16 ways to stop procrastinating and get stuff done
“Procrastination is the thief of time” – Edward Young
Ahhh procrastination….the thing that gets in the way of all those things we want to do or need to do but just can’t seem to ourselves.
Procrastination often rears its ugly head because of, among other things, overwhelm, fear of failure, lack of motivation, not knowing where to start or perfectionism.
It can literally stop us in our tracks and cause us to waste precious time in getting where we want to be.
How to stop procrastinating
Here are some practical ways to beat the procrastination monster and get stuff done:
Acknowledge that you’re never going to ‘feel like it’. The bottom line is we always have to do things we don’t want to. It takes up head space, it hangs over us, always there until it’s done. So in the words of Nike, just do it!
Ask what made you want to do it in the first place. If you don’t have a good answer, don’t do it!
For every task on your to-do list, ask Do you HAVE to do it yourself, can you delegate it or does it actually need to be done at all?!
Break down tasks into small manageable chunks with a deadline. Say you want to write a novel, that’s huge and has procrastination written all over it but if you break it down into chapters and word counts per chapter it suddenly becomes MUCH more manageable.
Remove distractions. You know what they are, get rid of them…turn off your push notifications or leave your phone in another room. Tell your loved ones to NOT talk to you until you say so, etc etc.
Ask yourself ‘How will I feel once this is done?’
Ask yourself what the consequences are of not doing it!
Ask yourself what is stopping you from getting it done?
Brain dump to do list. This is a fave of mine because you still have EXACTLY the same amount to do but the headspace you clear and the time you save from not worrying or procrastinating over all the things you have to do is invaluable! Split a horizontal page into 3. On the left write down everything you can think of that you need to do. In the middle be really honest and pick everything that HAS to be done THIS WEEK. Then in the right every day take 3 things from the middle list and just do those! If you get through them super quick then great feel free to add another one. The sense of achievement you’ll feel will be soooo much better than the usual overwhelm.
Eat that Frog. Brian Tracy’s book teaches that tackling the biggest, ugliest, most difficult task on your list FIRST makes everything else easier and quicker. PLUS you will save so much more time not procrastinating on the big stuff!
Enlist help. Get yourself an accountability partner. Someone you need to answer to get things done. A friend, a family member, coach or mentor. Someone who can help to keep you on track.
Give yourself a reward or celebrate once it’s done. Well, this one’s always fun for obvious reasons 😉 Essentially bargain with and bribe yourself into doing it…it’s crass but it works!
Put it out there! If you set your intention publicly you’re FAR more likely to get it done.
Check in with where you are. Where are you most and least productive? Make sure you’re in a space that you work well in.
Mel Robbins 5 second rule. The moment you feel your brain start to distract you or umm and ahh about doing something, count backward 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move! Once you take the first step the rest is easy.
Call yourself out on it! Call a spade a spade, notice it when it starts to happen and use some of the above to get you moving in the right direction!
Give some of these a test run and see which ones work for you!
For some additional accountability join my new private Facebook group and let me know what you’re procrastinating over!
If you’re struggling to see the positives at the moment download my FREE ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ daily journal below. It’s based on positive psychology and can help you get back to ‘you’ and will also help you flex that resilience muscle some more! Just print it out, put it on your bed and spend 5 minutes every evening writing it and see how things start to shift.
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Here’s a video where I share more on this topic: