8 Ways To Stop Procrastination
When I recall some conversation I had with my friends and clients, procrastination seems to be a common enemy to many. When face with this enemy, some knew what to do but didn't do anything, some felt inadequate therefore didn't do anything as well.
When you are face with procrastination, chances are the tasks are not urgent but may be important. It's ok not to do these tasks because no one is going to get hurt, no major downside even if you don't do it. But if you do it, your life may improve tremendously, there may be major upside after completing these tasks. However, you just didn't bring yourself to complete these task.
There are strategies to overcome procrastination. If you google it, you will find many. We will discuss some strategies in this post too. Also I like to share the reasons of your procrastination. I feel to totally overcome procrastination, understanding where it comes from will surely support you.
You procrastinate because you are too COMFORTABLE. You had enough to live with though not enough to be extremely well-off. You probably have an average paying job. Even if you don't do something extraordinary, you will not be worse off.
There are dreams that you like to achieve. But remaining at status quo doesn't hurt you. It's not like you are in a survival mode where you have to fight.
You are mostly not satisfied with the current lifestyle. You feel it can be better. At the same time, you don't want to do anything that could disrupt this lifestyle. You are comfortable but not satisfied.
One thing I can guarantee. Your comfort zone will one day be uncomfortable. Don't wait till that day.
Most will be unconscious about this point. It may be an underlying belief where you don't notice.
It's a way of feeling powerful. Delaying a task until the eleventh hour allows some to gain power. Upon completing the task in that short time gave them a sense of power and satisfaction.
Unconsciously it becomes a source of their power. Then it becomes a habit. Any tasks that are pass to you will get delayed till the very end. Fortunately, you will surely complete the tasks.
In this case, you may never achieve your dreams in life. Because they usually don't have a deadline or you can adjust the deadline backwards. If there's no deadline, there is no eleventh hour that will drive you. This will be the limitation.
You are afraid and scared of losing. You are afraid to lose your security, reputation and savings.
Doing something different from your normal routine moves you from ordinary to outstanding. A hunter will shoot the bird that raises its head. You are afraid that you will be shot. True enough, there is a possibility that you will be put down, chopped down by others. But are you contended just to be ordinary and lead a risk-free life?
Knowing the typical reasons for procrastination, do you identify which reasons are stopping you? Now knowing you may fall under the 3 reasons mentioned above, will you like to overcome it? Before reading the strategies to overcome procrastination, first you must decide that you want to get rid of procrastination. So have you decided?
1. Break It Down
You must have read or heard about breaking down to smaller bite sizes. I shall not go too much into details on this. Basically, break your big dreams into smaller chucks to make it easier to bite and swallow.
2. Creating New Structure
Human being are habitual creature. When we get into a habit, it will be hard to kick it off. The question is are you creating habits that end procrastination?
Creating a support structure helps in forming a supportive habit. Being my own boss provides me with ultimate freedom. The downside is I can do anything I want anytime, anywhere. That resulted in me procrastinating. My team then create a support structure to overcome this. All of us have to be in office from 10:00am - 7:00pm.
The first month was a struggle to follow this structure. There are times that I wanted to change the structure. But I hanged on to it. Fortunately by second month onwards, I'm going to office with ease. No more struggles in the morning, I wake up without alarm clock nowadays. This structure got me to be much more efficient, and reduce procrastination.
Create a structure that support you and stick with it for a month. By month 2, you will have created a new habit that supports you in overcoming procrastination.
3. Hang Out With Action Figures
Yes, action figures! Nope, they are not characters from movies or cartoons. They are people who take action consistently. They are people who make things happen. Hang out with them, they can influence you to move your butt. You hope to rub off some of their action powder onto you when you hang around them.
Also the times when you procrastinate and not moving forward, these action figures can kick you and ask more of you.
4. Get Out of Your Comfortable Environment
When you are too comfortable in your bedroom, move out. When you get too comfortable on your work desk, shift out. At times, we get comfortable with our working environment which then get us to be lazy.
Change to a new sit. Change to a new desk. Change a new environment. Sometimes, I moved out of my usual work space just to get things going. Sometimes I completed a task on a bus. I purposely bring my laptop and starting typing away on a bus. Two reasons that overcome procrastination. An environment that is out of my usual and battery life of my laptop. I have to complete the task before the battery runs out. It's an experience to complete tasks on a bus, try it.
5. Mastermind Group
Gather 4 - 6 like-minded friends or associates to form a mastermind group. The objective is to support one another's growth by being accountable. This group meet regularly to share on each other's progress. Anyone who falls behind or procrastinate can get warning or even fine depending on the gradient of your group.
My mastermind group supported my growth for almost 3 years. The group kept me focus on my dreams and goals. They are with me and being supportive when I was depressed. There aren't any judgements from them, that made me feel extremely safe and comfortable.
6. Stay Positive
Positive people achieve much more than negative people. Stay on top of your game by being optimistic about things. Positivity allows you to see possibility. From possibility, there are a higher chance that you will take some form of action and do something on your dreams.
Negativity gets you to see problems. From problems, most people rather not act since taking action is going to create more problems.
Be positive by reading self-help books, attend seminars, network with positive people, listen to audio book, exercise regularly, have fun in life, walk in the park. If you have other ways of staying positive, do share it with us.
7. Acknowledge Yourself
Saying thank you to yourself gets you into a space of appreciating YOU. It gets you to reflect and look at the nice things that has happened in your life. It gets you to want to create more out of your life because you have been creating beautiful things in your life. But most people do not acknowledge themselves for the nice things in their life.
Imagine you put in effort to help a close friend. And this friend didn't even say thank you. How will you feel? Bring this analogy to yourself. You put in so much effort, but you never thank yourself. How will you feel?
Start your engine going by just acknowledging yourself. See the magic works.
8. Write It Down
Out of sight, out of mind. When you don't see your dreams, goals, tasks constantly; they will be out of your mind very soon. So write them down, post them somewhere you can see easily.
Or make it a habit to revisit them weekly to remind yourself. Beside reminding, this also gets you to check in on the tasks. This is a great way to keep track of your progress too.
These 8 ways are from my own experiences. Do practice them, because I know they work. Do feel free to share with us any other ways that work for you. This will support other readers, and the whole community can grow as a whole.