How to Avoid and Overcome Procrastination

Believe that you can avoid and overcome procrastination very easily!  Procrastination is an issue many of us deal with (or put off dealing with) for as long as possible. Normally, procrastination happens when you’re faced with doing something you don’t like to do, don’t know how to do, or fear.

Some Negative Effects of Procrastination:

Procrastination can upset a lot of things in your life. Delaying accomplishing tasks or projects on time can affect your income, relationships, and self-esteem – not to mention your credibility!

Additionally, it doesn’t just affect you; it affects everyone else close to you:

  • It can irritate your spouse and children and teach your kids to put things off, too.
  • Your colleagues or friends might think they can no longer trust you to do what you say.
  • It causes issues with your boss and co-workers who have to step in and do your work for you (until you get fired)!
  • It frustrates and annoys anyone who has to wait on you to get something done before they can do their part.

There are ways you can overcome procrastination!  Get back on track! Even if you’ve been putting some projects off for months, or if it has become a daily habit, you can still change and overcome procrastination.

Follow these tips to avoid and overcome procrastination and transform yourself into someone who gets things done:

  1. Divide and conquer.
    Most tasks are composed of several different pieces. This is why you’ll want to divide the task into a series of attainable action steps. Breaking it down this way makes it seem a lot easier.
  • Start with the easy steps; those that you can accomplish quickly.
  • Jump right in and complete those easy steps first. This will give you the confidence to continue, build momentum, and motivate you to get it done.
  1. Get some help.
    Don’t let pride get in the way of letting you get something accomplished.
  • If your allotted time is short, request someone’s help.  Ask them to help you, especially the easy ones that can be dispatched quickly. This will give you more time to focus on the more difficult portions of the project.
  • Form a team and divide up the project. As the saying goes, many hands make light work! Learning to delegate helps make you more successful. If your delayed projects are at home, let your children do the parts of the project they can do. They’ll learn some valuable life skills, too.
  • If you’re not sure of what to do, ask someone who’s done something similar before. They can quickly bring you up to speed. Once it’s no longer a mystery, you’ll find it’s not as much of a challenge as you thought! 
  1. Make a list.
    Make a list of all of the things that you’ve been putting off so you have a concrete listing of exactly what still needs to be completed.
  • Put them in order of their priority.  Prioritize! This way you’ll be sure to get the most important ones done first.
  • Divide each project into attainable tasks as explained above.
  • Post it in a spot where you can see it throughout the day.
  • Cross off each task as you finish it. Just the action of crossing something off that list makes you feel good and motivates you to get more done.
  • Reward yourself after you complete the entire project. 
  1. Start some new habits.
    Now that you know some easier ways to get things done, use these same tips each day for every project that comes up.
  • Instead of just putting it aside for later, divide your project immediately into attainable smaller tasks, delegate what you can, and do something on it right away.
  • Make it a point to do this consciously for a few weeks and it will become a habit. Most experts agree that it takes three weeks to turn a conscious action into a habit.

Bernard Meltzer said: “Hard work is often easy work you didn’t get done at the proper time.” How true! The longer you put off doing a task or project, the harder it’ll be to get it done because more work has piled up, conditions have gotten worse, and others involved are now irritated with you.

Make your work easier and your life more enjoyable by following these tips to overcome your procrastination and avoid it in the future. You’ll be glad you did!