8 Simple Ways to Stop procrastinating

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The funny thing is that if you’re reading a blog post about how to stop procrastinating, you’re probably procrastinating right now.

But, wait! Since you’re here, I might as well give you some practical advice on how to overcome your procrastinating tendencies. 

So you can get out of your own way and start working towards your dreams. 

At the end of the day, procrastination is typically an avoidance technique. There is a reason why you don’t want to do that thing. The other reason could be that you are feeling overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start.

Especially if you’re chasing after some pretty big goals. But as we’ll talk about later in this post, you have to move forward. Whatever that may mean. 

Procrastinating is a complex topic but I’m going to try to make this brief because after all, you’re most likely procrastinating right now so let’s try to get some fire under that booty.

It’s a Habit

Mel Robbins says it well in the below Youtube video. 

“You’re not a procrastinator, you have a habit of procrastinating”

This is SO powerful because that means you can change it! You aren’t doomed to forever be a procrastinator. Just like any habit, you can break it! 

One of the interesting things that Mel Robbins says in that video is that procrastinating is a form of avoiding stress. 

I don’t know about you but my mind was BLOWN. I would have never connected the two.

But it makes sense. If you’re stressed, you aren’t going to go outside your comfort zone and do the things that scare you.

Your body is already in defense mode, ready to take on this outside attacker (i.e. the thing causing the stress). 

So the first step in stopping your need to procrastinate is to identify what is making you stressed.

Is there a way to decrease this stressor? If not, try to find some healthy coping mechanisms. Once you tackle your stress head-on, you will begin to see your procrastinating tendencies disappear.

8 Ways to Stop Procrastinating

Okay now that we’ve determined that procrastinating is in fact a habit and not a character flaw, let’s dive into ways to actually STOP procrastinating other than dealing with the underlying stress.

1. Just start

Thank you, captain obvious, am I right? 

But seriously, if you have procrastinating tendencies, the best thing you can do is sit yourself down, put your phone away, and just START.

It sounds easy enough but I know in practice, it can be quite challenging. 

And I’m not saying work for hours on end. Like Mel Robbins says in that YouTube video, work for 5 minutes. If you still aren’t feeling it or you can’t get in a groove, then you’re done. But at least you did SOMETHING.

You tried.

The majority of the time, if you work for 5 minutes, you’re going to want to keep going. 

Just like the laws of physics, it takes way more energy to get something going than something that is already moving.

You need that activation energy to catapult you into doing the thing.

2. Time restraints

I know I’ve fallen victim to the procrastination dilemma where you’ve procrastinated for so long, now you have to stay up all night finishing that paper or project. 

It’s a super stressful and not fun experience.

Can anyone relate?

Anyways, I’ve always gotten it done before the due date. However, when we set goals for ourselves, we don’t have a due date. We can push it off until tomorrow until the end of time. 

That’s where SMART goals come in and the importance of setting a timeline. But more on goals later.

For now, make sure you have a deadline set for yourself. 

Calendar blocking can be a very powerful tool for this. Write it down on your calendar and make it non-negotiable that you sit down and work on that thing. 

And honor the time you allotted for it. If you gave yourself an hour, once the hour is up then you’re done. Then take some time to recharge or to do the next task you have on your calendar.

It can really help you stay on track.

Another way to create time restraints is to create mini-deadlines for certain benchmarks towards your goals or the task at hand. When a goal is SO big, it is going to be hard to set a timeline to completely hit the goal. Instead, it may be helpful to break the goal down into weekly or quarterly goals.

This will make it easier to track your progress and ensure you are heading in the right direction.

3. Eliminate Distractions

You knew this was coming.

The almighty smartphone

Your smartphone can be a super powerful tool but it is also SO distracting. It is so easy to grab it and check social media sites or your emails.

How many of us have lost hours to Tik Tok? #guilty.

If you’re constantly checking your phone, it is going to be SUPER easy to lose your train of thought. After all, you aren’t focused on the task at hand. Which is going to make it difficult to get anything done.

At the very least, what could have taken you an hour to do is going to take you several hours. Which doesn’t sound very productive now doesn’t it?

So the easiest way to stay focused and stop procrastinating is to put your phone AWAY. Whether that be in another room or on airplane mode, you have to eliminate the desire to look at it.

Some people even delete social media sites off their phones altogether! Whatever it takes so you aren’t tempted to grab it the moment your mind begins to wander.

Your Workspace

Besides your phone, how is the rest of your environment? Do you have roommates or a significant other constantly distracting you or interrupting you?

Do you feel calm in your workspace? If not, it is time to change it up!

Our environment has a huge impact on our productivity so you have to find one that is going to help you succeed. 

So if you need to go to a local coffee shop or lock yourself in a room, do it. Whatever you need to do to be able to be productive and work efficiently.

I’m fortunate enough to have a room completely dedicated to my home office. My brain knows if I’m in the office, it’s time to work. So you have to create a space or a routine where your brain will do the same.

4. How is your energy

If your energy is low, work on some easier tasks. Then tackle one of the bigger ones. It’s the little things that add up after all!

I’m not saying do the most minuscule task that you can that isn’t going to move you forward. The goal isn’t to do busywork. It’s about doing those little things that are going to have a huge impact if you add them up but doesn’t require a lot of brainpower.

Find a balance where you are still being productive but also taking care of yourself.

Not sure if you have high energy or low energy? 

Maybe check in with yourself throughout the day to see how it goes. 

You know your body so you know when you’re actually tired vs. you don’t feel like doing the thing. Sometimes our goals can be so big and intimidating, it just seems like a lot to tackle. So make sure you’ve broken your goals down into manageable pieces to help avoid overwhelm and burnout.

And if you’ve been crushing it all day but all of a sudden you hit a wall, stop working. Take a break to recharge and then get back at it!

We all know when our brains are just over it for the day and that’s okay! 

Honor your energy so you can use that precious brainpower and energy effectively.  

5. Get Organized

A lot of times, we have issues starting something because we don’t know where TO start. 

You know, those big dreams on your heart? The ones where you know you want it but the HOW to get there is a little blurry. 

And that’s normal. If you’re going outside your comfort zone and chasing dreams you’ve never done, how would you know what to do?

That’s where getting organized comes in. If you can, break your goals down into actionable projects.

Write down everything you need to do to get to that goal. At least, everything you know now. This will most likely change and evolve as you chase your dreams. 

Getting organized is a never-ending process so make sure you are checking in with your progress regularly and adjusting as needed. Organizing is a tool you can use to make your flow more efficient after all.

There is no point in organizing if it doesn’t help you move forward.

Let’s dive into this with an example many people struggle with: cleaning

I know the feeling of waking up in the morning and dreading having to clean my room or home because there is so much crap everywhere.

This is such a bad feeling and it is enough to stop you from doing anything at all! So stop procrastinating by getting organized!

If you’re cleaning your home, break into down into actionable steps. For example, break it down by room. 

Let’s look into your bedroom. Actionable steps may include putting clothes away, changing your sheets, making your bed, vacuuming, dusting, bringing cups to the sink. 

This seems much more manageable now doesn’t it? 

Doing some cleaning or organizing of your things might help you get in the zone and stop procrastinating. Once that new wave of motivation hits, you’ll want to stop procrastinating and get it done.

After you finish one room, you could always take a short (keyword short) break before moving on to the next room.

Worst comes to worst and your bedroom was a disaster and you don’t get to the rest of your home, at least you moved in the right direction.

6. Check your Mindset

Are you approaching the task with the wrong mindset? Are you focusing on things that are outside of your control or not thinking positively? 

So try to stay positive and stop procrastinating by thinking about how you can do this. Finding ways to take control of the situation and stop procrastinating will help you feel more confident about what you are doing.

Dig into what is holding you back. Is it a fear of failing? Or is it stress-related? Is it both?

After all, like Mel Robbins said, procrastinating is a way to cope with stress. Finding out why you are procrastinating and uncovering that stressor can help you face the issue head-on. 

You are much more likely to chase your goals and do the thing if you have the right mindset. That’s why mindset work is SO important. It can make or break your drive.

There are going to be times when you don’t feel like it. You have to have the courage to get your butt up and get to work.

That’s why knowing ‘your why‘ is so important. So when procrastination is present, you can push through.

are you aiming for perfection?

We are our own worse critics after all.

If something isn’t perfect, it doesn’t mean that you failed or that people will hate it. 

It is probably the opposite. Doing the thing and putting yourself out there is way better than it being ‘perfect’.

Perfection is subjective anyway so what you find perfect, someone else won’t. 

So it is better to just do the thing and say you tried. Put yourself out there and I promise you won’t regret it. People regret the things they didn’t do, not the things they tried to do and it didn’t work out.

The more you do something, the better you will get at it. It’s all about learning and moving forward. If you feel perfectionism creeping in, push through that limiting belief and do the thing anyway. Believe me, your confidence levels will increase significantly because it is showing you can do it and nothing bad is going to happen.

After all, you can always revise the work later if needed.

7. Are you using SMART goals?

You know I’m huge into SMART goals so you knew I was going to sneak it into this post. I’ll keep this section brief because I have a bunch of articles on SMART goals.

So, if you aren’t using SMART goals, get on it! It will really help get you into gear and have a clear path towards your goals.

If you want to get organized, SMART goals are where it is at. It’s that roadmap you are looking for. 

SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. If you set goals with a deadline and a way to measure your progress, it is going to make it much easier to start and accomplish your goals. 

 It’s easier to kick procrastination in the butt if you know what you need to do. It eliminates the excuse that you don’t know what to do or where to start.

If you make vague goals, it is going to lead to vague action.

8. Accountability partner

Do you have a friend that will actually keep you accountable when you say you’re going to do the thing that’s on your heart?

If so, good for you. If not, find one! Get with the person and make a pact that they will stop you from putting things off.

Or, if this is too much pressure for you, stop procrastinating by telling yourself that you are accountable to your future self.

If you do the thing, future you is going to thank you! You can do the hard stuff now or you can do the hard stuff later.

Think about how you are putting yourself at a disadvantage for procrastinating. There’s a reason you set these goals. You are in charge of your own happiness and accomplishing your wildest dreams.

So why not set up future you?

You can always reward yourself when you stop procrastinating and actually get something done!

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Procrastination is a habit. 

And with any habit, it can be broken! There are many ways to stop procrastinating including just starting, creating time restraints, eliminating distractions, checking in with your energy levels, getting organized, and changing your mindset. 

Implementing SMART goals and having an accountability partner (whether that’s you or someone else) will help you keep going when you don’t feel like it.

Because we aren’t going to feel like chasing our goals every day. There are going to be times when we want to procrastinate but that is the time to push through.

Do something to help you move forward. 

Just think of how PROUD you will be when you crush your goals. 

Finally, remember that you can never be perfect and that trying your best is good enough!

Let me know in the comments below what techniques you use to stop procrastinating. 

Until next time,

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8 Simple Ways to Stop procrastinating

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