How to Cure Procrastination Now!

Procrastination is the thief of time, as the well known saying goes. It starts when we’re children and we put off doing our homework until the night before it’s due in. Then carries on into adulthood, when we put off mowing the lawn until it’s waist high. Procrastination is stopping us accomplishing our goals, so how do we cure ourselves of this terrible habit?

If you want to become more driven; if you want to stop putting things off; if you never want to hear yourself say I’ll do it later ever again, then you need to find your focus.

Ask Yourself Why

Ask yourself why you want to achieve your goal. It may be as modest as putting up a shelf, or as ambitious as taking your law exams. Write down the benefits of accomplishing your task. You may get praise from your boss, or your wife, you may land a fabulous job, or most importantly, you may simply feel good about yourself. Recording the tangible benefits of completing your task will make you feel more motivated to begin.

Cut it Down to Size

Break the job down into smaller tasks. Some projects can seem so overwhelming that you can’t even bring yourself to begin them. Even the simple act of putting up a shelf can seem difficult, when you think of all the elements involved at once. However if you divide it up into smaller steps, such as getting out your tool box, clearing a working space, reading the instructions and then drilling the first holes, it can seem much more manageable. Remember how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Don’t Make it Harder

Don’t keep your tools in Alaska or behind seven locked doors! If you’re reluctant to do a task anyway, then you’re even less likely to do it if you have to root around in the attic for your toolbox, or spend an hour clearing your desk before you can begin. Make every job easier by storing your paraphernalia where you can access it easily.

Start Small

If you really can’t face a task, such as writing a report, then make it even easier for yourself by just doing one small part of the task. When I had to write essays for college I used to feel totally overwhelmed by the enormity of the project.

But then I used to decide that if I couldn’t face doing it all, I would just write down the title. Even doing this made me feel better because I had begun and taking that first step is often the hardest. The following day, I would write my essay plan and possibly the introduction. The day after that I would write the first paragraph. By this time, I often carried on and finished the entire essay. Knowing that I could stop at any time having achieved my small goal for that day, gave me the impetus to keep on going.

Reward Yourself

Give yourself a reward for starting, a reward for getting halfway and an even bigger reward for completing. Believe me, it gives you more incentive to start and an even greater incentive to finish. The reward could be a cup of tea and a biscuit, half an hour to watch your favourite television programme or a cinema trip with a friend. Choose whichever reward motivates you the most. It really makes a difference.

Cultivate Smugness

When you have accomplished your goal, finished your project and done the job in hand, then you deserve to feel smug. Dwell at length on your feelings of satisfaction, virtue and happiness at your achievement. Tell everyone you know what you’ve done, so that they can congratulate you too. Broadcast it on social media! The more you wallow in your success, the easier it will be to start the next task.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you practise these steps regularly then you’ll find it easier not to procrastinate. It will be simpler to start, easier to continue and extremely satisfying to finish. The more often you achieve something, the more empowered you will become, until you develop iron self-discipline. Soon you’ll be eager to accomplish progressively more and your days of procrastinating will be a thing of the past.

Author: Lynne Mashhadi

Lynne Mashhadi is co-Founder of the Inspiration Zone. She is also a Partner in Design Inspiration and the Founder of Clutter.co.uk. Lynne is an experienced writer and content curator. She is known as The Clutter Expert by many people and as a talented freelance writer by others. She is a businesswoman and mother of 3 children who wouldn't like to be called children any more.

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