I’d recently read about a survey in which it was concluded that, those people who relish challenge are likely to live up to 10 years longer than those that spend their lives inhibited by timidity.
Taking action towards realizing our ambitions is preferable, to not having the courage or motivation to take risks. Not creating any resolutions because we are afraid that we’ll break them is defeatist, before we have even begun.
Procrastination so easily turns into an insidious habit that stops us from leading fulfilling lives.
The following are 10 ways to stop procrastination and kick the procrastination habit!
1. Engage in self-improvement
Take the time to learn what you genuinely want in life, what your personal values are. Do you want more time, a lot more money, improved wellness, higher self esteem and confidence, fulfilling relationships, a career, your own business? When we procrastinate it is typically because what we are planning to do is not aligned with what we truly want. We could be scared of our abilities (or perceived lack of) or we fear potential ridicule from other people.
2. Make well-being and high energy levels, a priority
Without good health we are much less likely to have the energy and dynamism needed to make positive changes in our life and it makes it more likely that we procrastinate. So manage for yourself a nourishing diet plan, quality sleep and rest breaks, daily exercise and meditation routines. Incidentally, it is believed that meditation also helps delay the worst effects of the aging process.
3. Visualize a life without procrastination
See and feel the benefits in your life if you were to never procrastinate at all, ever! What might you do and accomplish? Begin to “act as if” you are an action taker, someone who always gets things done and is super organized. Write down, draw, envision your life as a film. Use affirmations to assist you too.
We all have that little voice which runs on auto-pilot in our minds, saying things like “I am not in the mood”, “I do not have time”, “I cannot do this”. Quit running on auto, replace any “should”, “ought” and “have to” with, “want to” and “desire”. You honestly do have a choice. Acknowledge those thoughts that are simply “passing through”, then banish those gremlins. Using affirmations can help you in replacing the “gremlins” with positive alternatives.
5. Avoid over-commitment
Saying “yes” to every thing can leave you feeling tired and without the energy to focus on what is most essential to you. This leads to procrastination, as intended projects and tasks are dropped through your day. Identify what is most critical to you and only focus on those areas which will make the greatest difference to your life. It is going to enhance your focus and motivation.
6. Set specific objectives
It is difficult to motivate yourself when you do not have a good idea of what you would like to accomplish. So when setting objectives think about what you would like to achieve in the short term and long term. There are many available techniques for doing that, for example the Smart Goals technique – Specific, Measurable, Action, Realistic, Time-based. Perhaps, use goal setting software to help you with your goal planning and setting, there are so many tools available online and free – find the right one for you.
7. Prioritize Your Projects and Tasks
Develop a strategy and schedule to assist you in reaching your objectives. You will begin to identify the elements that will need to be included, emphasized or, dropped entirely. Keep flexibility in your schedule, revisit your goals regularly and modify them, as appropriate. Simply because an objective is written down does not mean that it is set in stone!
8. Divide and conquer
As soon as you have prioritized your objectives, divide them into smaller chunks. Often we procrastinate due to a project seeming so large that the scale of it overwhelms us and puts us into temporary “paralysis”. You don’t know where to begin, so you do not start at all! Approach each project, especially big ones, in a step by step manner.
9. Reward yourself and celebrate wins
When you complete tasks, jobs and projects, it is vital to remember to reward yourself by giving yourself some thing that you like. For example, if planning to seeing a movie, hold off a little longer and go to see that movie after your win over procrastination, make it a reward and celebration for you.
10. Get started
No excuses. Do not wait until you’re “in the mood”, the “mood” might never arrive! It is only another clever camouflage for delaying tactic. What you resist persists. Start off with what is the smallest chunk in your project so that you experience immediate success. That initial success will provide you with the fuel and motivation to continue and to take on the remainder of your projects.
Do any of the above listed and you’ll be on your way towards kicking the procrastination habit. It is after all, only a habit. It can be replaced by new and better habits. Remember that life itself has, built into it, the biggest deadline of all!
Here’s a quick infographic for you, with more about procrastination habits…