The Ultimate Guide to Beating Procrastination: 6 Expert Strategies For Working Through It
If you’re pressure prompted (in other words: you procrastinate), then you know how it feels to always be in a rush at the last minute.
If you have 30 minutes to complete a task, it’s going to take you 30 minutes. But if you have a month to complete it, it’s going to take you a month.
Procrastination doesn’t need to run your life if you don’t want it to. Here are 6 different and powerful strategies for working through your procrastination from the experts, along with the reasons why it happens.
1. Do what you want.
Why procrastination happens: Jen Sincero theorizes that procrastination happens when we really don’t want to do something.
Working through your procrastination: Own it! If you really don’t want to do that thing on your to do list and you keep putting it off, stop beating yourself up about it. Instead, if you’re able to, go do whatever you really want to do and then come back to the task.
Here’s the caveat: leave yourself plenty of time to accomplish the task you’ve been putting off.
2. You’re stressed out.
Why procrastination happens: Mel Robbins’ theory about procrastination is that we use it as stress relief. When you have a looming deadline or a task you’ve been putting off, the idea of doing something else – almost anything else – gives your brain that quick jolt it wants to relieve the stress you’re feeling elsewhere.
Mel also says: you aren’t a procrastinator, you have a procrastination habit.
Working through your procrastination: Mel’s recommendation for breaking through a procrastination habit? Stopping your brain from following its natural stress relief process and just start.
Follow Mel’s groundbreaking 5 Second Rule (count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and GO!), then spend just 5 minutes doing the task you’ve been procrastinating about. Chances are, you’ll keep going!
3. Eat the frog
Why procrastination happens: Brian Tracey famously coined the phrase “eat the frog,” which speaks to how we put off the biggest and ugliest “frog” task because of fear of doing it.
Working through your procrastination: Instead of avoiding the frog, Brian suggests “eating the frog” first thing each and every day.
It does no good to stare at the frog you have to eat and you’re far more likely to continue putting off a task that you don’t do first thing. Plus, if you complete the task first, you’re far more likely to feel accomplished and eat even more frogs throughout the day!
4. Understand urgent vs. important.
Why procrastination happens: Marie Forleo talks about how many of us aren’t productive because we get confused between urgent and important tasks.
Working through your procrastination: Keep your eye on the prize by getting rid of the urgent distractions and, instead, focus on what’s important to you. Your goals and dreams are important, so help yourself out by breaking these down into small tasks that you can accomplish every single day…then keep your brain focused on them!
5. Look at it once.
Why procrastination happens: Chet Holmes, author of “The Ultimate Sales Machine,” talks about how we “touch” things many times before taking action. This act of procrastination is actually taking up your much needed brain space thinking about tasks that have yet to be completed, which ultimately keeps you spinning and accomplishing nothing.
Working through your procrastination: Look at something once. Whether it’s an email, a task that needs completing, or a project, don’t look at it or touch it until you’re ready to take action on it.
That way, you’ll be able to give full focus to the task at hand and work on it without constantly thinking about it in the back of your mind.
6. Stop trying to be perfect.
Why procrastination happens: Elizabeth Gilbert theorizes that we procrastinate because we are actually afraid of not being perfect.
Working through your procrastination: Understand that done is better than perfect. Perfectionism is a myth that isn’t real, and you’ll bang your head against a wall trying to be perfect instead of being productive and moving towards your goals and dreams.
Do your very best at any given task or project, and then let it go. You’ll start to see how completing tasks actually feels better than a perfect product.
Do you struggle with procrastination? What are your favorite tips and tricks for combating it?
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