Who else could win an award for procrastination?! ✋
Well after utilizing these 6 steps, I learned how to finally stop procrastinating once and for all! Finally, I was able to get all of my tasks done and clear my to-do list each and every day!
What is procrastination?
Really think about it.
It is the thing that keeps you from doing what you need to get done. You want to get this work done, but there is always this resistance that is pulling you back. Causing you to avoid the task at all costs. For whatever reason you find yourself looking at your phone, watching TV, mindlessly browsing the refrigerator, and etc.
This is because you find the work to be so important, that you’re almost scared to do it.
You procrastinate because you’re scared.
You know that feeling when you have a huge, 100 point research paper coming up, or you have a certain deadline for work that is creeping up you? The thought of that major, important task almost scares you to even think about it. I find that the tasks that are most important to me, are always the longest to accomplish. Well, they used to be!
Knowing that procrastination is a form of fear has actually allowed me to come to terms with my feelings of self-doubt, failure, and resistance. The main factors that resist me (procrastinate) from completing the things that I need to get done. With that, I feel that the initial step to beating procrastination once and for all is to identify the resistance that you are having. Make yourself aware of the situation and devise a strategy to take action!
1. Visualize how you’ll feel when you’re done
Seriously ask yourself…
“How do I want to feel after the day is done?”
When you go to get ready for bed, don’t you want to feel accomplished and relieved that you finished what needed to be done?
Use that euphoric feeling as motivation to get your sh*t done! Anticipating that good feeling that you will have when you get an important task done will always help you to take action.
Nobody likes to go to bed feeling defeated or down on themselves for not being motivated enough to complete their desired task. Visualize how you want to feel when you’re finished and utilize a plan to take action! Afterward, do something to treat yourself that makes you happy! Maybe it relaxing and taking a bath, going out for ice cream, or putting on a face mask while drinking wine. Whatever is it, use that as your incentive to work hard now to relax harder later on!
2. Break up your big tasks into smaller tasks
A major reason why you might be procrastinating is that you find the work to be too overwhelming or too big to get done. The key to solving this problem is to break down the big tasks into smaller parts. That way you can focus on only one small part at a time.
It can be so overwhelming to think about finishing an entire essay or looking at your never-ending to-do list. So, instead of thinking about everything that you have to get done, try breaking it down into smaller pieces.
Ask yourself, “what is the easiest, smallest step that I can take towards my goal?” Make it so simple and easy that it almost takes no time to do it. You want to break it down as small as you can!
Don’t be discouraged by how much you can’t get done. Instead, look at how much can get done.
For example, say your big task is to write a research essay for school. Your first easy step could be to simply open up your laptop and open up your word document. Or just type your name and the date! That way you have written your first few words on paper, and you feel like you’ve started working on that task. Soon, your paper will get easier and easier to complete when you take these little, simple steps.
The next time that you need to complete an essay, assignment, project, task, etc. try breaking it into these small phases or steps.
For example, start by doing the research or learning the information about your given topic or task. Then create an outline of how you want your ending product to turn out. This doesn’t just apply to school work either!
I use this strategy when writing blog posts as well. I do my research, create an outline of what I want to include in my post, and then I write down my first draft or notes in a notebook. After completing this, I then move on to typing out my post. Instead of just staring at my computer screen, not knowing where to begin or what to type.
3. Remove ALL distractions
Eliminate all possible distractions that are around you because that could be the leading cause of why you are procrastinating in the first place!
Turn your phone off, exit out of all your other internet browsers, and turn off your music or your TV as well.
If you can’t shut your phone off, put it on vibrate, or put it on airplane mode for certain reasons, then I would advise deleting any games or apps just until you get your work done. I know people who have deleted or logged out of social media apps as well like Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook! That way any and all distractions were eliminated and out of sight!
Better yet, remove yourself from any distractions that are around you. Outside resources can be a big distraction, especially in a college setting. Find an area on campus, a coffee shop, a library, or anywhere that you feel comfortable, free of distractions, and are able to stay focused.
If you really cannot find a place try closing your door or wearing noise-canceling headphones. You could even try waking up earlier, before anybody else! That way you do not have any distractions from other people!
4. Set deadlines a day or two before it’s actually due
This is the strategy I use for every single one of my online college courses! It is also how I keep myself two days to a week ahead of schedule so I am never falling behind when life gets hectic or unplanned events pop up.
If I have an assignment that is due Monday, I will write down in my planner that it is due Saturday instead. I have even written down projects or assignments a week before they were due, that way I was always a week ahead of schedule.
It is almost like tricking yourself into thinking you have less time! This is my way of not allowing myself to wait until the last minute. As well as stopping the urge to procrastinate before I even have the chance!
**Like what you’re reading so far??**
You’ll love this related post on the Top 5 Greatest Planning Hacks!
5. Set a timer
Do you ever look at a job that you have to tackle, and think to yourself: “This is going to take me hours to finish!”
This is similar to tip #2 where you want to break down the big tasks into smaller tasks. Another way to attack the work that needs to be done is to set a timer. Do not try to accomplish all of your work into one set time, because that can cause you to be fearful, overwhelmed, or to procrastinate even more!
Set a timer for 30-45 minutes to accomplish as much as you can on one piece of your large task. Then take a 15-minute break to rest your eyes and your mind.
Knowing that you have that break coming up will motivate you to get as much done as you possibly can! It will also remind you to stay 100% focused on your work since you have that break period to go on your phone, watch a YouTube video, eat a snack, etc.
6. Don’t aim for perfection
Perfectionism could be the root cause of your procrastination from the very beginning, and you probably didn’t even realize it!
Aiming for perfection could potentially be what is holding you back from what you need to get done. Especially when it comes to school assignments or large projects that you are working on. If you are one who always imagines the perfect essay, project, assignment, etc. then that characteristic may be holding you back when you trying to initially start working.
I completely understand! I am a total perfectionist at heart and I too have noticed that it holds me back from beginning certain tasks at times. To be honest, I have actually waited days to even begin on something just because I waiting for the “perfect moment.”
How wasteful is that?! If you do the same, then you would agree that sitting around waiting for the perfect layout or perfect idea just wastes your time. It’s better to just get started. Because your task is nothing if it is not completed. So, discard your vision of perfection, in the beginning, and just start it. There is never going to be a “perfect time.” But you can always go back and perfect it later on!
So for right now, do not overthink it.
Just get started!
What is something that you always seem to find yourself procrastinating on?
Let me know in the comments! Until next time,