Just about everyone struggles with procrastination at one time or another. You may only have occasional challenges with it, or you may find yourself wrestling with procrastination almost every day. But the challenge is always how to overcome procrastination and make progress on your important goals and tasks.
I want to share three great strategies that can help you with this. These are techniques that work for me and I would love to know if you find them helpful too. I hope you will try them out, experiment with them to see which ones will work best for you.
By definition, procrastination is putting off a task or a project. The opposite of this is to take action. And even more, it is just getting started on your task. Even taking a single small step is a way to move out of procrastination and into action. Here are some ways to help yourself get started on a task.
- Choose an action that is very small and easy to do. Just knowing that it is not big or difficult can help you feel more confident about getting it started. Think about all of the little actions that you could do now to make progress on your projects. Pick the smallest, easiest step that can be done now. Once you have done that little step, you will probably feel pleased that you have made some progress on your project. If you can, look for another small step and complete it. Even if you only do a few steps now, you are still taking action and overcoming the procrastination.
- Wait to take a break until after you have completed at least one step on the project you have been putting off. As with the strategy above, it is okay to choose a small step. But make some progress on it before you shift gears into something more enjoyable. Knowing that you have the positive experience coming in a few minutes can help you jump in and take action. This is an simple strategy that you can use every day and it doesn’t require anything fancy or expensive.
- Make it part of your regular routine. If you have a task that you need to do regularly, plan a particular time for it in your daily or weekly routine. For example, I do a short set of simple exercises each day as I wait for my morning tea to brew. It takes less than five minutes to do. And because it is now part of my everyday routine, I don’t have to spend time or energy thinking about when to do it. Because it has become a regular part of my routine I rarely procrastinate about it, so I don’t have to experience feeling bad about procrastinating about doing it.
These are three of my favorite simple ways to overcome procrastination. Think about actions you have been putting off. Choose one of these techniques and see how you can use it to help you take more action on the thing that matter most to you.
Coaching Question: What small action or task could you build into your daily routine to overcome procrastination, so that you don’t have to make the decision about doing it again and again?
I would love to hear about your successes as you put these methods into action in your personal and professional life! Please share your experience in the comment area below.