We’ve all done it at some time or other. We put off our exercise routine until tomorrow; we’ll edit that video at the weekend, create the marketing for the podcast or Twitch stream another day. Or maybe continually delay finishing that project or starting that business.
Procrastination is the mother of all demons and can stop you in your tracks from achieving all that you want out of life.
Here are 5 effective processes you can use to slay this giant.
Do it now
Hold your breath and jump right in! Putting things off until the last minute is a bad habit and like all habits is ingrained in our subconscious mind and hard to break. BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE! It feels like the normal thing to do, and we simply continue along our path. To complete a task immediately may feel strange or like a forced action, but count down from five to zero, and on zero just do it! (Please don’t sue me Nike).
Take baby steps
Sometimes we procrastinate because the task is big and scary and overwhelming. Perhaps we have no possible inkling on where to start. In these cases, break it down into the smallest possible chunks, and take it one step at a time. Say you are preparing a business plan and for the 5th time this week, you’ve turned on the PC and stared at the blank screen. Maybe wandered over to reddit for some dank memes or headed on over to Twitch to watch someone else play games (instead of getting the work done so you can play games yourself or do some streaming). Or you’ve just remembered you need to do some more research before you begin… you’re still not ready. You simply need to break down the project into smaller pieces and tackle each bit separately. Make each task an individual project and after completion of each one, celebrate and acknowledge your achievement. You tackle games one level at a time, don’t go facing the boss right off the bat.
Why force the issue? If you have been dragging your feet on something for a very long time, it may all be for the best. Something somewhere is trying to tell you something. That something is your intuition, and it might be right. (or it might just be that the thing is difficult and/or boring) Think about something that you have been putting off again and again and again. What are the reasons that you need to complete this task in the first place? Does someone else want you to do this? What is THEIR agenda? What are YOUR reasons for this lengthy delay? Have a think, dig out the reasons why you’re procrastinating, and ultimately if you can bin it, bin it. Have a think about any consequences of doing so before setting the whole thing on fire and walking away.
Build a Support team
Do you put off tasks because you feel that they are too big and complex for you to handle alone? Or because you need assistance? Be honest with yourself. “No man is an island”. Ask for help! There are many resources out there that can provide you with all you need to carry out your job. If you’re a solo-professional and you put off answering emails, then don’t answer them yourself. Hire a virtual assistant, find some college students that want experience, get a family member to help. Procrastinating on life changing activities could be as a result of fear of the unknown. Get a mastermind group together, find a mentor, join a support group. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Just, you know… just don’t spend your time doing this stuff instead of the thing you’re supposed top be doing.
You can’t save the world alone. That’s why I built the free Coaching for Geeks Community and CfG Turbo to help people like you get more done. Join us!
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