How to stop procrastination? That is a question I’m sure we have all asked ourselves from time to time. Procrastinating leads to stress, lack of accomplishment, and low self-esteem, so it is something we don’t exactly want in our day to day routine.
As I grow it seems like I am taking more control in my life and I am able to accomplish more with less, but stopping procrastination is still an ongoing battle for me and I imagine it is a major problem for you as well.
So, let’s look at some of the things I consider to be important steps to take in order to accomplish more in the day and to start overcoming procrastination.
Make Time For Work And Time For Play
One of the reasons I procrastinate is simply because I want to go out and have fun. I want to Stumbleupon the web or play poker with my friends. Having a window in the same room that I am typing was a huge distraction for me when I first started to write online.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a little fun time. But you also have to have your work time where you accomplish all of the things you know needs to be done.
“The perfect day consists of 8 hours of rest, 8 hours of work, and 8 hours of play.” Benjamin Franklin
Scheduling a time to work and a time to play seems to help me get more done in the day and not have to work so hard as a result. When I know that I will be able to have fun later I do not mind doing a little work now.
The important thing to remember here is to SCHEDULE THE WORK FIRST! At least until you get used to working with a schedule.
The reason being this is that, you are more likely to push the work back on your schedule if you are playing now and planning on working later. This is exactly what we are trying to avoid.
By planning on doing the work before the fun, the “having fun” part becomes more like a reward for all of the work you have accomplished.
Reduce Workload If Possible
Ironically the times that I procrastinate the most are the times when I have the most work to accomplish. If I am running around doing 15 different things in the day, procrastination becomes a safe haven for me. Even though I know that I am only making things worse for my future self.
The way to start overcoming procrastination when you are overwhelmed is to try and make things easier on yourself. Again look at the things that you need to do and make a schedule to accomplish the important ones.
While doing that look for things that you can either push out to a later date or completely eliminate from your schedule. I know pushing things to a later date might seems like you are procrastinating a little, but if your workload is so overwhelming that it is causing you to shut down it may be better to focus on only accomplishing the most important stuff now and taking care of everything else when your schedule clears up.
Another way to reduce your workload would be to look for creative ways of getting more things done with less time. I often outsource mundane items so that I can concentrate on more important issues in my life.
If money is an issue you might also want to see what items other people will willingly help you out with. You never know unless you ask, especially if it is something that will benefit them too.
Learn to Enjoy Your Work
This is probably the most helpful advice on how to stop procrastination. I fully believe that you should focus your energy on obtaining a work that you enjoy doing. This way you want to do it and it is not so much of a chore rather a work of passion.
If it is something that you just have to do, finding a way to make it fun can make your life easier. For example if you are a student and want to know how to stop procrastination with homework, the first thing you can do is to actually learn what the subject matter is about and relate it to something you already love about life.
If you can learn to love the subject then you can do the work a lot easier and with less time.
It is amazing how well this actually works. We tend to get into the routine of things. When we are lazy our body wants us to keep being lazy and when we are actively accomplishing things our body wants us to keep moving.
Since I have been in the habit of always doing something for so long it can be pretty difficult for me to just sit down and watch T.V. or take naps in the middle of the day. My body simply wants to keep moving.
“We are all creatures of habit. We can do most things without even thinking about them; our bodies take charge and do them for us.” Earl Nightingale
If you are in the habit of being lazy and procrastinating your work then overcoming procrastination is going to take some effort to get started. As you start to move and keep overcoming procrastination you begin to build some momentum behind you that makes it easier and easier to get things done.
Something helpful you can do is to take a month where you decide to keep an active schedule in your life. By the end of that month not only will you have accomplished a lot more then you did in the previous month, but it will also be a lot easier for you to “just get things done” then it was before.
Realize That It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
Sometimes being a perfectionist can make it harder to get started. If you are trying to make things perfect then just starting your work is going to be impossible. Everything has flaws in it and there is no such thing as perfect.
“Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.” Robert Schuller
The solution is to realize that you are human and that you will make mistakes in life. There is just no way to get around that simple fact. However as you do more you grow more..
Life isn’t about shooting for some unreachable goal of perfection, but about learning and growing to be the best that you can be. Once you realize that everything doesn’t have to be perfect, you will be able to accomplish so much more and take bigger chances in life. Of course you want to do your best on your work, but don’t let perfection stop you from starting something.
Do you have any tips on how to stop procrastination? I’d like to hear them.