As a master procrastinator myself I know that being a procrastinator can be a vicious cycle of putting things off until the very last second and then panicking. So if you’re looking to break the cycle here are my five top tips to stop procrastinating…
When you have a number of different things on your plate at the same time it can be stressful and discourage you from making progress. Making out a list of what you need to achieve can really help.
The list can be as detailed as you like but try to avoid spending too long on it in an attempt to put off completing it! Not only will a list of your goals put things into better perspective, but it allows you to prioritize the different tasks based on urgency and difficulty. A to-do list also works as a reminder of your plans and ticking the items off as you complete them is great motivation.
Take care to recognise your achievements however small. For each task you complete or goal you achieve give yourself a break or treat yourself to something small like a cup of tea and a biscuit. However, I know from experience that breaks can turn from two minutes to two hours very easily so be careful.
Try to avoid picking up your phone during your breaks as social media is a strong culprit in those “extended” breaks.
Set Time Limits
Allocating certain time periods to your tasks can help you complete as many of them as possible. Specific time limits also work like mini goals so that tasks seem more achievable.
Often procrastinators are also perfectionists (guilty as charged!) and so can allocate too much time to one thing in the hope of making it outstanding. Unfortunately, one outstanding goal achieved does not make up for all of the others still to be completed. By setting time limits you avoid falling into the trap of wasting hours on one thing and still procrastinating everything else to another time.
Include Others In Your Plans
I’ve noticed that I’m far more likely to break a promise to myself than to other people. I might insist to myself that I will start that task after this one episode but then it’s the next and the next and suddenly I’m halfway through the season and I still have loads to do.
However, if you mention some of your plans to other people the possibility that they may follow up or question you further at a later date can work as great motivation to make a start.
Most procrastinators are familiar with the idea of limiting your distractions. Unfortunately, something like simply turning your phone off is not necessarily going to work.
Try to remove it from your room even for half an hour and see what you can get done in that time. Hopefully you’ll be working hard enough that your phone won’t be the first thing on your mind. Limiting other distractions such as the tv, Netflix, music or even people around you will improve progress even further.
Have you any tips to help stop procrastinating?