I am sure procrastination is a big painful subject for many people including me. I remember clearly how I consider myself more productive at work in the second part of the day. While my colleagues were about to leave I had the busiest time and complained that I have to stay longer to finish my stuff.
But what about the first two hours at work with me being with a cup of coffee and browsing through social media sites and all sorts of other non-related to work websites? That was my usual morning ritual of welcoming a new day, seeing what everyone is up to today. Let’s admit we all do this to a certain extent…
However, I think it is getting more serious when we procrastinate on our life goals in general. When you know that the time has come to take control of your life, therefore there is no one but you will be responsible for the action and results.
We might have grand plans for our future, big dreams, aspirations, but usually we leave them somewhere in the future with our “someday when …” attitude. Someday when I have more time…, when the weather is better…, when the time is right…
We know deep inside that these are all excuses and we just totally procrastinate and waste our time. Life goes on day by day and nothing is changing the way we wish.
How to break that circle of hesitation, over-thinking, over-planning and fear of success, which procrastination is all about?
I suggest 5 ways to stop procrastination and become in charge of your life:
1) Stop over-thinking and over-planning
It is great to have a long-term plan. Planning makes your goal clearer and more tangible, but over-planning can work against you. You will never have a perfect plan that provides for every eventuality. Usually, the plan evolves itself in the process of fulfillment. It will shift and reveal itself along the way. Therefore there is no point in over-think and over-plan. Let’s say, it is easier to work with draft plans.
The next point smoothly comes out from the first one.
2) Just start doing it one tiny step at a time
The best way to get something done is to begin.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
When you start to look too far into the future any task can seem close to impossible, whether it is launching a business, getting into better shape or building a house.
That is one of the reasons why it is good to plan for the future but then to shift your focus back to today and the present moment. You have to focus only on today’s task, little step forward to your big goal. This way you will not be so overwhelmed and intimidated by the grand plan.
3) Focus on your big WHY’s
We often become discouraged and when we are facing difficulties, hurdles on our way. Focusing on your main Why can help to stay motivated. Meditation and visualization are the great ways to keep your big Why on top of your mind.
Speaking about everyday routine, think about the benefits of completing this boring or unpleasant task that you started or have in your To-Do list. Imagine how good it will fill when you unclutter your wardrobe or your garage, let the energy in, and clear the air. Focus on the end result, WHY you are doing it.
4) Change your thinking from “have to” to “choose to”.
On a psychological level the command “I have to do it” sounds like you’ve been forced to do something that otherwise you would not do. When you consciously tell yourself that you choose to do it, then the brain receives this message as freewill, therefore, shows less resistance. Everything that happens in life is our own choice. Let your choices be beneficial for you.
5) Don’t over-commit yourself
When my To-Do list is too long, I tend to complete less than I would do with a shorter To-Do list. Do you tend to do that, too? Evaluate all the things you’ve said “yes” to. If you have more on your plate than you can reasonably accomplish in a day or week, let a few commitments go. Try to wrap up any projects or commitments that others are relying on you for first, though.
I would love to hear about your ways of beating procrastination.
With much love