. This releases the bottled up emotional and makes space for you to move forward without being held back by the emotion.
4. Identify negative thoughts towards a task and turn it into a positive one
Learn to identify negative thoughts about a task. And when it shows up, stop it and transform it into something that’s positive. Every cloud has a silver lining and you just need to be able to see it.
5. End your procrastination towards tasks you put off by breaking them down into mini-tasks
Sometimes the reason why we put off tasks is because they seem intimidating. So why not split those into mini-tasks that are easier to stay on track with to et more done?
6. Reward yourself for every accomplished task
For each step you complete in the timeframe of your task, reward yourself with something that motivates you to keep going. This is a great way to retrain your brain to move forward.
7. Be prepared for anything that could go wrong
When you see the mini-tasks on your list, review what could go wrong and be prepared so that you can deal with any obstacles that might crop up. This will enable you to stay on schedule.
8. Expect your monkey mind to resist and keep you from doing things
Of course, you will feel tired or in a bad mood. You’ll have a headache or just about anything that can keep you from doing what you have to do. Don’t allow these excuses to take hold of you. Recognize them for what they are and keep moving with your tasks.
9. Celebrate when you check something off your list
Nothing like the feeling of accomplishment as you get things done. It is so satisfying. So allow yourself to bask in the glory of completion and let it keep you motivated during those times when you are not so motivated. In short, celebrate the wins.
10. Create a workspace that inspires you
Make sure your workspace makes you enthusiastic to work. You don’t want to settle down in a space that makes you want to take a nap. So, keep recreating your workspace to that you stay motivated to work. I say recreating because when you keep changing up things, you keep the energy fresh!
11. Jot down your major goals on a calendar
One of the things that ensures that tasks get done is writing them down. Put them on a calendar and note the deadlines. Also note down the mini-tasks you have split your goals into. Note down those dates as well. Create a complete timeline for each goal so that you can know you are on track when you see the calendar.
You can also plan for any future tasks when you do this and be ready for them. Most of all, looking at the completed tasks on your calendar will spur you on towards your goals and end your procrastination.
12. Get rid of distractions when you work
This is perhaps the first thing you should make note of. It means logging off social media, removing those pesky social media apps and turning off notifications that keep dinging you constantly. Maybe you should even turn off the internet, unless your works requires you to stay logged in.
And oh, silence your phone and log off your email. By eliminating these distractions, your productivity will increase and you’ll find it easier to get things done by focusing on the task at hand.
13. Surround yourself with those who inspire you
When you do this, you’ll be inspired to strive higher and also see how they work. Their behavior will rub off on you and motivate you to end your procrastination.
14. Get an accountability partner
Buddying up with someone who has similar goals is a great way to stay accountable while learning from each other as you work. It also helps you stay on track, stay motivated and handle issues as they crop up. And if you have different skill sets, you will learn new ways to do things from each other which is a big plus.
15. Connect with someone who has accomplished what you aim to
Connect with them, and let them know why. Seeing someone doing what you want to do and living the way you want to live is incredibly motivating, and you’ll learn from them, too.
16. Review your goals to end your procrastination
Sometimes, the procrastination is so deeply ingrained that your goals may no longer be aligned to where you want to be today. Review your goals and make the change if you need to. Think of what you would like to achieve and what you must do to get there. Think about whether what you are doing right now is working, if not, come up with a fresh set of actions to reach your goals.
17. Consider whether you are holding on to perfectionism
We would all like to be perfect but hanging on to perfectionism is the best way to procrastinate, because you are never satisfied with the way things turn out. Wanting to be perfect does not help you do a better job because you are likely to overcomplicate and overthink your tasks so much that you never finish them.
Focus more on progress, not perfection and it will not only end your procrastination but also enable you accomplish much more.
Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder!
Finally, it all boils down to taking action. Doing it. You must find your motivation to do it. The only way to end your procrastination is to take action. And when you start doing, you will realize that procrastination is just a waste of time.
Do you tend to procrastinate?
How do you end your procrastination?
Do share in the comments!