Most of us have it. Procrastination. That feeling that you know you need to do something, but then that little voice (or huge voice in some cases) starts telling you it’s okay to do it another day, look for something else that will take up your time and give you a good excuse for not doing it.

Stop Procrastinating and Do It NowIt can be difficult.  The subconscious mind is playing tricks with you. You know if you were to do what you want to do, it will make you feel better when the task is completed.  Yet the other voice is telling you that you will feel okay if you just did this little thing you like doing, first.

Procrastination becomes a habit.  The more you succumb to it, the more trained you become in procrastination. So how do you overcome it?

It’s an attitude, and a habit issue.  Make up your mind to not fight procrastination but also not let it win.  Train yourself to do, what you don’t want to do, first – get it out of the way.  Easy to say, but you do have to work at it.

Brian Tracy has written a great little book (is that a good description – great little? Anyway, I’m procrastinating) called Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog! 2nd Edition.  Highly recommended reading, it’s about the concept that if you had to eat a frog each day, you will feel better if you did it first thing in the morning. That will make you feel good for the rest of the day, and you don’t have to have that nagging feeling that you have to eat the frog sometime later during the day.  That’s what messes up your day.

The funny thing is you know you will feel better if you were to stop procrastinating.  If you don’t suffer from procrastination, then you are very lucky.  The thing is, don’t let it put you off doing what you need to do  – even if it is tomorrow.

Tips To Stop Procrastinating and Do It Now:

 1.  Start. Just start doing what you need to do without thinking of finishing it.  Once you get involved in what you are doing, the momentum is likely to keep you going.

 2.  Just say ten minutes. If you decide to just give it ten or twenty minutes, chances are as you get into it, the momentum will take you forward and will you end up achieving far more that you thought you would.

3.  Recognise the mood. The most common reason for procrastinating is “I’m not in the mood”.  When you hear yourself saying that, try turning it around by saying something like “I may not be in the mood so I will just do a little bit” – that takes you to point 2.

 4.  Weigh up the value of the task. Is the completed task going to lead to your ultimate goal. (Read more about goal setting here.)

 5.  Get rid of temptations – don’t switch the TV on. Don’t listen to radio chat shows, but do listen to music that is uplifting and gives you energy.

6.  Just go.  If you’ve been putting off going to the gym, or that network function, or the office – just go.  Once you are there you are likely to be caught up in the atmosphere and get into it.

7.  Just get the equipment out.  If cleaning is your bug-bear, get the vacuum cleaner or other cleaning equipment out and set it up.  It’s a start and will take you to 2. again. If you are writing, just start writing without worrying about editing, typos and spelling errors.  Just let the ideas flow and don’t stop until you have exhausted all the ideas.Brian Tracy Eat That Frog! Stop Procrastinating

8.  Don’t think of the end at the beginning.  What? Okay, you know what the result is that you want, for example a clean house, a completed article, a finished book. But if you focus too much on the end, you won’t be focusing on Step 1, then Step 2 then Step 3. Do you know that saying: ” How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!

9.  Make a list of the things you want to achieve during the day, and prioritise them.  This is best done in the evening, so that your subconscious will work on it during your sleep. Chances are you will sleep better because you have addressed the situation, and will wake up feeling more energetic and dive into your tasks with enthusiasm.

10.  The ultimate– Decide to put off procrastination until tomorrow and get on and do it now!


You might also like to read:

Why You Procrastinate, and How to Stop It. Now.

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“Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.

Mason Cooley