Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into to some degree, but if we keep procrastinating over a long period of time, it can drastically impact our results. “How to stop procrastination now?” – if you tend to ask yourself this question, then this article might be perfect for you because I’ll provide you with some tips that could help you understand and overcome procrastination.
What is Procrastination?
Procrastination can be defined as the avoidance of doing something that needs to be done.
Everyone puts things off sometimes, but procrastinator habitually delays starting or finishing a task that needs to be done and intentionally looks for distractions.
Procrastination can make us feel guilty. By doing that over a long period of time, we can become disappointed and demotivated which can lead to reduced productivity and cause us to miss out on achieving our goals.
Procrastination Does Not Equal Laziness
Procrastination is often confused with laziness, but they are not the same. Procrastination is an active process – a person chooses to do something else instead of that he/she should be doing.
Procrastination usually involves putting off unpleasant but important task and doing one or more easier or enjoyable tasks.
On the contrary, laziness is a passive process – a person is inactive, apathetic and unwilling to act.
Why Do We Procrastinate?
There are different reasons for procrastination but behind almost every reason there’s an inner conflict that prevents us from doing that what we are supposed to do.
Here’s the list of most common reasons for procrastination:
Stress. Stress is a trigger, and procrastination is a response. You procrastinate to give yourself a break from the stress, but it prevents you from doing the things that will actually fix the cause of the stress.
Perfectionism. Perfectionists would rather avoid doing the task than to do it imperfectly. Fear of criticism and fear of rejection are often in tight connection with perfectionism.
Lack of motivation. When we do something that we don’t like doing, we are not motivated. When we are not motivated, we often find our task boring or unpleasant, so we avoid doing it.
Lack of focus. When we lose our focus and start to pay attention to obstacles instead of our goal, we tend to procrastinate.
Fear of failure. We doubt our ability to do the task and are worried about failing, so we put the task off. We are concerned with what others think of us.
Fear of success. We fear that success will bring us more tasks and more responsibilities and we don’t feel ready to take more responsibility on.
There’s No Such a Thing as a Perfection
The perfectionist has to be sure that everything is perfect. He overthinks and overanalyses the things which lead to procrastination. If you are a perfectionist, you should bear in mind that there’s no such thing as perfection. You learn with practice and every time you do the task you become better.
It is better to take imperfect action than perfect inaction!
If you do the task for 15 minutes every day you will be further ahead one who is still thinking how to do it perfect. So, don’t think. Do it!
How to Stop Procrastination Now?!!
1. Trust your skills! The best way to develop a trusting mindset is to improve your skills. You improve your skills by practicing and learning along the way. You have to start with what you have because you don’t become better by thinking about doing. You actually become better by doing.
2. Focus on doing, not avoiding! If you focus on distractions, you will always find something that will pull you out of the task. Focus on your goal, identify long-term benefits of completing the task and commit to it.
3. Minimize distractions! Turn off your phone, email and social media platforms during the time you scheduled for working on the task.
4. Get organized! Make your “to do list” and stick to it. Do the most complicated thing first in the morning. Often, we are driven to do easier and more pleasant things first but that’s how we keep putting off the most important thing.
“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
5. Set specific deadlines! In order to complete a task, it would be beneficial to set a deadline. When you set a specific deadline, it is more likely that you would commit to complete your task.
6. Don’t engage in BS thoughts! When we supposed to do the task that we tend to avoid, we usually have thoughts such as “Maybe I could do it later.”, “Should I do this, or should I do that?”, “There’s never enough time for everything I want to do.”, “It’s hard.”, “I’m not skilled enough or smart enough to do it.”, “There are other things that have to be done.”, “What if I don’t do it right?”, “What if somebody wouldn’t like it?”, “I don’t feel like doing it.”, and so on. Instead of engaging in these thoughts, rather immediately take action. Actions drive out thoughts!
7. Get an accountability partner or ask someone to support you and check up on you. It’s much easier to stick with the task when you have someone who will check up on you.
It is also important to reward yourself every time you complete a task because it will motivate you to move forward.
Procrastination is a habit. The more you practice it, it’s harder to give it up. Instead of avoiding an important task, start practicing avoidance of procrastination until it becomes a new habit.
The best way to do this is to break a project into small tasks and get yourself to start doing it. The trick is in starting. Do it for only 5 minutes every day and you will keep going.
Often task that should be done doesn’t take a lot of time, but procrastination takes a lot of time.
So, don’t over analyzing things because no amount of waiting helps. Start with what you have, and the rest will follow.
Don’t wait for the “right time”, because the best time to act was yesterday, and the next best time is now!
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you have any questions or comments on how to stop procrastination now, feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.