Procrastination is something many of us struggle with. We know we should start that project, clean the house, or do our taxes, but we continually put it off instead. Procrastination can have serious consequences, so overcoming it is important for achieving our goals. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the main causes of procrastination and actionable strategies you can use to finally stop procrastinating and get things done.
Why We Procrastinate
To beat procrastination, we first need to understand why we do it. Some key reasons people procrastinate include:
Fear of failure - You put off starting something because you’re worried about not doing it perfectly or messing up. Perfectionism fuels procrastination.
Task aversion - The task seems boring, difficult or anxiety-provoking, so you avoid it. This could apply to chores or important projects.
Lack of motivation - You don’t have enough urgency or desire to complete the task, so you don’t prioritize it.
Poor time management - Disorganization and lack of scheduling lead to procrastination. You aren’t sure what to work on when.
Lack of focus - Distractions like social media and cell phones make it hard to concentrate. This feeds procrastination.
Tips to Stop Procrastinating
The good news is there are effective strategies to overcome procrastination. Here are some top tips:
Break it down - Divide big projects into smaller, more manageable tasks so they seem less intimidating.
Set time limits - Give yourself a set chunk of time to work on a task, like 30 minutes. A timer can help.
Schedule it - Plot out when you’ll complete tasks in your calendar. This makes them concrete plans rather than nebulous to-dos.
Remove distractions - When it's time to focus, put away your phone and disable email notifications.
Reward yourself - After completing a task, treat yourself to something you enjoy like a snack or short break.
Get accountable - Share your goals and deadlines with a friend or coworker who can check your progress.
Be mindful - Check in periodically on what you're doing. If you catch yourself procrastinating, gently bring yourself back on track.
Forgive yourself - Perfection isn't possible. Don't criticize yourself for procrastinating but simply refocus when it happens.
Take Action to Stop Procrastination
Procrastination is a tough habit to break, but very possible with some discipline. The strategies above can help you kick the procrastination habit for good. Avoid letting perfectionism, task aversion, lack of focus and other factors sabotage your productivity. Instead, take steps like breaking down big projects, removing distractions and rewarding yourself for progress made. With consistent effort, you can successfully stop procrastination and get that to-do list done at last.