Top 10 Tips to Help Stop Procrastinating
By Simon Hawtin | Fri 6 Feb 15
By Simon Hawtin | Fri 6 Feb 15
Research shows that the average person procrastinates for 218 minutes a day. Imagine if you can halve that, you'd carve out at least an additional 12 hours a week of productivity. Time to speak to loved ones you've lost touch with, to launch that business idea you've been thinking of for months, or perhaps kick-start that fitness regime you've been all too keen to delay starting.
Whatever it is you procrastinate about we've come up with 10 easy to digest tips to help you get more out of life:
1. Re-evaluate why you're doing things
What made me decide to do this in the first place? If you don't know the answer, don't do it and start doing something you need to do.
2. Prioritise tasks
For each task ask yourself "should I do it, delegate it or dump it?" And then act accordingly, for example write it down and don't move onto number 2 until you have finished number 1.
3. Take small steps
Break down tasks making them manageable and achievable - it's very satisfying to tick tiny tasks off lists (and they soon build up into a big task).
4. Get help from friends
If you find something overwhelming, ask a colleague or friend for help. Even if it's just friendly advice, sometimes a little chat can work wonders.
5. Drop perfectionism
Remember that an imperfect step taken today is better than a perfect step that never happens.
6. Remove distractions
Whether it's switching off your phone or unplugging the TV, removing distractions can help reduce the chances of procrastinating. Try switching your phone off, or simply put it in the draw if you need to hear it ring. You know what they say, "out of sight, out of mind".
7. Be aware when you're procrastinating
Acknowledge your inner demons and recognise when you're about to procrastinate; "I don't feel like doing this anymore…I'll work on this later".
Just push yourself to spend a few more minutes on the task - you'll find it's easier to complete once you've started.
8. Learn from the past
Keep reminding yourself of the frustration of not getting things done or the stress of having to rush them at the last minute. Or remind yourself of that great feeling of having achieved something. Whatever works for you.
If you do procrastinate, don't beat yourself up. Forgive yourself and make note of what you need to do differently.
10. Visualise your ideal future
Ask yourself, "what one step could I take right now to move me towards that future?". Then do it.
Know friends who are chronic procrastinators? Send them this article and challenge them to act upon it by doing one thing they've been putting off to #MakeTodayPay.
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