How To Stop Procrastinating Right Now
Tired of procrastinating?
It's thought that 95% of all people procrastinate at some time, delaying tasks because they feel too difficult or trying. But using avoidance strategies like checking Facebook or ringing a friend increases the sense of stress and anxiety, and provides no real answer to the problem you're facing.
The fastest way to gain emotional and mental relief is to understand the reason why you're procrastinating -- and then take steps to resolve the issue.
Why Are You Procrastinating?
The best way to stop procrastinating is to understand why you are doing it. Everyone has different reasons, and it has nothing to do with being lazy, or unfocused. It might have something to do with your perception of the level of discomfort or difficulty associated with the task you are procrastinating over.
Anxiety and fear are most often related to our reaction to an imagined future -- to events which have not taken place. It might be that this particular situation is bringing up some aspect of you that needs looking at and resolving. Are you afraid of failing? Are you afraid of success? Are you coming up against your lack of confidence in yourself?
These are normal, and common. End the denial and recognize what's really happening for you -- and then be willing to work on that and let it go. Look back for a moment and consider the times in the past when you believed something to be almost impossible, and you went ahead and accomplished it anyway. Many people have found self hypnosis recordings to be particularly helpful in ending procrastination and moving forward.
Usually we feel bad about procrastination, but according to research it may not always be a bad thing.
There are two types of procrastination: active and inactive.
Active procrastination is when you put off a task to study, gather resources and information, so when the deadline looms you are ready to use the pressure to produce good results.
Inactive procrastination is when you simply avoid a task by doing and thinking about something else, till finally the deadline forces you to sit down and do the work, even if you are completely unprepared.
According to research from Columbia University in New York, USA, active procrastinators experience no confidence problems or anxiety. They achieve better end results than inactive procrastinators, even when procrastinate for exactly the same amount of time.
So if you know you tend towards procrastination, perhaps it is an avoidance strategy just waiting to be transformed into a strategy for success.
Break down tasks It is so easy to procrastinate when a task feels complicated, or even titanic in size. Create a time-line on a piece of paper with one dot representing where you are now, and another dot representing where you would like to be. Next put a dot halfway between the first two dots. This one represents the middle, when you're halway to your goal.
What, specifically, is that halfway point? A word count? An amount of money saved?
Once you have decided what it is, create another dot between the first dot and the middle point. This is the first leg of the journey. Next, place a dot between the halfway dot and the final dot. What is the specific milestone lying between the middle and the end of your goal?
Congratulations! You have created a working timeline that can be broken down even further into smaller monthly, weekly or daily chunks as needed.
Get Rid of Distractions
Getting rid of distractions is an important step in stopping procrastination. Following the advent of social media like Twitter and Facebook, I am not sure how anyone anywhere gets anything done at all anymore. If you can't resist the pull of your favorite social media, try turning the Internet off, or if you need the Internet for work, get one of those software programs that allows you to block certain websites of choice. Check for Internet browsers that have this function also.
Answer only those phone calls that are important, and confine yourself to answering emails at a specific time of day. E-mail is a huge time-drain, so to reduce the risk of procrastination, elect a specific appointment with yourself for looking at the e-mails and turn off the instant notifications. Make it fun!
Experiencing things as fun -- finding the fun in them -- doesn't necessarily just come at you. 'Fun' doesn't fall from the sky. It is a quality that we bring to our experiences and our interactions with the world around us.
If you have a deadline, a project, or a goal that you are putting off, maybe it is feeling all too serious and too heavy? Shake things up. Sit down and don a beach hat and bright Hawaiian shirt. Or a football or ice hockey shirt. Or a Star Wars outfit. Can you sometimes take your work outside, into the daylight? Treat yourself to your favorite snack food, like fresh strawberries, or crackers with hummus. (Just make sure you don't overdo it.)
What about music? Music can support study and aid concentration -- but it has to be music you enjoy. Some people work really well to Mozart, while others get into the zone with Metallica. The trick is to not leave all the rewards for once you have completed the task or goal. Award yourself smaller treats as you complete tasks, and make sure you have something waiting for when you have finally completed it. What might be done in order to make the process more enjoyable in some way?
You do not really need to be stuck. Use these strategies and you'll find yourself moving forward in exactly the right direction.