• Chantal Porter

How to Stop Yourself from Procrastinating

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

It isn't easy, is it? It seems as if once you've started, there's simply no stopping it. What am I referring to? The ever present habit that holds us back from our dreams, Procrastination. Procrastination could be described as that force which prevents you from following through on what you set out to do. It essentially involves carrying out the less urgent task in preference to more urgent ones or doing more pleasurable things in place of the less pleasurable.


Procrastination is counter-productive, distracting and is often caused by a lack of self-confidence, boredom, apathy and poor decision-making. According to Association for Psychological Science, there are two major types of procrastinators Chronic procrastinators and Situational procrastinators. Chronic Procrastinators are not biased to completing to tasks, they have an issue getting any task at all completed. A Situational procrastinator on the other hand, generally prioritizes their delays based on the type of task.


Since procrastination is the gap between intention and action; success and failure, joyful celebrations and excruciating regret, here are some tips that should help you stop procrastination.


Sidenote: This is not one of those articles on how to stop being lazy. Procrastination is quite different from laziness.


How to stop Procrastinating


Be honest with yourself and tackle procrastination directly


Take some time to find out why you procrastinate. Be brutally honest with yourself because you need to understand why you are procrastinating in order to be able to stop it. This self-evaluation will help you find your purpose. And to find purpose in life is to achieve clarity. So whether it is poor decision making, the idealistic pursuit of perfection, fear of success and its consequences, self-doubt or poor organization, once you have found out the reason for procrastinating, you are halfway towards tackling procrastination.


Strategic Planning


Organize everything you need to do in the immediate future in a practical, strategic plan that makes your workload much more manageable. This plan will guide you through the work that you have to do.


Breaking down tough jobs into easy pieces make it easier to stop procrastination because you will be able to easily achieve tough tasks that might overwhelm. For one, you will feel better as you see the pieces falling into place as you work. But a strategic plan is not enough if you are lacking discipline. You must also build a sense of momentum by adding specific deadlines to your tasks. Take things a step further by taking strategic breaks that help you focus and keep distractions away.


Do the Most Difficult Tasks First (Eating the Frog!)


Find out when you are most productive. That’s when you should tackle your most difficult tasks! The longest journey is conquered one step at a time. Regardless of how daunting that task that you find challenging might be, you will probably counter it when you take things one step at a time.


Once you are able to handle the most challenging task, the less difficult tasks will be easier to handle because of the confidence that you get from handling your most feared task. Each successful completion of a task builds confidence, consistency a resistance to procrastination.


Be More of a Realist


One of the reasons for procrastination is the pursuit of perfection. We are in an imperfect world so while it’s great to be good at the things you do, an unnecessary obsession with perfection can lead you to procrastination.


Be as realistic as possible. Focus on maintaining momentum, finishing individual tasks and completing the project as soon as possible.


Be Accountable


Getting motivated is one of the best ways to stop procrastinating. Hold yourself accountable for your decisions. Better still; get a colleague, friend or family member who can regularly check in with you. Accountability helps a lot. The best part is that there is someone to celebrate with you when you achieve your goals!


Setup Your Designated Workspace


A designated workspace allows you to truly focus on your tasks without distraction. Your planning and other steps taken to avoid procrastination will all come to naught if you do not have a designated workspace where you can truly get to work.


Although most people know that they probably should be doing certain things instead of procrastinating, they find it difficult to stop procrastination because they are either faced with overwhelming tasks or find it difficult getting motivated. Like with every other challenge in life, procrastination can be stopped once you know how. I hope you find these tips useful.




Stop Procrastinating and take Action


CPwRites-To the Future You!


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."-Allen Saunders

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