Everyone procrastinates from time to time. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we’re doing it, but we frequently create reasons in our heads that seem logical enough for us to delay the task at hand, sometimes indefinitely. We might even start taking care of all of those other things we’ve put off in favor of what really needs to get done.
So, how do we stop?
Break it up into smaller pieces
The larger the task or goal, the more overwhelming it may feel. By breaking it up into smaller, more manageable steps, it will help you move forward. The tinier the step, the easier it will seem.
Follow the 2-minute rule
If it’s something that can be done in two minutes, do it now. If not, tell yourself you’ll work on it for two minutes. Once you’ve started, there’s a good chance that you’ll get into the flow and finish it all the way through.
Visualize yourself successfully accomplishing your goal
Envision how you’ll feel once that task is complete or your goal has been accomplished. Feel those emotions and visualize the future before it happens. You might even imagine those who support you celebrating your success along with you.
Tell yourself that when you’ve done whatever it is that needs to be done, you’ll get a reward. Choose something pleasant, whether it’s a special treat, watching a movie or just taking a walk outside in the fresh air.
Eliminate digital distractions
Email, as well as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites are a procrastinator’s dream come true. Force yourself to stay away from them, and if you can’t, you might want to try using an app like SelfControl, which lets you block your own access to distracting websites and mail servers.
Tell other people about your goals
Telling everyone you can, including friends, co-workers, family and acquaintances, about the projects you’d like to finish, will help keep you on your toes. They’ll be bound to ask you what the status is, and it’s hard to keep putting something off when you know someone’s going to call you on it.
Give yourself deadlines
If you haven’t given yourself a deadline, it can be put off indefinitely. Always write down your goals, including a deadline for each one.
Remember, there are few, if any, people who have ever procrastinated their way to success.