Everyone procrastinates at some point in their life. (For example, I have wanted to get back into podcasting for a long time, but I keep pushing it off.) But have you ever wondered why you procrastinate? While some view it as simply being lazy, there might actually be something else that is causing us to procrastinate.
What are some of the reasons that you procrastinate?
For me, a lot of my procrastination is a direct result of fear. I find myself procrastinating because I come up with all of these different conclusions in my head for how I think a certain situation is going to play out, and I allow that thought to stop me from moving forward.
While trying to avoid putting ourselves through what we perceive to be stressful situations, we are truly just adding more stress to our lives. Procrastination leads to added and unwanted stress, poor performance, it can lead to lower levels of self-esteem, and it can also lead to critical thoughts towards ourselves.
What’s more, is the fact that the more that we procrastinate, the longer it’s going to take us to achieve any amount of success.
I don’t know about you, but I actually want to achieve my goals. That’s why I want to share with you some tips to overcome procrastination (or at least some tips that have worked for me).
1. 5,4,3,2,1 GO!
A good book to read is The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. The point of the book is to help you take action instead of thinking about all of the different possibilities because unless you actually take action on your thoughts, you will truly never know what you may have been able to accomplish.
An example that Robbins often uses is working out in the mornings. While she would rather lay in bed and go back to sleep, she remembers the five-second rule and starts counting down in her head.
Once she hits 1, she doesn’t give herself any more time to think. Much like a rocketship taking off, she doesn’t give herself any other option and simply gets going with her day.
2. Focus on your goals.
When you find yourself procrastinating, remember your why. Why do you want to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish? How is doing so going to benefit your life? What happens if you don’t make progress towards your goals?
A lot of these self-reflection questions can help motivate you to move forward when you are lacking motivation or are fearful of what you think the outcome might be life.
3. Set realistic goals.
Nobody is expecting you to climb a mountain without first conquering a hill, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to do so either.
Set realistic goals for yourself. While it’s important to have big goals, break them down over time and set smaller goals that will lead towards your larger goals. The more goals you accomplish, the more confidence you gain and the more motivation you have to continue pursuing your larger goals.
4. Give yourself a “due date.”
This past week, I found myself procrastinating more than usual. As I was trying to find a way to solve my procrastination, I remembered back in school when I used to have due dates for assignments. I hated not finishing things on time, so even if it was at the last minute, I would find a way to get my assignments done.
Setting a due date for myself this past week also helped to solve my procrastination. I would prioritize my most important tasks first and would then give myself a “due date” for the other tasks that I needed to accomplish. Having a due date not only helped me to remember what I needed to do, but it made me focus on what I needed to get done in a timely manner.
5. Create a good environment.
Environment can be an important past to productivity. If you are not in an optimal environment to succeed, you are not going to be as nearly productive as you could have been otherwise.
An optimal environment includes not only the space you are in, but the people around you as well. You want to have a clean and organized space while also having others around you who have achieved the success that you are seeking. By doing so, you will be more motivated to push yourself and to reach your goals.
6. Find someone to hold you accountable.
Another great way to becoming more productive is to have an accountability partner or somebody who will hold you to your word.
Often times when we make promises to ourselves, we don’t hold ourselves accountable enough to actually follow through on these promises. But when we tell others that we are going to do something, we have a much harder time letting that idea go without actually completing it.
To me, it doesn’t make much sense that we would try to please others more than please ourselves, but that’s just the way most of us tend to operate.
So find somebody else who is pursuing goals of their own and hold each other accountable to keep chasing these goals until they have been completed.
7. Treat yourself for your progress.
Again, you aren’t going to climb a mountain without having to climb a hill. Once you reach the top of the hill, why not treat yourself? You are making strides int he right direction and are progressing towards your end goal.
When you break your goals down into smaller goals, reward yourself for accomplishing those smaller goals. It’s going to prevent burnout, and it’s going to keep you motivated to continue moving in the right direction.
8. Let go of perfection.
Forgive yourself for your mistakes. You are going to make mistakes, and hopefully, you re going to make many of them. Those who don’t make mistakes simply aren’t trying hard enough. Learn from your mistakes, allow them to help shape you into the person you want to become, and continue to go after your goals with everything you have.
Breaking old habits is never an easy task to complete. If it were easy, then nobody would procrastinate. Fighting the urge to put things off can seem like a daunting task, but just know that it is one that will be worth it in the end.
Surely there are going to be some times that you are going to find yourself procrastinating, but by implementing these 8 simple and easy tips to overcome procrastination, you will find yourself procrastinating far less than before.
Just like the last tip stated, it’s all about progression… not perfection.
Yesterday’s post: What To Find Your Purpose? Start By Looking At What Bothers You