10 Key Strategies to Beat Procrastination


Not setting goals for ourselves because we fear that we’ll not achieve them is having a defeatist attitude! As we allow procrastination to become an insidious habit, it creeps into all aspects of our personal and work lives.  The result is feeling unfulfilled and lacking motivation.

Don’t let this happen! Here are 10 ways to kick the procrastination habit and lead more fulfilling lives!

1. Personal values development.
What are your personal values? Do you want more time, more money, better health, greater self esteem and confidence, more fulfilling relationships, a different career, set up a business? When we procrastinate it’s often because what we are planning to do is not really aligned with what we truly want. We may be scared of our skills (or perceived lack of) or fear ridicule from others. Take the time to figure out what you really want in life and in your career.

2. Make health and high-energy levels a priority.
Without good health we are less likely to have the energy and vitality needed to make positive changes in our lives and it’s easier (and necessary if you’re very ill) to procrastinate. Therefore, ensure that you have a nourishing diet, sleep well, exercise and meditate. These are the keys to ensure that you have the energy and the right mindset to progress towards your goals.

3. Visualize your life without procrastination.
See and feel the benefits in your life if you did not procrastinate. What could you do and achieve? Begin to act as if you’re not a procrastinator. Write down, draw, imagine your life as a film. Use daily affirmations to help you and keep you in a positive mindset.

4. Banish the gremlin.
That little voice which runs on auto in your head – the one that dismisses any idea that you might have. It says things like “I’m not in the mood”, “I don’t have time”, “I can’t do this.” Stop running on auto and replace the “should” and “ought” with “I will.” You have a choice. Acknowledge your choices and banish the gremlin. Again, using affirmations can help you replace the gremlin with more positive alternatives.

5. Do not over commit.
Saying “yes” to everything – often leaves you feeling tired and without the energy to focus on what is most important to you. This leads to procrastination as projects and tasks are dropped. Identify what is most important to you and only focus on those areas that will make the biggest difference to your life. It will enhance your focus and motivation.

6. Set personal and professional goals.
It’s hard to motivate yourself when you don’t have a good idea of what you want to accomplish. So when setting goals think about what you want to achieve in the short term and long term. Techniques for doing so include the Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-based (SMART) strategy.

7. Prioritize Your Goals.
Develop a plan or schedule to help you reach your goals. In doing so you will begin to identify whether some elements need to be included, enhanced or dropped completely. Also remember to be flexible, revisit your goals regularly and modify or drop, if appropriate.

8. Divide and conquer.
Once you’ve prioritized your goals, divide them into smaller chunks. Sometimes we procrastinate because a project seems really large that the scale of it overwhelms us and puts us into a temporary form of paralysis – you don’t know where to start, so you don’t start at all! Approach each project – especially large ones – on a step-by-step basis.

9. Reward yourself.
Once you start to complete tasks, reward yourself by giving yourself something that you want. So instead of seeing a movie, making a purchase, or going to a new restaurant before you complete a task, do it afterwards to make it a reward for your accomplishment.

10. Just get started.
No excuses. Don’t wait until you’re “in the mood.” The mood never comes! It is a clever camouflage and a delaying tactic. What you resist persists! Start with what is easiest, so that you experience immediate success, which will give you the fuel and motivation to upgrade and take on larger projects.

Do any of the above and you’ll be well on your way to beating the procrastination habit. And, if you’re procrastinating over doing any of the above, remember that life is the biggest deadline of all!

– Wishing you continued success!

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