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Defeating Procrastination

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Procrastination Recognition

If you have found yourself putting off important tasks repeatedly, you’re not alone. In fact, many people procrastinate to some degree. The key to controlling this destructive habit is to recognize when you begin procrastinating, understand why it happens, and take active steps to manage your time better. In a nutshell, you procrastinate when you put off things that you should be focusing on right now.

Once you recognize that you are procrastinating, the next step is to begin overcoming this time-wasting habit. In addition, procrastination is a habit, a habitual way of dealing with tasks you find distasteful or that make you fearful of failure. When you see that you are procrastinating, make an appointment with yourself to take the first step toward completing the task. Determine exactly what that first step will be and then set a specific time in the near future to begin the work.

Overcoming Procrastination

If you are honest with yourself, you probably know when you are procrastinating. Here are some useful indicators that will help you know when you are procrastinating:

  • Filling your day with low priority tasks from your To Do List.
  • Reading e-mails several times without starting work on them or deciding what you are going to do with them.
  • Sitting down to start a high-priority task, and almost instantly going off to make a cup of coffee.
  • Leaving an item on your To Do list for a while, even though you know it is important.
  • Regularly saying “Yes” to unimportant tasks that other people ask you to do, and filling your time with these rather than getting on with the important tasks already on your list.
  • Waiting for the “right mood” or the “right time” to tackle the important task.

Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies

This needs to become a habit, a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior. That means that you will not just break it overnight. Habits only stop being habits when you have persistently stopped practicing them, so use as many approaches as possible to maximize your chances of beating procrastination. Some tips will work better for some people than for others, and for some tasks than others. Sometimes you may just need a fresh approach to beat procrastination.

These general tips will help motivate you to get moving:

  • Make up your own rewards. For instance, promise yourself a piece of tasty flapjack at lunchtime if you have completed a certain task. In addition, make sure you notice how good it feels to finish things.
  • Ask someone else to check up on you. Peer pressure works! This is the principle behind slimming and other self-help groups, and it is widely recognized as a highly effective approach.
  • Identify the unpleasant consequences of NOT doing the task.
  • Work out the cost of your time to your employer. As your employers are paying you to do the things that they think are important, you’re not delivering value for money if you’re not doing those things. Shame yourself into getting going!
  • Aim to “eat an elephant beetle” first thing, every day!

Remember: the longer you are able to spend without procrastinating, the greater your chances of breaking this destructive habit for good.

Staying Focused

Some might say it is because we do not have the necessary willpower to accomplish what we set out to do. My guess is it could be many things, but it is more likely that you have just started down a path without your compass and you have started to lose your way.

Rather than rattling off a list of things, you “should” do for whatever reason, sit down and think about what it is you really want to achieve and set a solid intention for accomplishing your goal. I also suggest that you focus on only one or two intentions at a time. No matter what it is that you would like to achieve, setting an intention can and will set you on a course for success.

Tips for Staying Focused Some might say it is because we do not have the necessary will power to accomplish what we set out to do. Some say it is because we are too busy or too overwhelmed to take action on our resolution. My guess is it could be any of those things, but it is more likely that you have just started down a path without your compass and you have started to lose your way.

Here are 5 top tips to finally achieving your goal:

#1 Get Clear

In setting an intention, you’re making it clear to yourself and to other people exactly what you plan to do. Define the definition of what accomplishing your goal would be. For instance, you know you’ve reached your goal of improving your management skills when you consistently feel more satisfied with your ability to deal with tough situations and motivate your staff. You may even get that promotion you have been after.

#2 Clear Intention

Realize that an intention comes in several sizes and every large goal is filled with intentions big and small. With follow through, each intention will ultimately lead to success. For instance, if your resolution is to improve your management skills, your first intention may be to speak with your company to find out what skills and traits you may want to focus on.

#3 Do Not Let Confusion Overwhelm Your Intention

You may have lots of passion about your resolution, but passion without a plan is wasted energy and will eventually fizzle out. Setting an intention to take a step towards your goal each day will keep you on the right path and help to clear away confusion.

#4 Use Your Resources

Ask for what you want and need from other people. When you clearly state your intention and your request of other people, you have the opportunity to gain a partner and a cheering section. For instance, if you look up to somebody’s management style, ask him or her for tips and possibly even support. Chances are they will be flattered and very willing to share advice.

#5 Be Accountable.

Choose your resolutions carefully by deciding what really interests you. You might ask somebody you trust to help keep you accountable. Nevertheless, nothing can take the place of honouring your intentions to yourself. You will be amazed at how your self-esteem and sense of accomplishment will increase when you achieve your goals.

Become Creative – What is creativity?

Creativity is an act of faith and an art of discovery. It is the ability of a person to create something that is new to world based upon an innovation.  When an apple felt on the head of Newton he formulated laws of motion which are the basis of many present day calculations. When Sir Thomas Edison analyzed the need of light to fight with dark in night, this analysis guided him in the invention of electric bulb.  To some extent creativity lies in every person whether he is a famous scientist or lower grade employee.  Creativity lies in depth of your soul in form of innovative ideas which either gets buried in corners of your heart with the passage of time or you do not get support from society, so the need only is to give life to your innovation.

Let Yourself Come Out of You

Forget about restrictions of society, existing past trends and gain faith upon you.  You can learn to be more creative by observing and following highly creative people; reading their biographies.  Give shape to your thoughts and bring your thoughts into life. Don’t be protractive in giving life to your innovation.  Creative people have a strong desire to express themselves and sometimes they need to fight to secure their rights.

Working Less Leads to Accomplishing More

If you are feeling overworked, overwhelmed or just plain over it, the following time-management tips can help you maximize your productivity so you are able to accomplish more.  Between responding to personal emails, instant messaging and fielding cell phone calls from your kids, it can get very hard to stay focused on the tasks.

Therefore, when you are in the office try to concentrate on you work as much as possible. Then when you are at home, you can really deal with your issues there without distraction. You will wind up having better quality time both places. Separating your work duties from home-related ones will allow you to keep your mind on work when you’re there and, in turn, procrastinate less, feel less overwhelmed and accomplish more.

Establish Boundaries Stick With Them

While it is always great to try to make everybody happy all the time, it is just not possible in a workplace ruled by the irrefutable laws of time and space. Learn when to say no. There are times when it’s right to go beyond the call of duty on the job. For Instance, when it is a real emergency, then I do not mind staying late or going out on a limb. However, that’s different from just letting people dump their last minute work on your desk so they can make it home early. While you need to do your work, you also need to take care of yourself and know your job’s boundaries.

Make Time for Yourself

When you “have to” do anything, you are in a state of resistance. You are fighting the natural flow by pointing yourself upstream, resisting. After a few decades of this resistance, you are able to see how some individuals eventually burnout, lose their perspective, lose joy, create sickness and ultimately lose life itself. No, having to work hard to get what we want isn’t the answer. Grinding away at something is the root cause of all disappointments in life. Turn this idea around. Discover and pursue your path of least resistance. What do you love? I mean really love! What do you like to “play at”? What are you effortlessly good at? What activity excites you to an extent that when you’re engaged in it, you actually lose your awareness of time? Think about these questions deeply. Within this idea of “play” is the seed of joyous, easy, relaxed, natural, lazy creation.

There is no working when you’re engaged in an activity you feel you were born to do. If you have an idea that you love to play with, do you force yourself to play with it? Of course not. You are naturally drawn to it. You are lovingly engaged in it. Things are easy. There is no work involved, and the results of your creation seem almost heaven-sent.

Your whole life must reflect what you’re naturally drawn to do. It is essential to accomplishing your heart’s desire. Do not trade one more second of your precious life energy working hard at achieving your goals. Discover your greatest gifts that have been with you since the day you were born and use them to create value in a simple and relaxed way! Everything you need to create your success is already within you

18 thoughts on “Defeating Procrastination”

  1. I really enjoyed this post and made me realise how easy it is to get sidetracked. I must admit I have one or things on my to do list still sitting there, and I will definitely deal with them today! Though I’m focused on my goals, I can see how resistence could have a negative effect:)

    1. HI Kathy. Thanks for reading and replying. Yes, procrastination is one of the most both annoying and delaying things that we do and it is worthy of note that if this starts to happen, your business will falter greatly. Be safe.

  2. Hi. I guess it is the human nature to do things that are easy for them first and put the difficult at the last. I think your point about doing something that you love is important. Because once you are doing something that you love, you are willing to take any challenge you face.

    if happen your job is not something that you love and for some reason you can’t quit it for the time being, then you might have to work on changing the mindset like this is the process that you have to go through in order to learn something from it which will help you to find a better job that you love in future!

    Well, thank you for sharing so many information and ideas of how to overcome procrastination.

    1. Hi Janet. Proarastinating is a habit yo need to lose. If you put things off and then forget about them, the consequences can be harmful Keep a note of things to do and go back soon. Be safe.

  3. Procrastination is one of the main issues I face every day, I end up not doing half as much as I need to do! These tips are very helpful, I should start thinking about which rewards I should get! Great content, its simple aesthetic blends well to the minimalist trend we millennials go for!

    1. Hi Kevin. Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. Yes, this is a habit that is worth losing. If you need to delay then make sure that you go back and check that you have covered all before publishing your work. Be safe

  4. Hi David, I love the picture with the magnifying glass of the path ahead, I think this sum’s it all up. I will have this pic in my head now for ever from this day forward. I fallen into this trap many times and I have found, for me that it comes from being overwhelmed, then I lose faith in myself and don’t move forward but now I have a picture. Thanks and Regards Barry

    1. Hi Barry. Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. I absolutely agree with being overwhelmed. It’s so easy to try to learn as much as possible, after all, that’s what we are told we need to do, but trying to set a limit on what we learn and then to act on that information can actually lead to procrastinating over what to do first or last. I find that learn, do, learn, correct, do works for me. Stay safe

  5. Procrastination is many of our worse enemies when it comes to accomplishing our goals, and even if we don’t want to admit it some days we all put off things that we should be doing. You have provided me motivation and inspiration to change my own ways, I am going to try to come up with a regular routine and I am asking you if you could maybe write an article with the steps for me to accomplish this?

    Thank you
    Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff. Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. I will try to do what you ask and see if I can come up with a plan for coping with procrastination. I feel that people get overwhelmed with so much information to take in and which do you do first and what do I do next. In all this learning that we do, we need to carry out these simple steps: LEARN-DO-TEACH. You learn by watching a video or reading a book, but that must be followed by doing. From the doing, we will find out what works and what does not, but this is again learning, then we do again until we get it right, again and again, then we can teach. Stay safe

  6. Hi David, thank you so much for this article! I feel like procrastination is one of the things I need to work on right now, I really have to change this bad habit to be more productive! So thank you so much for the advice you give in this article, I will apply them out to my daily life! 🙂

    1. Hi Kelly. Thanks for taking the time (3 times), to read and reply. Putting things off is so important to keep an eye on as I am sure if we are doing a large project, something missed out at the beginning and not noted could really wreck that project, but by just using simple notes means we do’t forget about it. Procrastination would just stop the same project and actually stops you progressing. Thanks and stay safe.

  7. Hi David, sorry for posting two comments, please feel free to delete one of them! And also in the “Staying Focused” section of your article, there are 4 paragraphs but 2 of them are repeated, maybe you need to edit them!

    Best regards,
    Kelly

    1. Hi Kelly. Thank you ever so much for pointing out those mistakes, they are now corrected. That’s what happens when you do not focus, I should follow my own posts?? Stay safe

  8. Procrastination is one of many pitfalls that delays success and this post here made me realise how important it is to stay focused, use your time well, and overall finally get the job done. It’s not an easy thing really but thanks to your post I can say that it’s a normal thing to be in, and it must be overcome.

    Well done, David. I can learn a lot from this post. I know that others can learn a lot as well.

    1. Hi. Thank you for taking the time to read and reply. Thanks, I do agree that delaying can impact on not just your website but also your business. Actually, at the end of the day, it impacts on your profits, yes, think about that, your profits. Good luck and sty safe

  9. Procrastination is something I’ve struggled with most of my life. That and indecision, although I believe they’re linked. I’ve read before that procrastination is actually linked to fear, not laziness, which is interesting/ What is your view on that? I like your practical tips on overcoming it though, which I’m going to implement going forward. Cheers!

    1. Hi Gareth. Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. Procrastination is something I have been doing lately and my posts will tell you that. I think it should be added to the 7 deadly sins. We are all terribly bad at getting things done, and the most successful people are those who always act, take daily action, go above and beyond and are obsessional about everything. Make things a habit, stay safe.

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