8 Ways to Stop Procrastinating

There are lots of reasons for procrastination. Fear of failure, perfectionism, disorganisation, depression, laziness or even the enjoyment of working under pressure can prompt people to delay. Whatever your reasons for procrastination are, it’s time to stop and analyse WHY you are dragging your feet. And then you can change your mind-set and get to work.

Dawdling can halt your success and can also cause physiological problems. Here we’ll show you how to stop procrastinating.

1. Change your scenery

If you work in the same position day in day out, chances are there’ll be distractions. Coloured pens, cups of tea, books, and magazines – anything can put you off your work.

Move away from your normal desk area. Try working in your local library, out in the open or in an internet café. If you’re really struggling for inspiration, you try Woody Allen’s trick – writing in bed.

2. Turn off the internet

Online distractions are sometimes more annoying than physical distractions. If you fall down the rabbit hole that is the internet, it can be hard to crawl back out and get on with your work. Turn your router off so that you’re completely offline. Remove your router and lock it in a cupboard as a last resort.

3. Stop flitting about

If you have multiple projects on the go, it can be easy to flit from one to another. All of your tasks then seem to take forever and you’re not really achieving much. Prioritise your projects and concentrate on one at a time and just do it. If none of your projects are urgent, pick the most difficult one and get it over with. The other tasks will seem easy in comparison.

4. Get off Facebook

What benefits are you getting from staring at Facebook? It’s another black hole on the internet that’s easy to fall into. For many people social networking sites are just another way of passing time whilst work needs to be done.

5. Create a to-do list

If more people made lists, I’m confident the world would be a better place. That’s how much I love lists. Instead of putting one big great task on your list, separate it out into smaller, more manageable chunks. This way your task won’t seem as daunting, and you’ll get a sense of achievement when you tick off things that you’ve accomplished.

6. Find out why you hate certain tasks

Think about, and write down the reasons why you’re putting things off. Getting your thoughts down on paper can be a type of therapy – almost confessional. Once you’ve written it down, then you can try and find help to overcome them.

7. Don’t be a perfectionist

Obviously if you’re a graphic designer, for example, and you’re creating something for a client, this won’t apply to you. But consider letting yourself off the hook once in a while. Getting something 80% done, is better than nothing.

8. Tell someone respectable when you expect to finish

Consider telling someone respectable when you expect to finish your task. Giving yourself a deadline like this will push you to achieve more. If you don’t come through on time, you’ll look bad to the respectable person, and no one wants that.

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How do you stop procrastinating? Get involved in the comments below:

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