Ready to defeat procrastination once and for all? Let’s get into it.
Being productive. Staying disciplined. Not procrastinating. All of these things go hand in hand. Procrastination is such a killer.
Procrastination itself doesn’t make sense. Even the most boring thing in the world becomes appealing when important and time-sensitive jobs are to be done.
How do you stop delaying your important tasks to get things done? Of course, it’s easier said than done, but if you follow the tips I’ll outline in this post, it will help you defeat procrastination once and for all.
Table of Contents
10 ways to defeat procrastination
Here are simple ways to help you defeat procrastination and complete your to-do list.
1. Answer an important question
Why do you procrastinate? Ask people who have made a habit of doing it and you will get a number of different answers.
For some, it all comes down to self-doubt, while others will claim to be perfectionists who need everything to be just right before they begin.
Once you are able to answer the question about why you procrastinate, you will then be able to take the steps to stop behaving that way.
2. Start the clock
For most of us, actually getting started proves to be the toughest part of any project.
How many times have you dreaded the thought of doing something, only to find out that is wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be once you get started?
The more you think about the actual start of the project, the more ominous it seems.
Decide that you are going to start today, set a timer for 10 minutes, and as soon as that alarm goes off, jump right into your work. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you start rolling once you get started.
3. Picture the end
Take a moment to think about a project that you recently completed, and then think about how good it felt once you completed it.
We all spend time focusing on the negative aspects of the work that needs to be done, which is why it becomes easier to put it off till tomorrow.
Instead of thinking negatively, always envision how good you will feel when the project is done. Trust us, you will want to speed towards that good vibe.
4. Have some fun
Even if you are committed to a large project, there are going to be times when you feel bogged down or uninspired.
This can lead to a stall in productivity that can begin to stretch into hours and then days. Before everything starts to stagnate, think about ways you can make that task fun.
Put on some music, or maybe take your laptop to the park or a coffee shop, or anywhere that isn’t your office. A little fun can lead to a lot of inspiration.
5. Be held accountable
We all become inspired to do better when we are held to some level of accountability.
Enlist the help of a friend or family member when a project needs to be done. Tell then when you are going to begin, and when you plan on finishing. Have them check in on your progress at regular intervals.
Trust me, the shame you will feel at not being where you said you would be at a given time can act as a great motivator.
6. Start The Task
Get over the hump of procrastination by starting your task. That’s the hardest part. Once you’ve started, your brain will continue to pester you to finish the task.
Ever heard that the hardest part of any journey is the first step? However, after your first step, the next one is much easier. So just get out there and start your task. You don’t even have to do it right; just start it and then use the power of momentum to complete it.
So, if the procrastination bug has hit you, start on several tasks and, if you have to, leave them undone. These unfinished tasks will be stuck in your memory, and you’ll be more likely to complete them later.
7. Move, Tidy, and Create Space
Procrastination breeds in the midst of messiness. If your environment is chaotic, your approach to work will also be chaotic. Productivity needs clean lines, set objectives, and manageable apparatus. If you don’t have these things, then procrastination lurks, waiting to pounce.
Sometimes this problem is solved by simply moving to a different space. For example, taking your laptop to Starbucks can help clear your mind and focus on your task.
Sure, Starbucks is loud, but you weren’t doing too good in your home office working in silence, though. So a change of scenery might be just what the procrastination doctor ordered.
The best option is to create a new space. If you are a chronic procrastinator, then there’s probably a ‘chronic space’ cause. De-clutter your desk, clean up the entire room, and leave it as empty as possible. All you need is a chair, desk and a computer (and maybe a plant). Everything else is just a distraction.
8. Break It Down Into Smaller Tasks
I use the Trello app every single day to help me manage my tasks. We all know about to-do list apps, but they are too simple for me. Seeing a list of tasks is just too much, and frankly, I can’t decide what to do first.
Instead, I create “projects” and then “sub-tasks” within each project. By breaking a larger project down into sizable portions, I am able to simplify the larger job. You don’t scarf a meal down in one big bite; you take it slow and one bite at a time.
So, for example, the task for today was to create a post about defeating procrastination. So I broke that task down into sections, such as:
- Pick a title (top 10 ways to beat procrastination)
- Write your headings
- Write a few paragraphs under each heading
- Choose images
- Proofread and publish the post
- Promote on social media
I could never just do the whole project at once; I’d get stuck at the beginning. But if my one task was to pick a title, I can do that easily and then move on to the next sub-task. Before you know it, you’re done with the entire project.
9. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Sometimes procrastination is just caused by simple body chemistry. If you are dehydrated at just 1%, you’ll begin to get thirsty. If you lose 5% of your water, your mind begins to suffer, and you feel tired. It also stops you from processing information clearly, and it dulls your sense of creativity. So dehydration is a big deal.
So keep a supply of water with you at all times. Get a large reusable water bottle and keep it full to help you power through your daily tasks.
10. Make like Nike and “Just Do It”
Perhaps a slight cliche ending, but Nike really was onto something with their famous marketing slogan. There comes a time when you do just need to man up, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, make an active choice, and just get on with it. No self-pity, no excuses – just get it done.
Use these expert tips to defeat procrastination and start getting things done!