5 Practical Ways to Stop Procrastinating Right Now
Updated: Sep 12
We’ve all done it at some time or another. We put off our exercise routine until tomorrow; we continually delay finishing that project or starting the task we've wanted to do for so long.
You are not alone......procrastination is a trap so many of us fall into and it can literally stop you in your tracks from achieving your goals.
Here are my 5 practical tips you can use to slay this giant.
1. Commit and Do it now
Hold your breath and jump right in!
I know it sounds really easy, but putting things off until the last minute is a bad habit and like all habits is ingrained in our subconscious mind and hard to break. It feels like the normal thing to do and we simply continue along our path. To complete a task immediately may even feel strange or like a forced action, yet it interrupts the pattern and that is a game-changer for you. Focus on doing and not avoiding! Check out the book '5 second rule' by Mel Robbins for more inspo on do it now!
2. Take baby steps
Sometimes we procrastinate because the task/goal may be really intimidating to us and might be too way too big.
Perhaps we have no possible idea where to even start. In these cases when you feel like this, it is ok to take it one step at a time. Say you are preparing to write an essay, an application letter, apply for that dream job and for the 5th time this week, you’ve turned on the PC and looked at the blank screen. Or you’ve just remembered you need to do some more research before you begin…telling yourself you’re still not ready. Stop making excuses to start and try breaking down the task or the goal into more manageable pieces and tackle each bit separately.
Make each task an individual project and after completion of each one, I find it really important to celebrate and acknowledge each achievement. Make sure you notice how good it feels to finish it!
3. Chose your energy wisely
Are you more productive in the morning or afternoon?
Tackle the hardest tasks at your peak times. Identify when you're most effective and do the tasks that you'll find most difficult at these times..... Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy, one of our #winningwednesday giveaways could help you understand this in more detail.
Do you have impossibly high standards, is that what is holding back being ultra productive?
It will not surprise you that perfectionists are often procrastinators..... they often would rather avoid doing a task they don't feel they have the skills to do, than do it imperfectly. (I can relate to this)
4. Forget it
Why force the issue? If you have been ‘dragging your feet’ on something for a very long time, something, somewhere is trying to tell you something!
That something is your intuition and it is usually right!
Think about something that you have been putting off again and again and again. What are the reasons that you need to complete this task in the first place? Does someone else want you to do this? Is it even your goal? What are YOUR reasons for this lengthy delay? I find it amazing that 99% of the time I put off doing something, I am thankful that I did, as it wasn't the right area to focus on.
5. Support Network
Do you put off tasks because you feel that they are too big and complex for you to handle alone? Or because you need help? Be honest with yourself. “No man is an island”. Ask for help! There are many resources out there that can provide you with all you need to carry out what you need to do. Ask a peer, friend or a family member to help.
Procrastinating on life changing activities could be as a result of fear of the unknown. Reach out to your support network, find a mentor, join a community group who have the same interests as you.
Remember you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Just ensure that to kick this habit; you do what feels good to you in whatever method you choose. You’ll surely postpone procrastination for a very long time.