Oh my gosh! The deadline is tomorrow and I haven’t done a blessed thing yet! Sound familiar? Yeah, we’ve all been there. We have an important assignment that needs doing and we put it off in favor of something more appealing. It’s the bane of existence for every student, writer, business associate and the like everywhere.
But there are in fact ways around the constant habit of postponing or delaying tasks, and they’re fairly simple to master. Here are 5 ways to end your procrastination for good, assuming you’ll get to them straight away.
How to Stop Procrastination Now
1. Figure Out How much It’s Going To Cost You
Think of your time in terms of its dollar value. Have you been putting off taking a continuing education class that would rev up your resume? Think of the job you could land or the promotion you’d earn if you had that extra skill set. Get your mental calculator and figure just how much salary you are missing out on? Don’t feel like calling the bug guy for your yearly inspection? How much money is it going to cost you to completely replace the deck those termites are secretly destroying?
2. Make a List
The act of writing your tasks on a piece of paper is the momentum you need to actually get things done. Prioritize your daily list by urgency, and be sure to cross off each task as you finish. Simply acknowledging the things you’ve completed gives you the push to continue on through the rest of your list.
3. Get Your House In Order
This includes your office. By spending a little time organizing your files, bills, budget and contacts, you will save precious time and energy down the road. How much time do you waste looking for that one file that ends up at the bottom of a desk drawer? Having an efficient home and office takes the stress out of constantly feeling like you are out of sorts.
4. Make Yourself a Priority
Find time to shut off the phone and close the door. The majority of your day consists of listening to and supporting others, so set aside some time to focus on only yourself and your “must-do” tasks. You’ll be a better friend, parent, or spouse when you can move forward knowing that you have taken care of your daily business.
5. Just Say No
Procrastination often stems from the overwhelming feeling of having too much to do. Scale back on your commitments and practice telling people, “no.” If you find it hard at first, start out by declining one of the next three things you’re asked to do. Work from there until you find a balance of external commitments and enough time and energy to get your personal business done.
Bonus: 5 More Ways on How to Stop Procrastinating
6. Break Your Work into Segments
You’ve got a thirty-page paper due next week? Well, it’s no wonder you’re hesitating — that sounds ridiculous! Wait, what if you broke it down from thirty pages straight up due in seven days to five pages a day, instead? Five pages a day doesn’t sound so bad, does it? No, it sounds quite manageable when you put it like that. By breaking down larger projects into bite-sized chunks, the ultimate goal doesn’t seem as intimidating, making the project easier to get to.
7. Change Your Environment
You sit at the same desk in the same house day after day, seven days a week. We know you love your home and you feel comfortable there, but honestly, it does get a little samey after a while, doesn’t it? Before you know it, you’re getting bored and goofing off on social media instead of getting your work done. So how do you get around this? Easy. Pack up and go somewhere else for a little while.
Whether it’s that trendy new cafe down the street or your favorite little pub downtown, wherever you can go for a brief change of scenery will do wonders for your work ethic. And if this place starts to get boring after a bit, then change it up — try somewhere new. Surprise yourself with new inspiration everywhere you look.
8. Keep Detailed and Specific Deadlines
If you find yourself losing track of your work because you’ve gotten overwhelmed with it, it might do you some real good to sit down and write down all of the due dates. By keeping track of when each assignment is needed by, you’ll become more organized.
Get a calendar and write down the due dates on it. Hang it by your bed. This way, every time you wake up, you’ll see it and be reminded. And as you finish, you can cross these dates off as completed. This will give you a sense of satisfaction at having completed an assignment. It’ll also give you something to look forward to.
9. Get Rid of Your Distractions
This one may be a bit difficult. If nothing else is working, then you may have to just get rid of what’s distracting you. For many, it’s social media. For others, it’s apps and games. Your phone is right there, within easy reach. If you’re like some people and require it for work, then you’ll just have to clean out the distracting bits. You can always reinstall them once your work is completed, but right now, they’re a nuisance. Your only hope is to completely free yourself from all distractions.
10. Get a Buddy
What’s the best cure for procrastination? Another procrastinator. No, we’re serious. Find a buddy who shares your problem of procrastination, or else someone you relate to. Tell them your goals, and ask for theirs. From here on in, hold each other accountable. Demand to see new work and don’t take no for an answer.
If you’re being held accountable by someone less lenient than yourself, you’re sure to see some progress. Plus, now you’re in the struggle together. Going it alone is no fun, but going it together gets the job done quicker.
Procrastination is a major problem for anyone working for themselves or for others. There are lots of reasons why we put things off and put things off. Unfortunately, we’re not always good at pinpointing those reasons or learning from them. This is why it’s important to fight it while we’re able to recognize it. Any one of these methods could work wonders for your little tendency. But again, it’s a matter of actually getting up and doing them. So what are you waiting for? Hop to it!
What works for you? Leave a comment and let me know.