If you want to be successful, you can’t let procrastination control your life. Before long, it can spiral out of control and begin to ruin all the good things in your life, from your relationships to your career prospects to even your physical health and well-being. This article lists seven ways to stop procrastination before it takes over your life and ruins everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve. If you have bad habits that prevent you from succeeding, read on!
1) Understand The Enemy
When you recognize that procrastination is your enemy, then you start seeing it everywhere. You’ll even see hints of procrastination creeping into work emails and phone calls. Understanding why you’re putting things off can help you determine ways to stop procrastinating before it consumes your life. Then, set aside time for a brainstorming session with a trusted friend or colleague about potential solutions—even if that person isn’t part of your core team—you may be surprised at some of their ideas. Next, prioritize a list of tasks and devise a game plan for achieving each one, even if those goals feel really big at first.
2) Accept Your Fate
The truth is, procrastination isn’t something you can just beat. Sure, there are tricks that can help, but at its core, procrastination is a sign of deeper issues (some of which might be rooted in anxiety or depression). Don’t be ashamed if you have trouble getting things done—everybody has their own hang-ups. The goal here is to make peace with your situation and accept yourself for who you are. We all have our bad habits; some people bite their nails or drink too much coffee when they should be working. You might put off an assignment because you haven’t accepted that you don’t like doing homework and hate being challenged.
3) Take Baby Steps
The problem with procrastination is that we never start. And if we don’t start, we’ll never get finished. The solution? Be smart about what you tackle and take baby steps toward your goals. According to John Lee Dumas, host of Entrepreneur on Fire , a daily podcast featuring inspiring interviews with successful entrepreneurs (more than 1 million downloads per month):
You can do anything for 10 minutes. So find something small to focus on and make sure you actually follow through for at least 10 minutes.John Lee Dumas
4) Develop Good Sleep Habits
Having good sleep habits is a necessary step in curbing procrastination. When you’re well rested, you’ll be better equipped mentally and physically to manage stress levels, which can ultimately help you overcome your bad habits. Start by sticking to a schedule that fits your circadian rhythm, like going to bed at roughly the same time every night and waking up at roughly the same time every morning. Keep your room completely dark and quiet, so when bedtime rolls around, you’re ready for rest. Block out 15 minutes or so right before bed for a nightly wind-down routine that shuts down all screens (including smartphones) an hour before lights out.
5) Break Up Big Tasks into Manageable Chunks
It’s one thing to realize you need a change in your life—it’s another thing entirely to make that change. And while, yes, some changes can seem daunting and impossible, they don’t have to be. If you use procrastination as an excuse for why you can’t lose weight or stop smoking, for example, just break up these big tasks into manageable chunks: walk thirty minutes a day, eat more fruits and vegetables every week, quit smoking by talking with friends about why it will help.
6) Set Realistic Goals
If you’re serious about not procrastinating, you have to be realistic about your goals. It might feel really inspiring at first to say, I will never procrastinate again! But that’s setting yourself up for failure. The key is instead to take small steps toward your goal. If you want to know about the ways to stop procrastination on making dinner, decide that today you will only put two ingredients in a Crock Pot or think through one recipe on Pinterest. That way, if your goal-oriented brain feels tempted to check Facebook or watch TV instead of cooking, it can look back and see that hey—you did something productive! Now reward yourself for getting started (but maybe don’t reward yourself with a cookie).
7) Keep a Record of Progress
Keeping a record of your progress is critical when trying to stop procrastinating. The next time you feel like you’re putting off something that should be done, make a note of what you’re putting off and tell yourself that if you complete it then, you will reward yourself with whatever that is. Keeping a record can help keep you on track and it can also serve as motivation if there are areas where procrastination is rampant. For example, if you find that your tendency is to put things off until they have been looming over your head for too long, keep a record of things like unread emails or bills not paid – two examples of tasks people often postpone until they become overwhelming.
So these are the 7 ways to stop procrastination that can really help you, do share your experience in the comments below.