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10 Tips to Help You Beat Procrastination


Procrastination has been found to be the single greatest inhibitor of performance and success for both individuals and organizations. In fact, procrastination is considered the primary roadblock when it comes to peak performance, effective time management, and the achievement of personal or professional goals.

But what exactly is procrastination? Simply put, it’s the habit of leaving things undone until the last minute or putting it off indefinitely.

Did you know that this unhelpful habit impacts 70% of people on a regular basis? The good news is we all have the power to beat procrastination and get stuff done.

But before we jump, let’s look at why exactly we procrastinate in the first place…


Why do we procrastinate?

The why of procrastination can vary wildly from one person to the next. However, there are some consistent reasons we put things off, including:

1. Conflicting intentions

If you’re unsure of what you want to achieve and how you want to get there, you’re likely to be a procrastinator.

2. Fear of failure or fear of success

The fear of failure can stop us in our tracks and it's often something we're not even consciously aware of.

3. Lack of focus

If you’re juggling too many tasks and don’t know where to start, you may procrastinate as a way to buy yourself more time.

4. Lack of motivation

When we don’t feel inspired or see the value in what we’re doing, we tend to procrastinate.


Know the reasons why you procrastinate

Not only does knowing the reasons why you procrastinate help you understand yourself and your tendencies better, but it also provides you with insight into what you need to do to stop. So, if you tend to procrastinate due to conflicting intentions, it may be time to take a look at your values and clarify what you truly want out of life.

If fear of failure is holding you back, you need to find ways to get past that and start taking small steps towards your goals. 

If you’re lacking focus, you may need to work on prioritizing your tasks and setting realistic expectations for yourself. And if you’re feeling uninspired, try setting yourself smaller, more attainable goals that help you feel more motivated and engaged in your day-to-day activities.

Whichever category you fall into if you want to beat procrastination, then you first need to identify what’s driving your need to put things off. Once you do that, you can then go about establishing strategies and tactics that help you get things done on time, in a timely manner, and without that nagging voice in your head telling you to “just put it off for another day.”

With that in mind, here are…


10 Steps to Help You Beat Procrastination and Get Stuff Done

1. Set clear goals: 

We know that procrastination can be caused by conflicting intentions, but what can you do about it?

One of the best ways to combat procrastination caused by conflicting intentions is to set clear goals. When you know what you want out of life, how you want to get there, and what your values are, you’re less likely to feel lost or overwhelmed. You’ll have a clear path to follow and a sense of direction that will help keep you focused and engaged in your daily activities.

So, when you feel the urge to procrastinate coming on, take a few moments to sit down and clarify what you want out of life or the situation at hand. What are your core values? What do you want to achieve? What are the benefits of completing the task you're putting off?

2. Reframe your perspective on how you view the task: 

If you’re putting something off because you’re afraid of failing try re-framing your perspective on that task. Remind yourself that failure is a necessary part of success and that failing is the best way to learn and grow. In other words, if you’re not failing, then you’re not really pushing yourself to succeed. 

Mindset plays a key role here in how you frame things in your mind. Check out my post on positive mindset skills to steer your thoughts in a more productive way.

3. Make a plan and build habits: 

Another way to combat procrastination caused by conflicting intentions is to make a plan and build habits. 

One of the best ways to keep yourself on track and focused on what’s important is to make a plan. And when we make a plan, we’re really making a promise to ourselves to do something. So, when you make a plan and promise yourself that you will complete a particular task by a certain time, you’re less likely to procrastinate and more likely to follow through.

Procrastination can also be caused by a lack of motivation, especially when we feel uninspired by the tasks ahead of us. If you find yourself struggling to stay motivated, try setting smaller, more attainable goals that allow you to take action and see immediate results. Small daily wins can help build momentum and keep you motivated so that you’re less likely to procrastinate on the things that matter.

4. Set a deadline for the task: 

If you’re putting something off because you don’t know where to start, set a deadline for when you want to start that task. Tell yourself that you need X amount of time to get started on the task. Once you set a deadline, you’ll feel a sudden sense of urgency to get it done. You need to be realistic with this, set yourself up for success by working honestly with your schedule. And see point 3 above.

5. Use accountability tools: 

Another way to fight procrastination and stay motivated is to use accountability tools. These can range from simple daily or weekly check-ins with yourself, to connecting with an online accountability partner. 

Whatever tool you choose, it’s important to find one that fits your needs and keeps you motivated. So be sure to choose a tool that is right for you and your needs. There are many types of online tools out there that can help you stay accountable. Find one that works for you and make sure to use it!

6. Delegate the task if you can: 

If you’re putting something off because you’re overwhelmed by the task, ask yourself if you can delegate it to someone else. You might be surprised to find that someone else would be more than happy to take it off your plate! Or they maybe are just happy to help you out, either way, learning to ask for help can be a motivator to getting things done if you're not in it alone.

7. Break the task down into smaller pieces: 

If you’re putting something off because you’re not giving yourself enough time to get it done, break the task down into smaller pieces. This will help you feel less overwhelmed and better equipped to get the job done.

8. Focus on your “why”: 

If you’re putting something off because you’re not sure where to start, focus on your “why.” What drives you? What makes you excited? What do you want to accomplish in your life? What do you want to leave behind? What are your passions and what are your interests?

If you want to beat procrastination, then finding your “why" is a great place to start. Why are you doing what you are doing? Why are you working the job you are working? Why are you doing the things you are doing in your personal life? Find your “why” and it will help you drive the decisions you make and help you stay focused on what is really important in your life. It will also help you stay motivated and driven throughout the ups and downs of life.

9. Make a public commitment: 

If you’re putting something off because you’re afraid of letting others down, commit to it in public and make a promise to yourself that you will get it done. Accountability is a very strong motivator!

For example, you can make a public commitment to your friends or family members by telling them that you will complete the task at hand before a certain date. If you are a member of an online community this is a great place to make a public commitment. Ask other members to check back with you on your progress, or announce a deadline when you'll 'show' them your progress.

10. Don’t forget to celebrate:

Lastly, don’t forget to reward yourself! A lot of what we do is forward-looking and focused on achieving our goals. However, sometimes we forget to celebrate the little wins along the way. When you’re beating procrastination and getting stuff done, celebrate your successes along the way. When you complete a task, no matter how small it may seem, reward yourself in some small way. If you fail to make your deadline - no reward.


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