stop procrastinatingEarlier this week I wrote and entry about reasons we procrastinate and negative consequences.  As promised this entry contains tips for ways to stop procrastinating.  In writing this I thought of what helps me when I  am tempted to revert back to procrastination.  Believe me,  I am tempted as procrastinating seems like the better option when I’m overwhelmed.  However, I know this is not the truth and I am a true believer that procrastination creates a ton of unnecesary stress, even if it feels good in the moment.   Who needs more stress?  If you struggle with putting things on the back burner until the last minute, here are a few tips to get you headed in a different direction.

Take the First Step

Whatever the first step is for the task, just take it.  Sometimes the first step is the hardest step to take, especially if it’s something we don’t want to do anyway.  Don’t delay the inevitable, determine the first step needed and jump right in.

Create a List

I find when I don’t have a map, I get lost.  My “to do list” is my map.  Write down the steps necessary to complete the tasks and give yourself what I like to call “mini deadlines” along the way.  These short goals can often make a task look less overwhelming and give you a sense of accomplishment as you complete each task.

Don’t Overthink It

This is a big one for me.  I find that I don’t procrastinate because I’m lazy, but because I think about the task so much I get lost in it.    Keep it simple.  If you fidn yourself getting lost in your thoughts, step away for a little bit and give yourself time to gain a new perspective.  If necessary, ask someone else for their input to help gain some clarity.  Make a decision in a timely manner and go with that decision.  Remember no decision is set and stone and you can change plans along the way.

Start With The Hardest

If you find yourself with mulitple tasks, start with the hardest.  It’s so simple, it just might work.  For me starting with the hardest task is always the best.  When it’s done, it’s out of the way and the rest seems a little more attainable.

Once you determine why you procrastinate, you may find additional ways to stop.  Examine how procrastination may be effecting your life and start getting what you can get done completed today instead of tomorrow.

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