11 Tips for Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination is frustrating. There are things that you know you should be doing, but you simply don’t feel like doing them. Everyone has been in this situation more than once.

A lazy day isn’t an issue on occasion, but chronic procrastination can cause a lot of short and long-term challenges in your life.

Learning to deal with procrastination in an effective manner is an important tool in your life skills toolbox.

If procrastination is negatively affecting you, try these techniques to curb it:

1. Start with the hardest task. Many people find that there’s actually just one task that’s preventing them from taking action. If you could just put that task in your rearview mirror, everything else would be a piece of cake. Try doing your most dreaded task first and watch your productivity rise!

2. Start with the easiest task. On the other hand, if you could just gain a little momentum, you might find yourself motivated to continue. Try doing the shortest or easiest task first and see what happens.

3. Reward yourself for taking action. A little reward can go a long way. Tell yourself that you can have a cup of coffee after you work for 30 minutes. Or, let yourself read a chapter from your favorite novel after putting in a couple of hours of work.

4. Get organized. A cluttered workspace increases the amount of resistance you feel. Whether it’s a messy desk, a dirty kitchen, or a bunch of toys in the yard that are standing in your way, spend some time tidying things up.

5. Force yourself to do the task you’re avoiding for just two minutes. Many tasks are easy to do, but it can be hard to get started. Force yourself to work for just two minutes and you might find that it’s easy to continue for much longer.

6. Get more sleep. Perhaps you’re just tired. More sleep is the answer.

7. Visualize the task already completed. Close your eyes and see yourself completing the task. Notice how wonderful you feel. Use that feeling as motivation to get busy.

8. Relax. The ultimate reason we don’t take action is this: We think about performing a task, and it doesn’t feel good. Notice where you feel uncomfortable when you think about doing that unpleasant task. Relax that area, breathe deeply, and the feeling will dissipate.

9. Think about something that gets you excited. What is something you love to do? Think about that for a while, and then quickly get started on the unpleasant task.

10. See yourself as someone that gets things done. If you see yourself as someone that struggles to complete your tasks, that’s how you’ll behave. Instead, convince yourself that you are someone that takes care of business. Validate this belief by noticing the many tasks you do.

11. Schedule breaks. When you have a break to look forward to, it’s easier to get to work. Promise yourself that you can do whatever you want for 20 minutes after you work for two hours.

Just because you feel like being lazy doesn’t mean you have to actually be lazy. Take control of the situation and get yourself to take meaningful action.

Everyone feels lazy from time to time, but successful people are able to move past this temporary emotional state and get themselves moving again.

Give yourself the occasional lazy day but avoid allowing yourself to be lazy on a regular basis. When you get to work and complete your tasks quickly, you can take more well-deserved time off to relax and do those things that are more important to you. Your life is waiting for you!

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