Almost everyone procrastinates. There are always things you might not want to do, even though you know it may be necessary or in your very best interest to accomplish them.
The good news is you can avoid living like that. You can change the way you look at your tasks and make procrastination a distant memory.
There are all kinds of reasons why people procrastinate. Some do it because they don’t like the task, others do it because other things mean more to them, and still other people might be struggling with depression, sickness, or just feeling down.
No matter what your reasons for procrastinating, you can take control and get things done.
Find What Matters to You
It’s important to be able to do things that you want and enjoy to do, but the reality is that someone has to take out the garbage, wash the dishes, or complete that long-winded business report.
On the other hand, there should ideally be a healthy balance between things you really want to do but not pressingly enjoy, and things you do simply for pleasure.
Of course, what you like to do won’t necessarily be the same as what someone else enjoys, and that’s perfectly fine. Some people like to clean their homes. Others prefer to pay someone to clean so they can do something else. Neither person is wrong, nor should they try to convince the other person to change. They are both focused on what they enjoy doing.
If you want to stop procrastinating, your first step is to determine:
- What you really want to do – whether you enjoy doing these things or not
- What others have told you that you have to do
- What you can get others to do for you – either volunteer or paid
When you’ve been honest with yourself and determined what matters to you, you can focus on the tasks that you truly want to accomplish.
Be Sure to Reward Yourself
Ensure you get something when you give something. In other words, avoid doing a lot of tasks that you don’t enjoy without treating yourself.
It’s important that you reward yourself for doing things you don’t like doing. The reward should be simple and realistic, but also something that you can look forward to. A treat can be anything from a scoop of ice cream to your favorite movie to taking a walk under the stars – whatever you feel joyful about.
For example, you can tell yourself, “When I finish cleaning the kitchen, I’ll read another chapter in that book I enjoy.” You’ll be more likely to finish cleaning faster if you know you can do something fun afterward.
More Tips to Stop Procrastinating
Rewarding yourself – or using positive reinforcement – is only one good way to stop procrastinating. Making unwanted tasks more enjoyable so that you’re more inclined to get them done also works.
Try these techniques to convince yourself to complete those tasks:
1. Get others involved. Need to paint your house? Get your family or friends involved and then enjoy some time together afterward. Order a pizza. Watch a movie. Play in the yard. Do something that you feel joyful and connected about. This way, you can actually look forward to it!
2. Do one thing each day. Divide the task up into more manageable bits. For example, rather than cleaning your entire house in one day, just clean one or two rooms each day, on a schedule of your choosing. When you do that, the smaller tasks seem much easier to handle and you won’t spend your entire weekend cleaning.
3. Set realistic deadlines and goals. If you set unrealistic goals, it’s easy to make yourself discouraged. Avoid discouragement by setting goals and deadlines that are attainable. Your confidence and motivation soar when you know you can achieve what you set out to accomplish.
Overcoming procrastination takes work, but it’s something that anyone can do. Make a commitment today to stop procrastinating and start moving forward with your life. You can take control, and you’ll be glad you did as you find yourself accomplishing your goals and enjoying more free time.