Nothing can send you on a guilt trip faster than habitual procrastination.
I was a master procrastinator and couldn’t shake my ill habit for years.
I was guilty of constant procrastination.
The chances are, you are too.
I started the morning with the full intention of tackling one task, only to put it off till later that week. Too often, those unfinished tasks piled up high on my desk, only to guilt me even more.
If you are struggling with it too, it’s a vicious cycle that makes us all feel powerless and inadequate.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be the way.
And there is a way to beat it.
This is exactly how I beat it.
If you are ready to put an end to your procrastination once and for all, follow these 3 simple steps that cured mine.
Let’s dig in and stop procrastinating for good.
How To Stop Procrastinating
Pick One Thing
If you are a habitual procrastinator, the chances are you have several things you’ve been putting off.
From small minor tasks that you don’t know why you can’t complete to a big ticket item, the chances are, you have a list.
Decide one task you are going to tackle.
Pick only one that’ll give the biggest relief when you complete it and affect the bottom line the most.
According to a study, researchers understand procrastination as “short-term mood repair”. A basic breakdown of self-emotion regulation is the leading cause of procrastination.
To put it simply, there is a mental block that makes you shy away from starting the tasks.
Looking at a pile of tasks like that is clearly not very motivating.
It’ll quickly drain you of your energy and destroy any chance you have at self-control.
The only way to face it head-on is to tackle one task at a time.
So, pick one task you’ll complete and when. Assign a deadline and block out enough time to complete it.
If you find yourself getting distracted, you can simply return to the one task and get yourself back on track.
Do Nothing Else
Procrastination becomes far easier when you have other activities that can distract you.
Instead of completing your research paper, you may decide to start dusting your desk.
Or it may be that you put off working on the next sales pitch to go take your car to a car wash.
We are too clever to come up with legitimate-sounding distractions to allow ourselves to procrastinate.
One effective way to stay on track is to not let anything else come between you and your task.
It’s the decision to work on the task or do nothing.
If you aren’t motivated to work, don’t give yourself an alternative task just to distract yourself. Instead, only allow yourself to do nothing.
Here is the most critical part. Just start.
Don’t give yourself too much time to think about the project before you start.
The more you give in to your feelings and emotions, the harder it is to overcome them.
Procrastination is truly at its worst before you start.
Too often, we overthink and overanalyze the tasks at hand, only to let those thoughts paralyze us from starting.
When it comes to procrastination, you must learn to think less.
The less you think, the easier it is to start.
So shut down all your internal noise and just start. Once you start, your perception of the task may change, and you’ll quickly notice it’s not as bad as you imagined it to be.