Most people will probably say that they would like to get more accomplished every day and stop procrastinating so much. Unfortunately, this can often seem to be easier said than done. For a lot of us, procrastination almost seems to be a part of our daily routine. We tend to put things off what we see as unimportant, or perhaps less important than other tasks.
This inaction can often lead to stress later on when that ‘unimportant task’ comes to the forefront of what you really need to get done.
Procrastination may have worked back in school when you had to finish up a paper in the last minute. But in the adult world, not taking action and getting essential tasks done can really hold you back from reaching your full potential and achieving your goals.
Taking action may not always seem easy, but when you stop procrastinating and start actively working towards your small daily goals, you will be able to eventually accomplish larger and more purposeful goals in your life. Most people who avoid procrastination and take action do so with certain strategies in place. Let’s take a look at a few of these strategies that will help you take more action and kick procrastination to the curb.
Don’t Overthink It
Very often, we put off doing something because the more we think about it, the more overwhelming it can first seem. Even the most basic tasks can start to feel like giants when we give them too much power. Many of us tend to be perfectionists with the things we do, which sometimes causes us to over think and then over-plan.
While a planning your day doesn’t hurt, over-planning can take too much time and allow you to become stressed about what you have to accomplish. Don’t be afraid of failure or rejection by getting something done without a detailed plan in mind. Rejection will sometimes happen and even failure will occur occasionally. These are facts of life that you will face, no matter what. It is better to put yourself out there and work towards your goals rather than always wondering ‘what if’ and turn these small tasks into giant mountains in your mind.
Begin With the Hardest Task
Whether you make out a list to plan your day, or you already know what you have to get done, we often put off the hardest thing as long as possible. Instead, make your toughest task the first thing you accomplish each day?
The more you think about a difficult task, the more it can weigh you down throughout the day. Maybe it is something that scares you or something you are not overly skilled at. Push through it anyway, as early in the day as possible. It will help to clear out a big chunk of your mental ‘to-do’ list, and will likely give you a huge boost of motivation to complete your other tasks throughout the day.
Change Up Your Environment
Take a look at the environment that you surround yourself in each day. Is it a place that makes you feel productive? If your work space is distracting or too comfortable, it can be easy to feel unmotivated. Create a space for yourself that encourages productivity, inspiration and action. Don’t be afraid to change your scenery every once in awhile to keep that inspiration fresh. Getting too comfortable in our surroundings can make it easy to relax in our goals for the day.
Make It Hard On Yourself
One of the reasons many people procrastinate so much is because we make it easy to do so. Much like your work environment can affect your productivity, so too can the distractions you surround yourself with on a daily basis.
We live in a world full of daily distractions, and it is easier now than ever before to get caught up in them. Unfortunately, it is also extremely easy to get caught up in them for long periods of time. Maybe you start out watching a video on YouTube, only to get distracted by watching three or four more. Before you know it, a huge chunk of time can pass you by.
The key is to identify what distracts you throughout the day. Is it talking to co-workers? Playing around on your phone? Having too many tabs open on your web browser that doesn’t deal with work? Distractions are different for everyone. The sooner you can identify your time wasters, the harder you can make it on yourself to get sucked into them. For example, you can block certain websites from your computer if they are taking up your time. Or, you can hang a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your office door for several hours a day to avoid interruptions from fellow employees.
When you make it hard on yourself to be distracted, you are more likely to be able to zone in on what you need to do and stay focused.
Make Your Goals Clear…Today!
It is not uncommon to create goals for ourselves. Almost everyone has accomplishments that they would like to reach, no matter how big or small. Far too often, however, we don’t take the time to re-evaluate and update those goals. This allows us to become stagnant in what we are doing and doesn’t push us to move forward faster.
If you outgrow your goals, that’s perfectly fine! In fact, it is normal and can be really exciting, because it encourages further growth. But, you have to change and amend your goals to reflect that. Otherwise, you will stay in the same place for far too long, and not accomplish anything. While that may not seem like a big deal at first, if you don’t feel as though you have a sense of achievement, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy or depression.
By developing some unique habits and putting some of the strategies in this article into play, you can overcome procrastination. I have found that using the wonderful 5 Minute Journal has helped me to keep on track with my daily tasks. You don’t have to be held back by your own distractions, you just have to make a decision on what you’re going to do, and take action on that decision today. Is it always going to be easy? No. But putting these strategies into place every single day will help to give you the tools and resources to overcome the pitfalls of procrastination, and reach your wonderful goals sooner.