Ahh sweet procrastination. That constant companion that is with you always; popping up to say hi when you are lacing up your running shoes, when you sit down to write a new chapter of your novel or when you face a blank sheet of paper on which you intend to write your business plan.
For many people fear is the reason that procrastination can play such a part in their lives. It may be a fear of failure or of success. Procrastinating can also be a way of not claiming responsibility for your actions and hoping, that if you continue to behave this way for long enough, that someone else will make that hard decision for you or do the work that you could have been doing.
So what can we do to let our constant companion know that we simply don’t need their input? I’ve found that the following 6 tips can be useful.
At the first sign that you are putting off your next project try any or all of these tips:
- Weigh the benefits of acting versus the effects of procrastinating. What could you have achieved by this time tomorrow if you were to get started right now?
- Set achievable and realistic goals. Trying to run a marathon next month will only set you up for failure. Setting yourself that goal in six months gives you a much greater chance of success.
- Get organised. If you need more information to successfully complete your project then make time to obtain what you need. If you organise your time and resources you will find that there is less chance that you will procrastinate.
- Get started. Do something. MOVE. If you are aiming to clear out the garage then change into some old clothes and open the first box. Activity is the best antidote for procrastination.
I was training for a race and had to do 3 hour training runs. 3 hours!! It was mind boggling to me. I found that if I was a bit sneaky about it then getting out the door was easier. I’d simply tell myself that I was going for half an hour run. On when the shoes and the hydration pack (just in case) and out the door I went. At the end of the half hour I’d see how I felt; 99% of the time I was warmed up and happy to continue.
Breaking a big goal down into smaller pieces makes it easier for you to wrap your mind around it.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you are not perfect all the time when you are taking steps. It is not about perfection; it is about making progress one small step at a time.
- Reward yourself for achieving success along the way.
Do you have any other tips to beat procrastination? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.