How to Stop Procrastinating. The 4 Tips You Need.
Have you ever wondered how to stop procrastinating? How many of you have had this thought “oh, I’ll just put it off until tomorrow and then I’ll start”?
How many of you are still waiting until tomorrow to start?
I am the worst procrastinator on the planet. Well maybe not the worst but I needed to know how to stop procrastinating. It has been an issue in the past both with work and personal life. I realised earlier this year that I need to do something about it or I’d end up getting further and further behind with work. I did some research to find out how to stop procrastinating and came up with 4 essential strategies. I have been testing them and if if stick to them, I’m way more productive.
To start with you need to realise that procrastination is not set in stone, you can change and from my experience, it’s quite easy.
THE 5 MINUTE MIRACLE.
This is simply genius and when you implement this into your life you will get so much more done.
You have 5 minutes right? Of course you do you’re reading this blog, so what is 5 minutes more of your life?
It’s called the Zeigarnik effect. What you want to do is ask your self a simple question “What is it that I can do in the next 5 minutes that will get me closer to my goals?” when you pick something grab your phone and hit the timer counting down from 5 minutes. Research shows that when you start something you’re much more likely to finish it.
I’ve been using this strategy at work and home for the last few months and it helps me every time. I write a to-do list and there’s usually so much in it that it seems ludicrous that anything I can do will even start to make a dent in it. However, If i just pick something and start my phone timer for five minutes I can make a good start. Most of the time, once that first five minutes is up, I’m in the groove and can just keep on truckin’!
It’s all about just getting started, after that you’re well on your way to success.
Procrastination is weird, our minds make taking action seem like such a big daunting task, when really it isn’t. Delaying things by a day seems like no big deal at all, until you look down at the calendar and a whole school year has gone past and you have a stack of homework or tests that still need marking/grading. Imagine what you could have accomplished in that amount of time if you just powered through?
Don’t get me wrong this is no easy feat, but if you combine the next 3 tips, you won’t be wasting time, you’ll be using it to your advantage.
DIG TO THE ROOTS.
The second tip is to find the root cause of your procrastination. For me, 95% of the time it’s because I don’t think I can actually complete all the things I have to, that there are just too many tasks on my to-do list.
This is the one that really got me from being a victim to my to-do list to being the victor!
Write down 3 things it is that you’ve been waiting to get done but haven’t.
- Grade/Mark some tests.
- Tidy a room in your house.
- Investigate some extra income ideas. (Look at my blog post on extra income).
Now that you’ve written them down take a look at each one and think about them, think about why you haven’t completed them. I bet that for each one you came across a negative thought, what was that negative thought? Think about how you can change that negative thought and think of 3 positive ones instead, forming a new belief. Positive thoughts have 10x more power over the negative ones and when you start thinking good things about what you need to get done, I promise you they will get done.
Ice that cake!
The final tactic that I’ve started doing that really is the icing on the proverbial cake. Try it, it’s had a huge effect on me.
Simply visualise what will happen if you don’t complete a task, what happens if you don’t complete it?
-Will I regret it?
-If I don’t grade/mark those tests, what effect will that have on me? What effect will it have on my changes of promotion? What effect will it have on my stress levels and ultimately, what effect will it have on my homelife?
-If I don’t start tidying the house what effect will that have on me? Stress, family arguments, further deepening of the feeling that you are drowning in jobs?
–If I don’t investigate how to earn a bit extra cash, what am I going to do?
Thinking about what could happen if you don’t follow through with your goals could possibly be exactly what you need to get started. You will have no choice but want to complete these things.
Just remember if I can do it so can you! Go and try one or more of these tips. After you exit this page I want you to grab a pen and paper and start to really nail down what you need to get done, If you have multiple tasks on this list don’t be discouraged, focus on one at a time, pick the one that you’ve been holding off the longest or the one that is the most important. Kill the giant before taking on all his minions!
Now that you’re know how to stop procrastinating, its up to you to get out there and succeed!
If you have any thoughts on this or anything to add please use the boxes below or send me an email.
Other posts that maybe relevant are:
I also found an article in TeacherToolkit on Strengthening willpower to improve well being which may be useful to you.
Thanks for your time.
Take it easy,