Each and every one of us probably deals with procrastination in some shape or form. Some days, we may find ourselves more motivated than others to tackle the day, and that’s normal. Think about your to-do list. Are there items on that list that you’ve been putting off? More than likely, that answer is yes. As our day progresses, our to-do list shrinks as we start completing tasks and marking them off our list. But those ones that we are dreading? They keep getting pushed further down the list. Then, before we realize it, it’s the end of the day, and that item that we struggled to get motivated to do, is still sitting on our list, uncompleted.
It’s not uncommon for this to happen, and the good news is that there are ways to stop it from happening again in the future. Whether you’re suffering from mild or severe procrastination – we’re here to help. Here are our suggestions on how to fight procrastination and get on top of that to-do list!
Top Tips on How to Fight Procrastination
#1 Be true to yourself.
Don’t try to fool your own mind. You know what you want to do, and what you don’t want to do. You also know that by continuously putting something off, it won’t make it go away. Have those hard, but true, conversations with yourself. Tell yourself that while it may not be easy or fun, it is necessary to do. And the sooner it’s done, the sooner you can move on to something more enjoyable.
#2 Top your to-do list with a win.
Start every morning with a win! Something that you know without a doubt that you can accomplish. Make it as easy as you want, and then make it happen. Drink a cup of coffee? Easy. Mark it off the list, and you’ve already got your list started and your mind energized by completing a task.
#3 Set realistic goals.
Make your tasks for the day, week, and month realistic. If you create a mountain to climb up, you may give up before you even get started. Set goals that are obtainable but also give a feeling of accomplishment. By doing this, you’re more likely to succeed.
#4 Break larger tasks down into smaller ones.
If you’ve got a giant task to do, break it down. For projects lasting longer than 1 hour at a time, try breaking it into steps of 15-minute intervals. That way, it keeps your mind fresh, your skills sharp and gives you the flexibility to know that for the next 15 minutes, you are concentrating on one aspect of the task before moving on to the other.
#5 Start your day earlier.
Sleeping in or wasting time in the morning can cause you to procrastinate and delay getting things done. Set an alarm and wake up a few minutes earlier than normal. Even a few minutes of extra work can help you tackle projects and set the day up right from the very beginning.
#6 Say no to distractions.
Turn off the phone, shut down Facebook and hide the TV remote. Allowing outside distractions only feeds the urge to procrastinate! So, take away those options to allow you to focus on the task at hand.
#7 Go to your happy place.
Play some music, listen to an audiobook or think happy thoughts during monotonous times where you may be just wanting to stop altogether. Been putting off walking on the treadmill or cleaning the oven? Try a few fun music or audiobook distractions to help you enjoy the more tedious of experiences.
#8 Take those needed breaks.
Taking breaks can actually help you be more efficient. Breaks can help fuel your body and your mind, and re-energize you to finish out your day strong! So next time you’re suffering from a bout of severe procrastination, head outside for a brisk walk or simply switch tasks to something you enjoy doing. Then come back refreshed!
#9 Have a friend hold you accountable.
Try having a buddy check in on you every so often to make certain that you are still on task. By letting someone else know of your plans, they can then help you by holding you accountable for your actions (or lack thereof!).
#10 Allow failure.
Procrastination often stems from people not wanting to fail. We all fail in life, each and every day. Understand that failure doesn’t define who you are and don’t let it stop you from trying to obtain your goals.
Procrastination can be hard to overcome, but it is doable. By trying a few of the ways to fight procrastination listed above, you’re bound to keep improving. Keep your chin up, your attitude positive and your mind open and soon you will find what works for you to fight procrastination permanently!