How to Stop Procrastinating

How to Stop Procrastinating

Are you frustrated with yourself for not getting things done or for leaving things until the last minute? Jann Richardson, a professional and personal coach, shares her top tips on how to stop procrastinating.

Set realistic goals

When we look at a large task before starting it, we have every good intention of completing it. We know exactly what we need to do and the deadline to do it.  What if the assessment of the required workload wasn’t realistic?  Goals need to be achievable and realistic, you need to feel a sense of progress. Break the task up into smaller tasks so it’s not overwhelming and you don’t need to set aside a large amount of time to complete the whole thing at once. Once broken down you can probably tick off the first one or two mini tasks immediately and make regular strides forward.

If you want to beat procrastination, start at the very beginning. Set realistic goals. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to take a first step towards the goal today.

Focus on the benefits

Procrastinators focus more on short-term gains, like avoiding the distress associated with the task, as opposed to long-term results like the stress and consequences of avoiding the task. Instead, focus on why you are doing it.

For example, if you have been putting off cleaning out a junk room, you might imagine what you can use it for once it’s decluttered and how good that will feel. Or you might be more motivated by how much money you will make by selling the items on eBay, or donating them to a good cause.

Remove distractions

Your environment can help or hinder your productivity. Be aware of technology, such as your email or messenger that keeps pinging, Social media, internet “research” that leads you far off track, or phone calls can lead to procrastination.

During your scheduled time for working on a particular task, allow yourself to focus. Close your email and IM, turn off your phone or set it on “Do Not Disturb” and put it out of sight, and close your internet browser. You might consider moving to a quieter part of the office or putting in headphones to block out the noise. Give yourself the best chance of success. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can complete the work with fewer distractions.

Take responsibility and be accountable

Accountability is one of the best methods for warding off procrastination. You’re much more likely to get a task done if there’s someone holding you accountable. And if you’re having trouble getting started on a task, the more people you tell the more likely you’ll do it!