Do you procrastinate? I know I do. It’s one of my weaknesses. While I thrive on the pressure of deadlines, I do acknowledge this self-sabotaging behavior and have recently made some constructive changes that are providing me with positive results and allowing me to stay better on top of what needs to be accomplished in any given day from both a business and personal perspective.
The first step was to alter my mindset. In other words, I had to get my head in the game. I took an honest look at how my habits supported or stopped me from accomplishing what I set out to do. I gave some thought to my priorities and set myself up to succeed. I got rid of negative routines like checking my email first thing in the morning. I learned not to beat myself up but instead encouraged myself to make some positive changes and to be open to shifting gears in a way that allowed me to accomplish the tasks at hand now, instead of later.
Here are some stop procrastinating tips I’ve found particularly helpful…
Deal with fear by staying in the present
Remove the focus off of yourself and onto what you need to accomplish, who you are helping or what you want. Take the time to prepare for the task at hand. Believe in yourself. Let go of expectations. Forge through the fear and take that first step. Move forward one step at a time. You gain confidence by experience. Don’t allow fear to hold you back – take action and see what happens.
Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed
If you have a lot on your plate and you can’t delegate – break it down into manageable tasks. Get the details out of your head and into a plan of action. Start with one small step you know you can do and then commit even as little as 10 or 15 minutes to get started. Take action. The key is to set yourself up so you can succeed one small step at a time.
Seek the experience of someone who can help
If you are unsure of what to do, call in someone with experience. Don’t spin your wheels (and countless hours and energy) trying to figure something out yourself when you can seek the help of someone in the know. Find the help you need and take action.
Push through things you don’t enjoy doing
If you put something off, primarily because you hate doing it, you need to either delegate it or to just set to it and get it done ASAP. Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and just dig in. Try to get your most dreaded tasks accomplished earlier in the day so they are behind you and you can move forward in a positive manner. Focus on how great you will feel once your task(s) is behind you.
Understand the key action steps you need to take
Take a serious look at what you need to get achieve today and what actions you must take in order to accomplish all you need to do. Keep it simple. Focus on your primary action steps and don’t allow yourself to get side tracked. Stay focused. Imagine how good you will feel at the end of the day when you have accomplished all you set out to do.
Forgo multi-tasking and focus on one task at a time
When you focus completely on the goal at hand, you increase your efficiency 100 percent. Set a time limit for your task, accomplish it and move on. We are more productive when we are working against the clock. Setting time limits and adhering to them will be a work in progress but it is well worth the effort once you see the improvement you’re making.
Keep moving forward
Unlike standing still, taking action propels you forward. It leads to knowledge, experience and success. The more action you take, the better the results.
Make yourself a priority
You are important. Practice self-care by giving yourself permission to take breaks and to rejuvenate between tasks. Pushing through when you are exhausted is counterproductive. Regular exercise and a good night’s sleep needs to be a priority.
Pick one task and get started
Select a task you’ve been putting off like clearing the clutter from your dining room table that has become a catch all for everyone’s stuff. Set a timer and get moving. Trust me, you’ll feel great when the nagging task is a thing of the past.