A year from now you will have wished you started today. – Karen Lamb
I’ve been guilty of procrastinating, I’m definitely one of those people who put off to tomorrow, why do today what you can do tomorrow is one of my favourite sayings. However, when pressed up against a deadline, either of my own making or not I still find myself doing anything but what I have to do.
I know how to not procrastinate, it’s easy enough, I say to myself just do it, but I don’t. So, to at least make my procrastination somewhat useful I’ve decided that I would write out a list of ways to stop this terrible trend, and then hopefully follow them!
- Create a Deadline … and Follow it! This works best if your deadline isn’t general. For example my Book in a Month … it’s pretty darn general and doesn’t give my goal any foundation. However, that is the major goal that is made up of many smaller deadlines/goals to complete along the way. For example, character development needs to be completed at a certain time. Chapters each have their own deadlines, outlines, brainstorming etc all have their own dead line of completion. So, online you may see that I have a goal to accomplish in a month, but behind the scenes I have a well structured plan on how to accomplish said goal.
- Why do tomorrow what you can start today? You want a dead line, or goal but you don’t want a start date. When you say, I’ll start next Monday and set up a routine you’ll get no where. Start now. Make the decision to do something with your life (whatever the goal is) today. Don’t put off the start point or you will never get to the end.
- Unplug – Turn off twitter, and take a break from Facebook. If your phone is set up to automatically receive updates from either place turn it off! The TV doesn’t need to be on either!
- Create a Work Conductive Environment. Cluttered space creates a cluttered mind. Make your work area a sanctuary that allows you to relax and doesn’t distract you from the goal at hand.
- Spend time with People who Inspire you. In these internet times there is no excuse when it comes to networking. Meet new people in your field and get to know those you admire. Spending time with these people is sure to up your excitement in the field and they will be a great source of encouragement when you feel the procrastination monster rear it’s ugly head.
- Share your Goals! Make them public, the more people who know the better. This will add fuel to your goal busting fire and will help you to finish the job you started.
- Reward Yourself! When you have accomplished a small goal that is part of your larger goal celebrate! Give yourself a small reward for a job well done.
- Don’t Expect Perfection. No one is perfect. Don’t expect that you will be. If you fall off your goal pony don’t throw in the towel convinced that you will never succeed at whatever it is you are doing. Accept that you are human and that you are not perfect and just keep on keeping on.
- Free up Time Many people have a blog in the works, some are much more dedicated to posting than others but if you have projects outside of your blog then you may find that your blogging is lacking … or said project is lacking. For your blog the answer is simple … use that handy Schedule option! Set up a day when you write several posts and schedule them to publish on certain days. With so many automation options out there you can easily set your blog up so posts go to facebook and twitter without you having to be online to do so. Use this time you’re saving to tackle any of those things you have on your to do list. Another great way to free up a couple hours of your day for the time you desperately want to accomplish something? Wake up earlier!
- Just do it! Stop thinking about it and deciding every detail about what you are going to do and just do it! You spend so much time planning and planning that you talk yourself out of it. Yes, a bit of planning is important, but don’t beat your to do to death before you give it a chance to be done.
- Don’t Make it More than what it Is. If you have to mow the lawn don’t turn it into a world wide adventure. Take baby steps, one step in the right direction will lead to the next and so on. Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hole. The more you put it off and analyze it the more ominous it will appear until a small task turns into a huge ordeal.
- Do the Hard thing First. Take a look at what you need to accomplish in your day. Whatever is the one thing you are dreading to do the most, do it first. Get it out of the way and then the rest of your day will breeze on by and seem a lot easier to handle.
- Choose Action instead of Inaction! It’s natural to be decisive. When we don’t do anything, sit on our hands or the fence we feel unnatural and awkward. So make a decision, any decision either to do whatever you want or to let it go. Either way you will feel lighter and more relaxed and will have made a choice.
- Confront your Fear. Take a look at what is really holding you back from starting your project and deal with it! Are you afraid of failure? What others may think? Whatever your fear is you need to identify it and learn from it so you can grow. “Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the “someday I’ll” philosophy.” – Denis Waitley
- Finish what you start. If starting is bad, not finishing can be even worse. You don’t need to finish every project you start, but you may find that you have a project you are eager to finish but haven’ t yet. So finish it. Before you can move onto something new and give it your all see if there is anything you need to complete. Once you’ve done so you will feel a sense of accomplishment and will be more apt to finish the next project.
So, how do you fight procrastination?