Procrastination can really destroy your life. And, I’m not interested in the causes. For this article, all I care about is what can be done to overcome it. This website is about pain, and although you don’t hear this much, I think procrastination is psychologically painful. For me…for many I imagine…there’s an accompanying anxiety that is really awful.
Overcoming procrastination can be challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can improve your productivity and manage your tasks more effectively. Here are some tips to help you overcome procrastination. The best thing about this list is even if it doesn’t help you, I can’t imagine how any of these things could possibly cause a person any harm. Like…my life was going perfect until I started to set deadlines and get proper sleep! 🙂
20 suggestions to overcome procrastination.
- Meditation: Although this isn’t often mentioned in respect to procrastination, in my opinion, some daily meditation is helpful for many aspects of life including overcoming procrastination.
- Proper Sleep: I find that everything in my life goes better when I’m sleeping properly.
- Set Clear Goals: Define specific, achievable goals for your tasks. Knowing exactly what you want to accomplish can increase your motivation to start.
- Break Tasks into Smaller Steps: Divide larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This makes the task feel less overwhelming and more achievable.
- Use a To-Do List: Create a to-do list with tasks ranked by priority. Crossing off completed tasks provides a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue. There are plenty of phone apps for to-to-lists. There’s also calendar reminders for the smatrphone.
- Set Deadlines: Set realistic deadlines for your tasks. Having a time frame can create a sense of urgency and help prevent last-minute rushes. I put post-it notes on the fridge with my deadlines.
- Use the Two-Minute Rule: If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, do it immediately. This prevents small tasks from accumulating and becoming overwhelming.
- Use Time Management Techniques: Techniques like the Pomodoro Technique (working in focused intervals followed by short breaks) can help maintain focus and prevent burnout.
- Eliminate Distractions: Minimize distractions by turning off notifications, creating a clutter-free workspace, and using website blockers if needed. This one is very challenging for me. It’s like my ADHD brain wants the TV on in the background.
- Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself and avoid self-criticism. Negative self-talk can contribute to procrastination. This is a really tough one in my opinion.
- Visualize Success: Imagine the positive outcomes of completing a task. Visualization can boost motivation and reduce procrastination.
- Reward Yourself: Plan small rewards for completing tasks. This positive reinforcement can create a positive association with task completion.
- Use Accountability: Share your goals with a friend, family member, or colleague who can hold you accountable and provide encouragement.
- Identify Underlying Causes: Understand why you’re procrastinating. Are you overwhelmed, anxious, or lacking interest? Identifying the cause can help you address it. Perhaps it might even be necessary to talk to a therapist about this.
- Start Anywhere: If you’re stuck, start with any part of the task. Taking the first step can often lead to increased momentum.
- Limit Perfectionism: Striving for perfection can lead to procrastination. Focus on progress rather than perfect results. I also have a tough time with this. I want the work to be perfect. This is a fault of mine.
- Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques can help you stay present and focused on the task at hand.
- Use Positive Affirmations: Positive self-affirmations can boost your confidence and motivation to tackle tasks.
- Reflect on Consequences: Consider the long-term impact of not completing a task. This can help you prioritize effectively.
- Celebrate Progress: Acknowledge your achievements along the way, no matter how small. Celebrating progress can keep you motivated.
Remember that overcoming procrastination is a gradual process. It’s important to find the strategies that work best for you and to adapt your approach as needed. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your efforts toward improved productivity.