How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done in 10 Steps
Procrastinating is when you push the deadline for a particular task to another time in the future. Everyone procrastinates at one point in their lives. Sometimes procrastination is inevitable due to certain unforeseen circumstances.
Some people procrastinate a lot more than others. This can be dangerous when it becomes too frequent. If you are always procrastinating, it would eventually get to a point where it affects your ability to achieve anything meaningful.
It is important that we all learn how to stop procrastinating and get things done. This will make sure that we are able to efficiently achieve our set goals at the right time. It will also prevent us from getting into tight uncomfortable situations that stem from procrastinating.
1. Figure Out Why You’re Procrastinating
Take time to analyze yourself. There could be a certain reason why you keep procrastinating. If you can discover what it is, you can face the issue squarely and address it. Sometimes, fear of the task in front of you or lack of self-confidence can make you want to push a task to a later date.
You might think that giving yourself more time could allow you to build more confidence or face your fears. Whatever reason you might have for procrastinating, discover them first so that you can address them.
2. Make a To-Do List
This is where the “sticky notes above your work desk” come into play. It’s good to have a nicely written out list of goals/tasks to be accomplished.
When you have about five listed tasks and you start crossing them out one by one on paper, it makes you more motivated to finish up on the remaining tasks. You should try this if you have not been doing so. I can personally testify to the impact it has made on my work.
3. Always Complete the Hardest Thing First
I highly recommend facing the most difficult task first. When you tackle the most difficult task first, it makes all the remaining tasks seem like “nothing.”
This is because you now have a lot more self-confidence in your abilities. You can throw this in the mix with the Pomodoro technique and see how it works out.
4. Consider the Pomodoro Technique
This technique makes achieving your set goals less boring. It involves you setting some time aside to relax and do something fun before returning back to work. This way, you don’t have to sit at whatever task you’re trying to accomplish all day long.
Take these breaks at 25-minute intervals. Each break can span up to 5 minutes in length. You can adapt the Pomodoro technique in your work to lower your chances of procrastination.
5. Have Clear Goals
Anyone that doesn’t have any set goals cannot achieve anything. The first step in combating procrastination is setting a goal to be achieved by a certain time. You should make sure that you put conscious effort into achieving this goal within the set period.
6. Be Fearful
Fear can be a source of motivation sometimes. There are times that I have felt like neglecting a particular task till God knows when, but then I think about all the not so nice things that would happen if I failed to complete the task in time.
This has pushed me to meet several deadlines and achieve set goals. I’m sure nobody enjoys being scolded by their boss. You most certainly don’t want to lose your job either. So, think about the scary repercussions of postponing your work. It could give you the boost you need.
7. Have Deadlines
Sometimes you just have to be hard on yourself. You don’t have to wait for your boss to scold you before you complete your work. Give yourself a mandatory deadline for the completion of the task. You have to make sure that you take the deadline seriously.
Make yourself believe that failing to meet the deadline could be the end of the world. If you can commit to such a level of seriousness, no deadline would ever be too close.
8. Accept That Somebody Has to Do It
Sometimes, the only reason you can give yourself to complete a task in time is that you just have to do it. You have to take responsibility for the task given to you and face it with all intent to finish in time.
This is usually what being a grow-up entails. You cannot wait for someone else to push you toward set goals. You just have to own up to your responsibilities.
9. Exercise Regularly
There are times when you’ve sat at the work desk for a long period of time. You might start feeling mentally stressed and fatigued. You might have lost the vibe to continue with the job. At times like this, you want to postpone completing the job to a later date. Try taking a break from the task, not to go sleep but to exercise.
A good exercise will get your mind running at full capacity. It will also boost your morale and rekindle your vibe to complete the task. Sometimes, a good exercise makes you feel like you can accomplish anything.
10. Reward Yourself
Everyone loves a nice reward for a task completed. Rewarding yourself for completing a task can serve as an incentive to boost your morale.
Such rewards can be in the form of a nice meal at your favorite restaurant, or a ticket to watch your favorite baseball team play. Basically, anything that gets your blood pumping for work.
I believe that you now have tangible advice on how to stop procrastinating and get things done. Remember that you need to identify the possible reasons why you keep procrastinating and address them. You should also learn how to own up to responsibilities as someone who has been placed in charge of completing certain tasks.
You should put yourself in your boss’s shoes and look at things from his/her perspective. Ask yourself how you would feel if your subordinate always fails to deliver their assigned tasks on time. You would definitely not smile at this. Try to be fair to your boss and to yourself also.
Procrastination is an enemy of progress.