Is there something you know you must do, but just can’t seem to get down to it? If you’re trying to figure out how to stop procrastinating, here are 4 top strategies that you can combine to make things happen, right away.
How to Stop Procrastinating Now
1. BREAK THE TASK DOWN
We’ll begin with 3 of our choice picks from Eat that Frog!
When a task seems too big and insurmountable, we tend to procrastinate. It’s easier psychologically to take on a small task. Once you complete it, you feel energized to take on the next task, then the next, until the job is completed. Break the task down, so you can conquer it bit by bit.
2. APPLY PRESSURE ON YOURSELF
Set an artificial deadline, e.g. imagine you are leaving for long a holiday tomorrow and must finish your critical tasks today (it always works!). Or, have a it of fun and make it a game to see how fast and far you can push yourself, and beat your own records or deadlines.
3. MAXIMIZE YOUR POWER/ENERGY
If you’re feeling tired and sluggish, pushing yourself further is like trying to walk through sludge. Analyze your energy levels and identify your peak periods (e.g. early in the morning, in the afternoon), and do your most important tasks at these times. It’s easier to overcome procrastination at your peak form. Of course, nothing beats developing good habits to eat well, rest and exercise regularly to improve your physical, mental and emotional condition.
4. USE YOUR PAIN & PLEASURE
In Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins shares this simple but powerful rule: We take action to avoid pain or to increase pleasure. The tips above may help you to break out of your inertia, but nothing beats finding the root of what’s holding you back. Let’s tackle it now:
• List the action that you’ve been procrastinating on (e.g. stop eating fried food)
• List down: “Why haven’t I taken action?” and “What pain do I link with this action?” (e.g. “I’ll get a craving for it”)
• Then, list the pleasure you’ve had previously by indulging in the undesired behavior (e.g. instant satisfaction)
• Write down the future cost if you don’t take action now (e.g. heart attack, obesity, relationships, self-esteem etc)
• Write down a big list of benefits for taking action now (make it emotional).
Stop Procrastinating: Start Now!
The 4 simple strategies above jointly give you enough emotional, physical and tactical ammo to conquer that task or project you’ve been putting off. Well, start on item #1 NOW, and take your first baby step forward!
If building success habits and discipline is something you’re committed to do, then don’t forget to check out these useful titles: Eat that Frog!, Get in the Go Zone, Getting Things Done, The Compound Effect, The One Thing, Finding Flow and The Power of Habit.
These books cover a range of concepts, strategies and practical tips that help you to prioritize, become more focused, energetic and effective. Go ahead and experiment with the various tools, and mix and match them in any way that works for you!