Overcoming procrastination is key for success in business and life. Procrastination causes you to feel stressed, overwhelmed and put off important tasks.
If you can overcome procrastination you can manage your emotions, thoughts and behaviours to be more productive and get more done.
In this article I’m going to share 5 tips on how to overcome procrastination so you can start doing what truly matters to you.
Everyone procrastinates over something in business and life. But, you can learn to stop procrastination if you identify the cause of your procrastination and take action to overcome it.
The more you forgive yourself for past procrastination, the more likely you are to overcome procrastination.
The key to overcoming procrastination is to get to the root cause of procrastination. When you recognise the onset of procrastination, you can use anti-procrastination strategies to overcome it.
Take a look at these 5 tips to overcome procrastination, so you can stop procrastinating today.
Read also: 8 tips to stop procrastinating
What is procrastination?
I define procrastination as the avoidance of doing something specific or delaying an important task that has a deadline, usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead.
Procrastination can restrict your potential and lead to stress, frustration and an inability to move forward and take action.
We often procrastinate when we have an activity that may seem exciting but we have trouble getting started in the first place.
Procrastination strikes when we have activities that we know we should do but put off or do something else that we know we shouldn’t do but keep doing anyway.
Everyone puts things off sometimes, but procrastinators regularly avoid difficult tasks or put things off until the last minute.
What are the causes of procrastination?
There are many causes of procrastination. We procrastinate when we can’t guarantee achieving a specific result. As there is no guarantee in place we procrastinate because we don’t want to take the chance of failing or achieving a result that is not the result we want,
We procrastinate because we don’t believe we have the capabilities to achieve a desired result or are scared of not being able to achieve the task or tasks we’ve set ourselves or been set.
Procrastination is often seen as a fear of failure. Procrastination strikes when we don’t have the self-confidence or self-esteem to take that first step.
The root causes of procrastination for many people who procrastinate is perfectionism. Instead of taking action, procrastinators are always polishing and perfecting something rather than actually completing an important task or project
There are many reasons we procrastinate and get stuck, so diagnosing why you procrastinate is the crucial first step.
How to overcome procrastination
Here are 5 tips to overcome procrastination.
1. Get clarity on your goals
We procrastinate when we don’t have clarity around our goals. If you don’t have exciting, measurable goals that you want to achieve, it’s easy to start procrastinating.
The key to overcoming procrastination is to set better goals so you’re more actively engaged.
When setting goals, it’s far better to commit to achieving ambitious but realistic goals in a specific time frame. This gives you a tangible plan and action steps to follow.
Having goals is essential to overcome procrastination. When you’re excited and motivated, you’re more ready to take action. When you don’t feel excited or motivated you start procrastinating.
Read also: How to set goals and achieve them.
2. Work out why you’re procrastinating
If you want to learn how to overcome procrastination, it’s important to recognise that you’re procrastinating and work out why you’re procrastinating.
Procrastination is caused by a lack of confidence and motivation. You may be procrastinating because you feel you don’t have the capability or the confidence to take on the work.
You may be procrastinating because you’re worried about failure or you’ve had to prioritise urgent tasks. Procrastination can cause you to fill your day completing an endless to-do list and start projects but leave them unfinished.
To overcome procrastination step back, reflect and get clear on your purpose and the end result you want to achieve. Greater purpose and motivation can help you overcome procrastination.
If you’re not feeling motivated, read my 7 tips on how to increase motivation.
3. Break goals down
To start overcoming procrastination break your goals down into simple action steps. It’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t know the first step to take to achieve your goals.
Having big goals can cause procrastination. If your goals aren’t measurable and have a deadline attached to them, procrastination can set in.
To overcome procrastination, focus on the steps you need to take and give yourself a pat on the back for making progress.
Forward motion and progress each day helps you stay focused, energised and motivated, which stops procrastination.
Read my guide to setting measurable goals to help you overcome procrastination.
4. Plan your day
If you want to overcome procrastination, it’s important to plan your day around your most important activities. It’s easy to procrastinate when you have too much to do and you feel overwhelmed.
Plan the night before or plan first thing in the morning to ensure you don’t start the day procrastinating. When you feel clear, confident and focused you’re less likely to procrastinate.
Identify your biggest priorities for the day and schedule time to work on them. When you have a small list of exciting projects to work on, it’s easier to get into action and stop procrastinating.
Get my proven step by step process for effective daily planning.
5. Get an accountability partner
Being accountable to yourself and others is a simple way to overcome procrastination. To start overcoming procrastination find an accountability partner or work with an accountability coach.
Without an accountability structure it’s easy to start procrastinating. To stay on track and do your most important work, an accountability structure can help.
Having someone to hold you accountable, cheer you on, motivate you and inspire you is key to overcoming procrastination.
Working with an accountability coach will help you stop procrastinating. Discover the benefits of working with an accountability coach.
Procrastination can hold you back from achieving your biggest goals. When you procrastinate you are always getting ready to take action, but never following through on taking action.
Use these tips to help you overcome procrastination today. To start overcoming procrastination, recognise that you’re procrastinating and understand the causes of your procrastination.
Forgive yourself for procrastinating and take action on eliminating the causes of procrastination one by one.
Now I’d love to her from you.
What’s your number one challenge with procrastination?
What’s the best tip you’ve used to help you overcome procrastination?
Let me know in the comments.
About the Author
Mark Pettit is a time management coach and accountability coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK. He is the Founder of time management coaching company, Lucemi Consulting.
Mark provides time management coaching programs and accountability coaching programs to small business owners and leaders in London, Essex, Suffolk, East Anglia and across the UK, US and Canada.
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