Updated: Jan 4, 2022
Most people procrastinate on some level, but it can be extremely detrimental to your success if you’re not careful. However, there are several ways to stop procrastinating and get back on track with your projects and goals. Here are 7 ways to stop procrastinating, so you can focus on the most important things in your life.
1) Don't Beat Yourself Up
Sometimes when we’re procrastinating, it’s because we know what we should be doing and simply can’t stand ourselves for not doing it. Instead of thinking about how bad you are for procrastinating, think about why you feel like you need to procrastinate in order to get your work done; is there something holding you back? There might be an easier way of doing things that will let you get what needs to be done faster.
Another thing to ask yourself is: "Am I overloading myself?" Sometimes when we over load our work platter, we become discouraged. Instead of feeling motivated, it in turn makes us feel drained and unenthused to complete the tasks.
2) Analyze Your Priorities
In order to get things done, you need to set your priorities straight. When you prioritize your tasks and deadlines, you’ll find it much easier to stay focused on what matters most at any given time. I touched briefly on this in the last blog, and I created a worksheet that aids many of my clients in prioritizing tasks.
3) Get Rid of the Junk
Toss out everything that doesn’t add value in your life. You know what they say: Out of sight, out of mind. If you’re too distracted by these items, get rid of them entirely or put them away in a box somewhere until you need them. In fact, all things being equal, get rid of anything that doesn’t add value in your life immediately—if it’s not used often enough to warrant having it around, then get rid of it.
4) Focus on One Task at a Time
If you’re focusing on multiple tasks at once, chances are that one or all of them will suffer. You can’t multitask efficiently—so don’t even try. Instead, focus on one task at a time, putting 100 percent of your effort into achieving complete focus on your project until it is complete. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed by trying to get everything done at once and you can finish up tasks in less time.
5) Use Timers
Start by setting timers for tasks you’re putting off. When faced with a task you don’t want to do, break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. Then give yourself a 10-minute time limit for each one. Once that timer goes off, if you still have work left to do, set another timer for 10 minutes. This will keep you focused on finishing one task at a time until all of them are complete.
6) Hold Yourself Accountable
Our time is a limited resource, so you have to be ready and willing to take responsibility for it. If you’re serious about improving your work ethic, one of your first steps should be making sure that someone—or multiple people—is keeping tabs on you. Have a friend keep track of how much time you spend each day on self-improvement tasks, or use an online productivity app that will remind you when it’s time to focus.
7) Take Breaks When Necessary
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in your work that you spend 15-hour days and seven-day weeks chained to your desk, but taking breaks throughout your day is crucial. It helps you come back feeling refreshed and motivated. No matter how important an assignment may be, pushing yourself too hard can result in burnout, not productivity. Take a break at least once every couple of hours—and more often if you can handle it.