How to Stop Procrastinating: Practical Tips

Jun 25, 2014 | Business, Motivation

“I’ll do it tomorrow.”

A saying that we say more than we would like to.

According to Fast Company, this attitude of “I’ll do it later” is a result of a mental and physical exhaustion from having to make so many decisions a day. We, as busy humans, have to make over 500 decisions a day, as per the report issued by Fast Company. From what to eat for lunch to which side of the street to walk on, our brain is always trying to choose the better option. However, research also suggests that the only way we would get around getting things done on a daily basis is, if we spend about five solid hours a day being productive. And as Fast Company points out, it gets tiring for the brain to procrastinate and not make decisions instantly, as it tends to get on temporary snooze mode.

Why You Procrastinate

Procrastination comes from not wanting to confront a situation that might weigh us down, like updating the resume, applying for a new job or replying to a text message. How many times have you read a message and thought, ‘i’ll reply later’? I do it all the time and then always regret it. Here are some of the reasons why you might put things off for later:

  • You’re afraid you might screw it up.
  • You find the task boring, unpleasant or too difficult.
  • You don’t ‘feel’ like doing it.

How to Stop Procrastinating

It’s not just a common trait amongst university students, but procrastinating is also seen in the boardroom. There are strategies you can follow that will help you step out of the worn out excuses and put you forward into taking immediate, efficient actions.

  1. Break your task into smaller tasks: The bigger the task seems, the more you’ll not want to do it. Break down the task at hand into smaller, more attainable steps so you don’t get overwhelmed. You’ll move along more swiftly and efficiently.
  2. Write it down: There is proof that when you write down your goals, you’re more likely to work towards them and tick them off your list. A goal without a deadline will merely make you put it off indefinitely.
  3. Reward yourself when you get tasks done: Every time something comes off the to-do list, reward yourself either with a fun activity with friends or a workout in the park. When you start acknowledging your progress and efforts, you’ll be tempted to get more things done on time.
  4. Be accountable: When other people know you have to do something, you’ll be forced to complete the task, just to save yourself from embarrassment. Have your housemate check-in on you or even your partner to call and ask if you’ve finished what you promised to finish. I also feel spelling out your goals on social media could be beneficial to a certain extent – tell you Twitter followers what you have to do, so your 300+ followers know it; trust me, it will work.
  5. Create a different environment: A new workspace will make you approach your task on-hand with more efficiency and productivity. Add some flowers to the work desk or take your laptop outdoors for a couple of hours and answer all the emails from the park – and see what a difference it makes in your productivity. Change things around every few weeks so you continue to get inspired.
  6. Eliminate all procrastination pit-stops: If Facebook is distracting you, then deactivate it for a few hours. If food keeps you distracted, then head to a cafe and work from there so there’s someone to serve you food and you don’t have to physically go and make it. Get rid of all the distractions around you and watch your productivity increase.

Read these now; apply them now and don’t procrastinate in following these.

What is your number one tip to not procrastinate?  



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