Before we start talking about how to overcome procrastination, I think it’s worth to first identify the reasons why we procrastinate. Why do I procrastinate? Why do we procrastinate?
Well, some of you may think that it’s due to the lack of motivation or willpower... And that’s not true…The way our minds as human beings are wired, is that we are not designed to do things that are uncomfortable or scary, or difficult. Our brains are designed to keep us from those things, because they are trying to keep us alive. And in order to change, build a business, be a better person, in order to do all those things that you want to do with your life and with your dreams, you’re going to have to do things that are difficult, uncertain or scary…
Growing up, I have always been a very motivated and self-disciplined person. Some of my mates even were joking at me saying that I am like a soldier - always getting the work done! On time! Always…!
And yet recently I had a vacation where I pampered myself and let me walk around like a real person and loose some control over myself. Ironically, after that vacation I was about to experience one of the hardest periods of my life. I was starting a new job project that I have been preparing for a year. On top of that I had to somehow combine that with my studies, writing my senior thesis (as I was graduating that year…I know you’re thinking - Couldn’t she find a better time to start a new project?) and driving classes.
SO. Long story short, for the first time in my life I couldn’t get myself back together for two-three months. I was late at classes, on my phone all the time checking my Instagram every 2 minutes and procrastinating everything… Being COMPLETELY ANOTHER PERSON... Not because I didn’t have enough motivation, not because I had lack of willpower, but because I was scared. Scared as hell. Because this everything was too important to me and I was literally freaked out.
Anyways, I am not going to go into more details on how overwhelmed I felt at that time. I am telling all of this to say that pretty much EVERYONE can experience this and believe me you are not alone. Please don’t ever feel like something is wrong with you or that you’re not enough. The best news is that absolutely everything about this situation is under YOUR control and that you can change everything that you’re unhappy with. Whenever you have a problem first accept it, know that IT’S OK, and then search for the solution WITH AN INTENT TO TAKE ACTION. This is very important!... Most people learn about certain tips but never apply it. Don’t be that person. If nothing changes nothing changes. Remember that!
So, as I said, for the first time in my life I was faced to this problem, and started to look for some solutions. And here are the top 3 procrastination tips that helped me the most.
FOCUSING ON ONE THING AT A TIME
This one was huge for me. Most of the time we can’t force ourselves to take a move just because we remember about all of the hundred thousand things that we have to do. The secret is that you don’t have to think about all of that now. There is no sense, really. Instead, just focus on your NEXT move. What it is that you have to do NEXT. And then the next one, and then the next one… Your next move doesn’t supposed to be a big one, it can be as simple as getting up early on time, have a breakfast, don’t be late at work etc…Just focus on your NEXT milestone. You’ll be so focused on your little tasks that you won’t even notice how you end up slaying your goals throughout the day.
One little tip: when you have a difficult task to do, divide it into small tasks and focus on each one of them as it is your NEXT milestone. I promise you this stuff is epic! Once you try this you’ll see it by your own.
PLAN YOUR DAY
I know this is a very obvious one but the truth is that most people don’t do this. But really, take this one very seriously too. There are a lot of beautiful, inspiring and functional printable planners on Pinterest that allow you completely organize your daily tasks. Use one of them. I myself am using one of them and it was life changing. The most cooler ones are not free, they cost about 6-7$. I decided to purchase one of them only because I knew that I will be taking it more seriously when I know that I’ve paid for that.
This is also an interesting tip: people tend to value something more when they have paid for it. Especially when they have purchased it online. That’s why I would recommend not to save on a handy and inspiring planner if you have that opportunity. You will end up using it, and as a byproduct be more productive and thus earn more. So it’s more an investment rather than an expense.
THE FIVE SECOND RULE
And the last but not the least one. There is a book about this rule written by Mel Robbins. You can read the book if you like but here is the main idea of it.
“The 5 Second Rule is simple. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.
The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or a commitment, use the Rule.
When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action.
There is a window that exists between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing it. It’s a 5 second window. And it exists for everyone.
If you do not take action on your instinct to change, you will stay stagnant. You will not change.
But if you do one simple thing, you can prevent your mind from working against you. You can start the momentum before the barrage of thoughts and excuses hit you at full force.
What do you do?
Just start counting backwards to yourself: 5-4-3-2-1.
The counting will focus you on the goal or commitment and distract you from the worries, thoughts, and excuses in your mind.
As soon as you reach “1” – push yourself to move.
This is how you push yourself to do the hard stuff – the work that you don’t feel like doing, or you’re scared of doing, or you’re avoiding.
That’s it. 5 seconds is all it takes.If you don’t act on an instinct within that 5 second window, that’s it. You’re not doing it.”
So, here are my tips on overcoming procrastination. Please, follow this steps in order, focus - plan - take action, and It will be hard for you to not see any results.
Be brave, don’t complain and take action…Exciting times ahead!
Have you ever tried any of those tips? Maybe other tips that you found helpful? I would love to hear from you in the comments below! If you found any of this information helpful you can share it to your friends.
If you would like to keep up with my new posts, simply follow our page on FB. It’s a place to go for those who are into self-development, motivation and inspiration. We would love to see like-minded people there ;)
Have a good day and I’ll talk to you soon ;)