10 Steps to Overcoming Procrastination
There are countless books about procrastination and most of them are worth taking the time to read, if you can ever get around to it. Instead, let us share with you our 10-step guide to overcoming procrastination.
10 Steps to Overcome Procrastination
- Recognize that you are procrastinating. The awareness of the habits, thoughts, and actions that fill your day with low-priority tasks is a first step.
- Attempt to understand why you are procrastinating. It may be a particular task that you find boring or unpleasant. Possibly, it is poor organizational skills or simply feeling overwhelmed by the project.
- Adopt anti-procrastination systems. These may include keeping a to-do list, prioritizing the to-do list using the Eisenhower Box, master-scheduling and project planning, tackling the hardest projects when you have the most energy and are most effective.
- Re-evaluate your long-term goals and objectives. Self-reflect upon your strengths, weaknesses, and priorities. Implement the Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand concept.
- Make the rewards of procrastination immediate. Bring future rewards to the present moment. Reward yourself with a meaningful gift or fun activity when you have achieved a task that could have been delayed, avoided, or procrastinated.
- Break down large projects into manageable components. When confronted with a sizeable task, attempt to organize the completion in bite-sized pieces.
- Establish daily routines for peak productivity. At the end of each work day, write down the three most important projects you need to accomplish tomorrow. When you arrive in the morning, concentrate on the first task. Work until it is finished and then reward yourself.
- Limit Interruptions. Limiting how often you get interrupted is key to getting things done. Don’t take phone calls. Put a hold on responding to emails. And, if you have to, close your office door or put a sign, “Please do not disturb” sign on your cubicle.
- Say “No” to extra commitments that don’t serve your goals. Before agreeing to an extra activity, think carefully about how the project supports your future vision of success.
- Seek guidance. Even after applying steps 1-9, you may experience fear, anxiety, and loss of confidence. Reach out to a professional expert. Your health and well-being is too important to neglect.
The author Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby once said, “Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of sabotage.”