10 Tips To Kick The Procrastination Habit
Posted by: Ronda Devereaux | April 4, 2014 | 5:44 pm
So as an end to my procrastination series (and the bought of procrastination I was experiencing), I thought I would come up with some tips to kick that old procrastination habit.
10 ways to kick the procrastination habit!
1. Personal values development.
Take the time to find out what you really want in life (haven’t I asked that question before?), and what your personal values are. Do you want more time, more money, better health, greater self esteem and confidence, more fulfilling relationships, a different career, to set up a business? When we procrastinate it’s often because what we are planning to do is not really aligned with what we truly want. We may be scared of our skills (or perceived lack of) or fear ridicule from others.
2. Make health and high energy levels a priority.
If our health isn’t good we are less likely to have the energy and enthusiasm needed to make the changes in our lives and it becomes easier (and necessary if you’re very ill) to procrastinate. So ensure that you have a nourishing diet, sleep well, exercise and meditate. Incidentally, it is thought that regular meditation helps delay the worst effects of the aging process.
3. Visualize your life without procrastination.
See and feel the benefits in your life if you didn’t procrastinate. What could you do and achieve? Begin to act as if you’re not a procrastinator. Write down, draw, imagine your life as a film. Use affirmations to help you.
4. Duct Tape the Gremlin.
You know, that little voice which runs on auto in your head – that dismisses any idea that you might have – duct tape its mouth shut. Its the one that says things like “I’m not in the mood” “I don’t have time” “I can’t do this”. Stop running on auto, replace the “should’s” “oughts” “have tos” with “want to” “desire”. You have a choice (you always have a choice). Acknowledge your choices and quiet the Gremlin. Again, using affirmations can help you replace the Gremlin voice with more positive alternatives.
5. Over commitment.
Saying “yes” to everything, often leaves you feeling tired and without the energy to focus on what is most important to you. This leads to procrastination as projects and tasks are dropped and the queue begins to build. Identify what is most important to you and only focus on those areas which will make the biggest difference to your life. It will enhance your focus and motivation.
6. Set personal and professional goals.
It’s hard to motivate yourself when you don’t have a good idea of what you want to accomplish. So when setting goals think about what you want to achieve in the short term and long term. Techniques for doing so include the SMART strategy. S = specific M = measurable A= Action R = Realistic T = Time based. Make a list or a spreadsheet to get organized.
7. Prioritize Your Goals.
Develop a plan or schedule to help you reach your goals. In doing so you will begin to identify whether some elements need to be included or enhanced or dropped completely. Also remember to be flexible, revisit your goals regularly and modify or drop if appropriate. Just because a goal is written down doesn’t mean that it is set in stone!
8. Divide and conquer.
Once you’ve prioritized your goals, divide them into smaller chunks. Sometimes we procrastinate because a project seems so large that it overwhelms us and puts us into a state of paralysis – you don’t know where to start, so you don’t start at all! Approach each project – especially large ones – on a step by step basis.
9. Reward yourself.
Once you start to complete tasks, reward yourself by giving yourself something that you want. So instead of relaxing or enjoying that spa visit before you complete a task, do it afterwards and make it a reward for you.
10. Just get started.
No excuses. Don’t wait until you’re “in the mood”. The mood never comes! It is a clever camouflage and a delaying tactic. What you resist persists! Start with what is easiest, so that you experience immediate success, which will give you the fuel and motivation to upgrade and take on larger projects.
Do any of the above and you’ll be well on your way to Kicking the Procrastination Habit. And if you’re procrastinating over doing any of the above – then remember that life is the biggest deadline of all!