Coincidently when I’m writing this post today has been one big day of procrastinating, so it only seems fitting that I am trying to get sh*t done and therefore I am reflecting on the methods that I have learnt and been practising the past few months to try to stop procrastinating weekly.
I never used to be such a big procrastinator until the past year and I literally had no idea why it started other than a series of bad work-related habits that can sometimes affect my efficiency and getting myself in a good work zone.
Whether it’s your mood, the amount of time you have, a series of unimportant boring tasks or whatever it may be stopping you from getting sh*t done, keep on reading to see how you can stop procrastinating and instead get sh*t done.
Eliminate and figure out why you’re procrastinating
First thing’s first is to figure out why you’re procrastinating in the first place. I usually tend to procrastinate because I’m too tired, overwhelmed and unorganised or feeling afraid of failure that I’ll just keep putting off a task until I desperately have to do it.
So why do you procrastinate?
Is it down to fear?
Are you feeling tired and unmotivated?
Is it because you’re unsure?
Do you feel distracted and you find it hard to concentrate?
Are you avoiding tasks because you’re overwhelmed by them?
Have you been unorganised and now you have no idea where to begin?
Whatever that reason may be, gather together a general sense as to why you’re procrastinating to help you to eliminate the cause behind your procrastination and instead help you to get sh*t done.
If you’re avoiding doing particular tasks because you’re feeling unorganised and overwhelmed by how much you have to do, break things down by writing everything you need to get done onto a piece of paper so you can get it out of your head and down in front of you, helping you to see things clearer and work out where you need to begin.
If you’re feeling worried and unsure about the workload you have ahead, try to take a step back and see what is causing you so much worry. Is it because you fear you’re going to fail? Is it because you’re unsure whether you can do it? Is it because you need extra help?
Whatever may be behind that fear, take the time to try to challenge any negative thoughts you may be experiencing and bring in outside resources to help you like a friend or some further reading to get you up to date with things.
Commit to one task at a time
Something I used to be so bad at but now think I’m a lot better at doing trying to do too much all in one go. Instead of trying to be a multi-tasker dedicate your time and attention to one task at a time.
Not only do this stop you from burning out and feeling overwhelmed, but it also means you can put all your attention and effort into one task that will, in the long run, have greater results.
On the other hand, you might not multi-task at all and instead do all you can to avoid tasks. So instead of avoiding doing your tasks at hand, take the time to set a time and work on tasks proactively.
For example, block out time for each task. In the morning from 9 am – 11 am you might work on writing and scheduling some blog posts. Then from 1 pm – 2 pm you could do some bulk shooting for future blog posts and any Instagram content.
A Branch Of Holly has created a great post on how to get more done with time blocking which you can read here.
Do the important and difficuilt tasks first
Have you ever put something important off because you thought it would be difficuilt and you really didn’t want to do it?
Yeah, me too.
It’s not always easy but it does bring a great deal of relief once you do the important and difficuilt tasks first. It also helps you to have a greater concentration on other tasks you need to get done because you’re not busy worrying about what might happen when you eventually carry out this challenging task.
Get it over and done with. Be kind to yourself when you’re doing it knowing how difficuilt it is for you to do. But remember that you will feel less stressed and proud that you did it afterwards.
Reward and give yourself breaks often
Rewarding and giving yourself breaks is super important in general but even more so if you’ve just carried out a whole load of tasks or something that has been more difficuilt. Giving yourself that time to take a few minutes breather from your to-do list can really help you to avoid burning out and instead get you to keep coming back focused.
Rather than going off to do something on a long break like scrolling on social media or to watch some day time TV, do small breaks and rewards every so often that don’t distract you enough to get you back to procrastinating again.
I have been in that place so many times before. I’ll go to reward myself with a scroll on Instagram or Twitter and then find myself half an hour later way into deep on Instagram stories.
Instead, get a drink and a snack, go sit outside and get some fresh air to revitalise you, go have a cuddle with your dog or cat, pop on some hand cream, go for a toilet break, whatever small activity you can do to reward yourself and give yourself a break do it and do it often.
Minimise your distractions
I’m sure we can all agree that one of our biggest distractions is our mobile phones. When you work from your phone or spend a lot of time on it, it can be hard to take a step back and limit your usage on it.
But minimising your distractions and taking the time to focus truly on what you need to get done is a great way to stop procrastinating and instead get sh*t done. For things like your phone, put it in another room or in a drawer so you’re not tempted to look at it.
If you get distracted easily then why not create a designated workspace? Perhaps on a summers day in the garden, at a coffee shop or a shared workspace where others can go to work also, maybe you have your own home office that you can shut yourself into or a spot in your room that is great for working.
You might also like – 6 ways to make your desk space inspirational
Change your inner voice
If fear or any other negative train of thoughts or feelings are stopping you from getting sh*t down and leading you down the road of procrastinating, then changing your inner voice and challenging your thoughts is a great way to give yourself that much-needed pep talk.
One big thing that I stopped doing was putting so much judgement and pressure on myself. So instead of saying ‘I need to or I should’ I now say ‘I would like to or I choose to’.
Even just by these simple ways of changing things it completely takes that judgement away of thinking you have to do everything and need to do it. If you chose something or would like to do something, the task itself becomes a much more enjoyable experience because you’re letting yourself know that you want to do it rather than feeling unmotivated and pressured because you don’t want to.
Remember that you’re in control. No one can get it done for you. So take the pressure off. Create a more positive associated tone when you’re going through each task. It will help to limit procrastination.
Focus on the long term
And finally leading on from that focus on the long term. Whether this means before you begin working on your to-do list or during when you can start to feel yourself wanting to procrastinate, take your mind to the long term.
What will happen if you don’t complete a task?
How will I feel once I have completed a task?
What unpleasant consequences will I be met with if I don’t do it?
How can I reward myself after to motivate myself to keep going?
Make it worthwhile and valuable to yourself. Because you can do it. You need to believe it!
How do you stop procrastinating?