Hello peeps (see what I did there?) and Happy Wednesday!!!
Today I’m writing about something that I used to have the HARDEST time with!!!! PROCRASTINATION!!! The wildest thing though?? Once you figure out how to defeat procrastination, its easier to beat it the next time, and even easier the next, and so on. Dont believe me? I’ll show you how I do it!!
First and foremost. Let me talk about procrastination. It can be in school, work, or more long term. (Like procrastinating getting healthy or procrastinating starting a habit). I think we all probably suffer from both at some time or another, and its so important that we recognize it. Like any addiction, recognizing where it comes to play in your life is step number one. But, if you’re reading this, you probably already are aware!
In school I was a huge procrastinator, but I generally was able to slide through. It sometimes was stressful, but I never had to panic too much. In life, though, I’m a major procrastinator. I always find some reason to wait for tomorrow to start!! What I’ve realized though is once you learn to tackle one time, tackling the other becomes a lot easier.
I put together the steps that I’ve used and here they are! Remember that it will take some pure willpower the first time you give this a shot, but it should get easier every time!
Procrastination, and how to stop it… now!
- Think about how procrastination holds you back – The key to breaking any bad habit ESPECIALLY a sneaky one like procrastination is to really sit back and ask yourself: “How has procrastinating hurt me?” “How would my life be better if I wasn’t a procrastinator?” “Why am I procrastinating on this?”. This will open your mind to what is really happening, and give you a self reflecting moment that can really change everything if you let it! Dont let your mind wander when you’re thinking about it, just face it head on! Have some concrete reasons in your mind.
- Get rid of the distractions – Unfortunately, this one is kind of like the moment you get out of bed when your alarm goes off. It takes literal force, but you have to do it!! Is it your phone? Turn it off. Is it your computer? Close any window on your computer that doesn’t have to do with the task at hand. Shut the doors, turn off the music, do whatever you have to do to get rid of things to procrastinate with. Dont let yourself leave any small distraction open for you!
- Make a list – Start small, but write down anything you could do to get a head start on the task at hand, and start working on one. It doesn’t matter where you start, but even writing down (and therefore committing) and then acting on what you wrote down (and getting the ball rolling) help you build momentum and gain confidence that you actually can do it! List making is also a huge tool to help you see the big picture, and how the small task at hand will contribute to whatever it is you need to do.
- Don’t “reward” yourself with your favorite distraction – I see this way too many times on the internet, where people recommend that you let yourself get distracted as a “break” or “reward” for getting something done. I know it can be tempting to pick your phone back up after a period of focused work, but all that does is restart the cycle! I cant even count how many times I beat the first wave, took a break, and ended up distracted for another hour or two because I got stuck in the facebook black hole!!
- Block out as long a time as possible to get work done – Have you ever been procrastinating, and then finally gotten into a “flow” or work, and then run out of time? Ideally, you would have as long a time as possible to get work done once you get into that flow. The “activation energy” is the hardest part, so you might as well get as much out of that flow state as possible. This will help you feel more productive, and get the ball rolling. Momentum is one of the biggest weapons against procrastination.
- Remember that it gets easier – once you successfully get something done, you’ll feel amazing. The only thing better than distracting yourself with an episode of the office is watching an episode of the office knowing that your work for the day is done! After that, youll want to procrastinate a little less every time. It really is addictive: the feeling of productivity. Like I said before, the biggest weapon against procrastination is momentum. Once youre heading in the direction of productivity it’ll be harder to stop!
- Repeat the cycle – Next time you sit down to do something, go through these steps again. It will still probably be hard to get started, but as you is it a few times, winning will get easier and easier. Eventually (this is different for everyone, but is DEFINITELY shorter than you think), you’ll wonder why you even wasted your time procrastinating! It seems unbelievable now, but I promise it works! Give it a shot next time!
Check out this Ted Talk!
Mostly hilarious, but at the end he brings up a very sobering point. This talk is actually what inspired me to try to chip away at my habit in the first place!!