Virtually everybody procrastinates at some time or another. But taking action, however unappealling the task, is the number one route to success. Completing tasks is great for your motivation but there are always things you might not want to do, even when you know it is totally necessary. The good news is it is possible to avoid living like that. You can change the way you look at things and make procrastination a thing of the past.
There are all kinds of reasons why people procrastinate. Some do it because they don’t like the task, others because other things mean more to them, and still other people might be struggling with depression, sickness, or just feeling down. Sometimes it can be as simple as just not knowing where to start. No matter what your reasons for procrastinating, you can take control and get things done.
Identify What Really Matters to You
It’s important to be able to do things that you want to do, but the reality is that someone has to take out the garbage, wash the dishes, or complete that long-winded business report. There should be a healthy balance between things you must do and things you do simply for pleasure.
Of course, what you like to do won’t necessarily be the same as what someone else enjoys, and that’s just fine. Some people like to clean their homes. Others prefer to pay someone to clean so they can do something else. Neither person is wrong, nor should they try to convince the other person to change. They are both focused on what they enjoy doing.
If you want to stop procrastinating, your first step is to determine:
• What you absolutely have to do
• What others have told you that you have to do
• What you can get others to do for you – either volunteer or paid
When you’ve been totally truthful with yourself and worked out what really matters to you, you can focus on the tasks that you simply must get done.
Give Yourself A Treat
Ensure you give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve something. In other words, avoid doing a lot of tasks that you don’t enjoy without treating yourself.
It’s important that you reward yourself for doing things you don’t like doing. The reward should be simple and realistic, but also something that you can look forward to. A treat can be anything from a scoop of ice cream to your favorite movie to taking a walk under the stars – whatever brings you joy.
For example, you can tell yourself, “When I finish cleaning the kitchen, I’ll read another chapter in that book I enjoy.” You’ll be more likely to finish cleaning faster if you know you can do something fun afterward.
More Tips to Stop Procrastinating
Rewarding yourself is a great way to stop procrastinating and making unwanted tasks more enjoyable so that you’re more inclined to get them done also works.
Try these techniques to convince yourself to complete those tasks:
1. Get others involved. Need to paint your house? Get your family or friends involved and then enjoy some time together afterward. Order a pizza. Watch a movie. Play in the yard. Do something that makes you feel joyful and connected. This way, you can actually look forward to it!
2. Do one thing each day. Divide the task up into more manageable bits. For example, rather than cleaning your entire house in one day, just clean one or two rooms each day, on a schedule of your choosing. When you do that, the smaller tasks seem much easier to handle and you won’t spend your entire weekend cleaning.
3. Set realistic deadlines and goals. If you set unrealistic goals, it’s easy to get discouraged. Avoid discouragement by setting goals and deadlines that are attainable. Your confidence and motivation soar when you know you can achieve what you set out to accomplish.
Overcoming procrastination takes work and some time, but it’s something that anyone can do. Start right now – make a commitment to yourself to stop procrastinating and start moving forward with your life.
You can take control, and you’ll be glad you did as you find yourself reaching your goals and enjoying more free time. You’ll also find that tasks you avoided become just routine and you don’t fret over them anymore.