What is procrastinating? Mindfit Hypnosis defines procrastination as “the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.”
We procrastinate for a lot of reasons, some being – avoidance, distraction, comparison with others, laziness or denial.
How often do you see yourself procrastinating?
What are you procrastinating on?
Why are you doing it?
How is it affecting your life – both personally and professionally?
I’ve been a procrastinator. I’ve always been one but since I started working, it was a habit I had to get rid of to grow and succeed not only as a professional but also as a person. I know there are days when I still procrastinate (I did it today!!) and I’m not proud of it but unless we won’t try to get rid of it, we’ll never succeed.
Therefore, I decided to write about how to stop procrastinating and getting sh*t done. Here are a few tips I’ve been following that have helped me overcome my nasty habit and would be of great help to you too.
- Do what you hate first –
We all have things on our to – do list that we wish we didn’t have to do it so we tend to leave it for last. Do that things first. Yes, you read it right. Do that things first. Why you ask? Because –
- You’ll get rid of the most daunting task first. You’ll be amazed how good it’ll make you feel.
- You can stop worrying about the task since it’s now out of your list, leaving you to focus on the less daunting ones.
- You’ll start your day with the feeling of accomplishment, giving you an extra boost for the rest of the day.
- Divide your big tasks into chunks –
Divide the big, overwhelming goals or tasks into smaller chunks or sub tasks and steps. This will make the goals more achievable and realistic, thereby giving you the motivation to work and get those smaller tasks off your list.
E.g. If your goal is to write an eBook, divide it into smaller do-able tasks like – outlining the eBook, sub dividing each chapter into sub-chapters or topics and then start writing.
This way you would accomplish more in less amount of time.
- Don’t be a Perfectionist –
I know how that feels. I’m a self-proclaimed perfectionist. I want everything to be perfect from start to end, the tools, the time, the place, end results. Everything just had to be perfect for me, but not anymore. I’ve come to realize that nothing can be perfect and we should just work with what we have.
- Set a Timer –
One of my mentors taught me to use a timer when working to eliminate distractions. Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique?
I’ve recently started using it to avoid procrastination and be more constructive in my work. The concept behind the Pomodoro Technique is – you set a timer for 25mins and during that time, you pick 1 task from your list and focus on it. Just 1 task. Then when the time is up, you take a break for 5 and start again with the next task.
It helps you focus on the task at hand and not deviate from it.
- Eliminate Distractions –
Are you easily distracted too? Do you end up scrolling through Facebook or reading blog posts or Pintrest-ing or even playing games on iPad or your cell phone while you are supposed to be working and building an empire? I sometimes do and I’m not proud of it!
While I was searching on ways to eliminate distractions while working, I came across LeechBlock, a FireFox Add on that helps to block the distracting websites. You can specify which websites to block and when.
If your phone is your distraction, you can download ClearLock. It’s free app and allows you to block all distracting app on your device to let you concentrate and focus on what matters. Thereby, increase your productivity.
It is important to realize when we are procrastinating in our life, how it is affecting us in our day to-day activities and whether or not we want to continue to let that happen.
What do you do to stop yourself from procrastinating? Would love to hear your tips and ideas!
The best way to get something done is to begin.