5 Tips to Tackle Procrastination

By · October 9, 2009 · Filed in life skills

Procrastination is a nasty little habit in which individuals habitually put off the things they need to do.  It’s a practice that hampers productivity and can lead to a mountain of stress, but this stress could easily be avoided with an effective plan to tackle it.  This article will explore some of the quickest methods for ridding procrastination from your routine.

Each tip will help boost your performance and make you more relaxed and confident about each new day.  If you are ready to rid your procrastination then keep reading for how to get real results in your life in a very short time.  However, the key to ending procrastination is in action.  You have to do these tips in order to see if and how they work for you.

1.  Make an Appointment with Yourself

If you are anything like me, your life is filled with a multitude of meetings, appointments and obligations.  You bend over backwards to make sure the people you work and live with are happy and content.  But how much time do you spend with yourself, planning your own happiness?

I urge you to make an appointment with yourself and just engage in self-talk conducive to your own success.  If you are not planning your happiness and scheduling “me” time then who is? Make important but realistic promises to yourself and vow to stick to them.  Try it, it will feel good I promise.

2.  Make a List

With each new day, you probably find yourself juggling a thousand and one thoughts.  You struggle to remember each of your tasks, but undoubtedly something will be missed.  This is a process that requires a lot of energy to maintain and will gradually create unnecessary stress in your life.

To avoid this, start each morning with a list—a prioritized list of the things you want to accomplish for that day only.  This is not a “wish” list, but an “absolute” must list. Use this list as a road map to navigate your day, crossing items off as you achieve them.  Remember to celebrate after each item is crossed off.

When it comes to tasks a list will help eliminate procrastination and keep you focused on what is really important.  Moreover, this list will release the thoughts from your head, and help eliminate the stress they can cause.  Another style of writing that many people prefer is keep track of their thoughts in a journal.

3.  Slay the Beast First

There is probably one particularly difficult task in your life that stands out.  It may be a task you’ve avoided for quite some time, constantly putting it off and making excuses for why it couldn’t be done.  It’s only an illusion that you cannot do it, eventually you will have to own up to your inability to learn.  Then you’ll wonder why you didn’t learn it sooner.  No wonder using this method eventually causes a great deal of stress.

What is the one thing that you could do that you are avoiding, but if you did do it, it would completely change your situation?  Put this “beastly” task at the top of your list and get to work attacking it first.  Focus on slaying it and stay proactive.  Why not make a game of it and pretend your actions will determine if the who wins between you and the beast.  The more inspired actions you take the less likely the beast will win.

The relief you will feel as a result of completion will be rewarding.  This will help provide a remarkable sense of momentum in your life, making subsequent tasks that much easier.  Just think, if you can slay the beast… you can do anything!

4.  Get organized

You may think organization has nothing to do with procrastination, but I beg to differ.  A cluttered life will almost always lead to a cluttered mind.  The mind reflects your ability to get exterior results and the disorganization in your life can make any project seem impossible.

Everything in your life costs you energy to maintain.  The more papers, to-do notes and unsatisfactory relationships you have in your life, the less energy you have to focus on what is really important.  When you are tired at the end of the day and don’t want to take the extra step for your dreams, getting organized can help motivate you to move forward.

Spend a day organizing your life.  If you cannot devote an entire day at once, schedule two – 8 hour days or three – 5 hour days.  Take time to catch up on whatever in your life requires the most attention.  Make a folder for each of your important papers and file them alphabetically.  Check and answer emails.  Pay those late bills.  You know where you have been neglecting responsibility, start by paying some attention there.

When you feel more organized you will be less likely to put off the tasks in your life.  They will seem more manageable and you will feel less stress.  When you feel less stress you will want to do more with your self and your time.

5.  Schedule Leisure Time

Everybody needs time to unwind and refuel.  Whether you are a hotel maid or a Wall Street millionaire, you need to have time in your life reserved solely for the things that are most important to you.  However, most people are caught in the trap of “I have to…, but I can’t”, or “I can’t, because I have to…”.

For example, you might not think that you have the time or money to take a vacation because you are paying down debt or saving for something special.  But if you don’t invest good quality time out for yourself you will soon be paying the price in other ways.  Your health or your spiritual well-being can suffer if you don’t take a break.

Most people neglect doing the things they need to do and then out of guilt try and do things they cannot do. Avoid this trap by simply taking time out of your schedule to take a healthy break. Stick to this time, relaxing only during the parameters you have set.

With your leisure time now set, use the other time to work diligently, pursuing each of your goals without procrastination.

Comments

Thanks for these tips, I will try to do them and see if it helps. My biggest challenge is remaining motivated enough to start.

HI Russ,
Great site you have. Lots of great information.
Cheers! Norja 🙂

I agree with the benefits that are before us. I struggle with traumas, these helpful tips that I set aside and forgot to use in my life must go! This article has brought to light a very important tool and will help me immensely. Thanks

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