3 Proven Ways to Stop Procrastinating
By Heather Wilde
Are you procrastinating right now? Take a moment to read this and become more productive.
Have you ever found yourself during an incredible burst of productivity right before a deadline? It's amazing; you finally found the time to fix that leaking faucet, change all the burned-out lightbulbs in your house, re-watch the last episode of Westworld, and learn how to properly eat a banana. You've found the time to do just about everything - except the thing you were supposed to be doing in the first place, like get that 5th Super Bowl ring.
This is called procrastinating. You're probably even doing it right now while reading this article.
You're not alone - we've all been there. However, if you allow procrastination to become a pattern in your everyday life, you can experience some serious downsides. Here are some tips to help you break free of the cycle:
1. Call the Play
The first step to stopping yourself from procrastinating is to notice that you're doing it in the first place. As I mentioned above, if you've suddenly become exceptionally productive with otherwise mundane and useless tasks, you just might be procrastinating.
Another good way to tell is if you keep jumping past specific tasks on your To-Do list, with excuses like "I need to be in the mood" or "I need more time" or the glaringly obvious "I don't want to do that." Everything on your To-Do list needs To-Be-Done or it wouldn't be there, so if you notice yourself routinely skipping something, call it out so you can do something about it.
2. Go Deep
Once you've identified the task that's blocking you, it's time to figure out why. Start thinking and asking yourself questions about what you dislike about the task that's keeping you from completing it. Maybe it is something as simple as you don't feel you have enough time to complete it. If that's so, figure out how to give yourself that time so you can get it out of the way and move on. You may feel that you don't have everything you need to complete the task, or you could be so concerned about the outcome that you'd rather not even start.
Usually, it is quite easy to figure out, but you must first take the time to examine your motivation.
Here's where everything comes together (and can just as easily fall apart): you need to focus on your goal, and find a way that will allow you to complete it.
That task you've been avoiding (you know, the one that led you to read this article in the first place?) - Yeah that one - maybe it's simply too big to get done in one chunk. Try breaking it down into smaller tasks.
Or, maybe it's not within your skill set. It's ok - we're not meant to be good at everything. Find a way to delegate or get help with the parts of it that you simply aren't comfortable doing, or outright cannot do.
Before you know it, you'll be back on track, right in time to meet your next deadline.
And if this still doesn't help, you can go back to Westworld again and try to figure out what on earth is going on in THAT SCENE.
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