Eight Tiny Steps to Help End Procrastination
I have a confession to make…
For well over a year now I’ve been procrastinating on a couple of major projects … one of which is this website! I’ve finally decided it’s time to end my procrastination and as a result, the first step is to start blogging here again. In fact, my plan is to blog on this website every two weeks and on the alternate weeks, I’ll blog on my other business website, Be Your Own Graphic Designer.
I find it so easy to distract myself by focussing on working on clients’ projects, starting on new ideas but not completing them. Anything rather than working on the projects I need and, deep down, want to complete!
There are eight small steps that will help me I plan to take to beat my procrastination. If you keep these steps in mind too before you get started on any project, which is what I’m now going to do, you’ll hopefully stop procrastination before it gets a foothold. Read on if you need help to beat procrastination too.
1. Change Your Perception and Focus
Often when you think of the end product you’re working on it can be overwhelming!
It’s important to switch your perception though and not see it as an end product. Plus, you don’t want to let your false opinion of any one thing cloud your judgement, whether that is the tasks are dull, or they’re worthless, or that you just can’t do them. You have to let all that go and try to find excitement in doing the work.
My biggest challenge is writing my email newsletters – I know I need to do it and know how to do it but somewhere along the line I decided it’s boring to do and so keep putting it off!
If you don’t find it exciting then it’s probably a voice telling you somewhere this isn’t the right thing for you to do. Beware though as that might just be an excuse! Although I hesitated, I found once I got going I really do love my project all over again, emails and all!It’s important to change your perception and focus to avoid overwhelm and beat procrastination. Click To Tweet
2. Let Go of Fear
I know that most procrastination is rooted in fear and that’s something you need to recognise too. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not being good enough. Like many people, I get so tied up in perfection that I often don’t finish a project and then move on to something new. As a result, that fear becomes self-perpetuating and never-ending. I decided I have to let go of judgment and fear as I work through my project tasks, so I can put an end to procrastination.Let go of judgment and fear as you work through a project to end procrastination. Click To Tweet
3. Chunk Up the Project
No project is just the deliverable. All projects have steps that need to be done some in a particular order, some need to be done together, but no project is just the end. In school, when you first started doing reports, you were assigned different aspects of a project with due dates. You probably did the outline first, perfected it, worked on your topic sentences, and then each point of the report, a little bit at a time.
I’m back to doing just that and chunking or batching up the work I need to do. Batching tasks together also really helps with getting used to, or even good at, using the software and technology we all need to deal with now.Chunk up the work you need to do in the way you did on a school project to beat procrastination. Click To Tweet
4. Just Get Started
You may not realise it’s that easy, but it is. Our minds change focus when we get started. It’s like that workout you don’t want to do; in the middle of it, you’re perfectly fine with it. And, of course, when it’s over, you’re satisfied that you did it. It’s the same with any work that you don’t want to do. Get started and at some point, as you make progress, you’ll feel differently. I certainly do.Just get started to beat procrastination and at some point, as you make progress, you’ll feel differently. Click To Tweet
5. Talk About It Publicly
Social media is great for this. Just go and announce your project on Twitter or Facebook to your friends, or a special group. Say that you’re doing xyz right now and will be for the next 90 minutes. Telling people what you’re doing will help you do it because you don’t want to become a liar.
I haven’t done this yet but am about to once I’ve published this blog! Honestly, I’m not procrastinating on this one…it’s part of my plan to do it in this order!Announce your project on Twitter or Facebook, to your friends or to a special group to commit yourself publicly and beat procrastination. Click To Tweet
6. Work in Breaks
If you have a long day of tasks you don’t like doing, and you can’t outsource them, work in breaks. In fact, even if you like doing the tasks, you need to have breaks in order to stay healthy. Eat right, exercise, and drink plenty of water no matter what you’re doing. It’ll help keep your mind clear and your body healthy.
I’ve started using a technique again that was recommended by Natalie Sisson, called the Pomodoro Technique. This technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It uses a timer to break work down into intervals, usually 25 minutes in length separated by short breaks of 5 minutes. I’ve downloaded a free timer app onto my desktop and I set it to remind me to take breaks or else I just forget.If you have a long day of tasks you don’t like doing, and you can't outsource them, work in breaks to avoid procrastination Click To Tweet
7. Ask for Accountability
If you’re having more problems, make sure you find an accountability partner. You can pay for that with a life or business coach, or you can ask a trusted friend or family member to help you break your pattern of procrastination.
My friend, Annya Stoddart of Wisdom Mind, and I held our own mini Email Bootcamp Month. We’d both been putting off writing emails for our programmes so decided to keep each other motivated and on track with our Bootcamp. We checked progress weekly and sent over what we’d each done for the other to review. It worked really well and, like most of the tasks you procrastinate over, it was fun once we got going.Find an accountability partner, or a life or business coach, or ask a trusted friend or family member to help you break your pattern of procrastination. Click To Tweet
8. Reward Yourself
Reward yourself for a job well done! We’re often quick to criticise and slow to celebrate our successes. You need to work in ways to reward yourself. If you finish a huge project on time, get a massage, take a break and read a book or go to see a good film with your partner. I’m booking a facial when I finish the course worksheets for my project. A bit of pampering always feels good!We're often quick to criticise and slow to celebrate our successes. Reward yourself for a job well done! Click To Tweet
Don’t let procrastination beat you! You can control your desire to put things off by just taking small steps every day. That’s what I’m doing! Keep coming back and you’ll see the results.