Nike says it best: Just Do It! For many of us though, it is not that easy. It takes a lot more than an upbeat slogan to tackle our list of “to dos” and to take those first few steps toward our goals, or take the last steps toward completing unfinished projects. Sometimes it seems so much easier to put off these projects and tasks to be completed another time. Tomorrow becomes next week, next week becomes next month, and next month becomes next year, or worse, the day never comes … Have you ever wondered how to stop procrastinating? I believe we all have. If you struggle with overcoming procrastination, I hope this will help. I’ve put together this list of steps that are helping me and will hopefully help you move from procrastination to productivity.
Focus requires discipline and discipline requires practice. Develop a routine where you zone in on a specific task and get it done. Start practicing with little things for a small amount of time.
Set your phone to silent and move it away from you. If you must use your phone, there are apps that can limit your ability to open other apps on your phone for a certain period of time. Go into a quiet room. Don’t sit in front of a television if you know it will distract you. Try your best to separate yourself from anything that could take your mind away from the task at hand.
Set a Time Frame
Try setting a particular block of time to dedicate to completing tasks that require your attention.
Write Down your Goals
Make a note or set an alarm in your phone. Getting my goals out of my head and on to paper in the form of a task or “to do” list is usually my first step toward accomplishment. Writing goals and tasks down is honestly one of the key pieces of advice I would give anyone on how to stop procrastinating.
Post your goal to your social media channels. Sometimes it helps when other people are expecting you to complete a goal and may give you an extra push.
Get an Accountability Partner
Like social media, other people have a way of inspiring us. Their presence and/or gentle nudging, can be just the push toward our goals that we need. Share your goal with a trusted friend whom you know will check in on you and stand with you in completing your goal. Make sure they will help to hold you accountable.
Weigh the Importance
Consider how important your goal is to you or people who depend on you. Consider also, what happens if it doesn’t get done.
Initiate an Action
Start somewhere. This really should be one of the first steps to overcoming procrastination. Sit down, pick up a pencil, or conversely, get up, go outside… Close the door, procrastination is literally putting off a task until later. Force yourself with all your might, to do it now. Right now. I’ll wait……. Promise I’ll be here when you get back.
Prioritize Tasks from Greatest to Least
Get the major tasks completed first. If you have a list of to dos, get the most complex, time consuming, or highest consequence bearing tasks completed first. The easier tasks will seem like a piece of cake after that.
Resist the Urge to Compulsively Check Other Things
If you have to check every notification on your phone, including email, social media, texts, calls, etc. You are likely to experience a great amount of distraction while trying to complete your tasks.
Now that you’ve read some of my tips on how to stop procrastinating, let today be the day that you take your first steps toward overcoming procrastination and achieving your goals. Feel free to share any tips that work for you! Also, check out my post on God’s Timing, here.