We are all familiar with procrastination and the struggles to avoid procrastination and get into focused action.
Procrastination is something that everyone struggles with at some point in their business and personal life and makes them feel stuck, frustrated and trapped.
Procrastination has many faces.
Sometimes it’s simply choosing pleasure over finishing a project or task.
Other times it’s finding anything at all that can distract us from actually taking action.
Sometimes it’s an attempt to avoid something negative or a feeling of being paralysed by overwhelming goals that we’ve set for ourselves.
When we procrastinate, we squander time and put off doing the things we should do.
The important activities that could really move our business and life forward.
Chronic procrastinators I know repeat the procrastination loop, constantly delaying, perfecting, hiding, being fearful and avoiding activities until they become unavoidable.
If you’re a procrastinator, you know the impact procrastination can have on you.
For many, inaction and procrastination can prevent you from achieving the bigger and better goals you strive for.
The meaning of procrastination according to the Cambridge Dictionary is:
“The act of delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring.”
Another procrastination definition is:
“The action of delaying or postponing something.”
Alpha Efficiency shared an article where they identified four types of procrastinators and how you could beat the specific type of procrastination:
- Anxious procrastination
- Fun procrastination
- Plenty of time procrastination
- Perfectionist procrastination
How to avoid procrastination
Here are six powerful ways to avoid procrastination that will help you stop procrastinating and get more motivated to take action on what’s most important to you.
1. Get clear on your goals
You can’t get focused on your most productive work if you’re not clear on the outcomes you want to achieve.
It’s easier to avoid procrastination if you feel energised and excited about the work you’re doing.
Start by laying out five specific, measurable goals you want to achieve in the next 90 days.
Then come back to today, and lay out the first action step you want to take for each of the five goals.
2. Set specific deadlines to stop procrastinating
It’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of should do or I’ll do it someday.
To avoid procrastination, you need to set specific dates to complete goals, projects or tasks.
If there is no deadline attached to the work you’re doing, you will procrastinate and put it off.
If there is no excitement or energy to the work you’re doing, then it will be put off in favour of activities that you enjoy far more.
Get in the habit of setting deadlines, be that daily, weekly, monthly or having 90 day goals
3. Remove distractions to overcome procrastination
It’s important to rid yourself of all potential disruptions before you begin working so your most important projects.
Otherwise it’s very easy to get distracted, whether that’s people, social media notifications or other stimuli.
If you find your environment is not conducive to getting things done, avoid procrastination by changing things up.
Work in a coffee shops, in a park or anywhere else where you the space and time to be distraction-free.
4. Work in time blocks to stay focused
If you want a fantastic habit that will show you how to not procrastinate, learn to work in time blocks.
You can use a Pomodoro or some other platform or app that allows you to track time.
I use the 60-60-30 method to help me avoid procrastination.
Decide on an important project or task to work one.
Set your timer for fifty minutes and work until the timer goes off.
Then take a ten-minute break.
Work for a further fifty minutes and then take a further ten-minute break.
Then take a thirty-minute break to recuperate. Go for a walk, have some lunch, talk to a friend, whatever works.
Then start the process again with the same task or new task.
This simple productivity habit will reduce procrastination and help you stay focused.
5. Take more breaks
A key part of time blocking is taking lots of breaks.
Whatever you’re doing it’s essential to take lots of breaks from the work you’re doing.
Taking breaks keeps you energised and focused, and ensures you don’t procrastinate because you have no energy or are fatigued..
6. Stop procrastinating with an accountability partner
For many people working alone, true accountability is hard to achieve.
You have so many things you think you should do, or people have suggested you should do, which makes it easy to go down rabbit holes that take you further away from your goals.
To avoid procrastination, find someone to hold you accountable, cheer you on, motivate you and inspire you.
They will also help you stop procrastinating.
It’s beneficial to have someone as an accountability partner.
This could be a business coach like me, mentor or close friend, who will hold you accountable without succumbing to your excuses.
Their purpose is to give you clarity and focus on the road you’re travelling on. And ensure you don’t procrastinate.
They can help you stop procrastinating, keep you energised and ensure you get over the finish line.
Over to you.
What’s your best tip to stop procrastinating and get more done?
Are you a procrastinator?
Either way, let me know in the comments.
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