Procrastinating may seem the easy way out in the short term, but really, it just prolongs the inevitable. We procrastinate about issues we don’t want to face or tasks we don’t want to perform. The problem is the longer you wait, the harder it is for you to confront the issues or complete the tasks. Instead of thinking about the situation just once, and resolving it, it festers in your mind. How much time and energy do you waste thinking and dreading the task or issue at hand, instead of just dealing with it immediately and moving on?
You postpone doing something because there’s some reason that’s stopping you. Perhaps it’s unpleasant, or emotionally difficult to approach. Maybe you’re concerned it will take up too much of your time or cause you stress. No matter the reason, delaying things, including, dealing with problems, will not make them go away. The problems just root themselves deeper so that they become even tougher to resolve. Procrastination is counter-productive and needless. It can result in stress, anxiety, a sense of guilt and crisis, and loss of productivity.
How do you stop procrastinating? Deal with the issues head-on. Despite how you feel, know that you’re better off to handle the situation immediately, rather than putting it off.
Strategies and Tips to Stop Procrastination
First, recognize when you’re procrastinating. You know you’re procrastinating when an important item on your “to do list” is still there after several days, and you fill your days completing low priority items.
Next, understand the reason why you’re procrastinating.
- Is it because of you or the task at hand? Is that task so unpleasant that you’re trying to avoid it? If so, by working on that unpleasant task immediately, you will be free to do what you enjoy. Motivate yourself to do that task by rewarding yourself after it’s done. Remind yourself of the terrible consequences of not doing that task on a timely basis. Have a friend support you by checking in on your progress and that you have completed the specified task.
- If you’re procrastinating because you’re disorganized, then get organized. Have a “to do list” with prioritized items. Tackle the most important item first. Once it’s done, you’ll feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment. You will then be able to speed through the rest of your “to do list” as you have already finished the most challenging and highest priority item! Focus on one task or goal at a time. Become a meticulous planner, and mark all urgent matters and deadlines precisely on a schedule. Be realistic and give yourself enough time to complete the tasks. Don’t waiver or make excuses for not meeting deadlines.
- Are you overwhelmed with the task? Break it down in smaller, more manageable components. Don’t look at the entire forest. Just look at one tree at a time. Do some of the easier tasks first to get started. Prepare an action plan and follow it.
- Do you need to develop your decision-making skills? Sometimes, because you can’t decide what action to take, you do nothing at all. If this is the case, learn the necessary skills to enable you to make quick, effective decisions.
Remember procrastination is a habit that is formed over years, so don’t expect to be able to break out of it immediately. Stopping procrastination comes with persistent practice. However, if you incorporate some of the strategies and tips above, you are well-equipped to be on your way to a procrastination-free life!
Love & Light,
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