Everyone procrastinates. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t.
When we want to delay or postpone a task or a set of tasks, we procrastinate.
The thing with procrastination is that it can be a major obstacle to success, in both our personal and professional lives.
There are many reasons why we procrastinate. Sometimes, we procrastinate because we’re afraid of failure. Other times, we procrastinate because we’re not too sure how to start a task. And sometimes, we procrastinate simply because it’s easier to put something off than to do it.
Whatever the reason, procrastination can have a negative impact on our lives. It can lead to stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem. It can also lead to missed deadlines, poor performance, and lost opportunities.
If you ever struggle with procrastination here are a few things that help me stay on track.
.1. Think of future you
I can not tell you how many times thinking of the future me has gotten me motivated to do the thing now.
Training for WTF Lumberjack meant that I was training in the depths of summer. If I didn’t get up early in the morning to get my training runs in, it would be running in the heat of the day.
Getting up earlier was a compromise I was willing to take.
.2. Don’t wait for motivation use momentum
If you wait to get motivated to do the thing, you could be waiting around a long time.
Instead, just start. It doesn’t matter where you start, it’s the act of starting. Momentum is what will get you to finish the task, and along the way, you will find the motivation.
.3. Set Deadlines
There is nothing like a deadline to kickstart the momentum.
Deadlines help you stay focused and can minimise distractions.
Then there is also that sense of accomplishment when you have completed your task by the deadline.
.4. Find an accountability buddy
Knowing that someone else is counting or relying on you to complete a task can be a powerful motivator.
The advantage of having accountability buddies is that they can check in with you regularly to see how you are doing and offer support.
.5. Take care of yourself
When you are well-rested, well-fed and healthy, it’s easier to stay focused.
Procrastination is not evil, we all do it, and sometimes we never need it.
What is important is to identify the underlying cause. Once you know why you’re procrastinating, you can start to develop strategies to overcome it.
The next time you find yourself procrastinating, give one of these tips a go.