I’m like, really excited to share this post. If there’s one thing I’m good at and one thing I can compliment myself on with certainty, it’s that I can get things done. Whether that’s booking an appointment or writing a blog post. It might sound like I’m boasting (I’m not but there’s nothing wrong with bigging yourself up every now and again) but this is very much ingrained in my personality. I’m a type A Virgo. What did you expect? Procrastination is rarely an issue for me and I’d love to help someone learn how to stop procrastinating too.
But you know, there are days where absolutely nothing will convince you to not procrastinate. Absolutely NOTHING will bring you out of your duvet cocoon, will stop you binge watching One Tree Hill, drinking too much tea and eating too many digestives. Nothing. And that’s okay. Procrastination is rarely an issue for me. Not never an issue. Some days that’s just the way it is so rule number 1. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
BUT you’ve clicked this post because you want advice on how to stop procrastinating and that’s what you’re going to get. Although it’s important to not beat ourselves up when we’re having a lazy day and can’t be arsed to do anything, it’s also important to be able to GET THE THINGS DONE sometimes. Because you know, things need doing.
And the longer you continue to procrastinate, the harder it is to break the habits. Like with anything. Just look at the state of my fingernails for proof of that one. So let’s start breaking those habits and learning how to stop procrastinating and start GETTING SH*T DONE.
To-do lists, to-do lists, to-do lists
I literally live by to-do lists. I think I’ve written myself a to-do list every day for the last 3 years, apart from when I’m on holiday (and even then, I sometimes do!) so I know they WORK. Writing down the tasks you need to do always works because when life is as hectic as it is, you’re never going to remember everything. So do yourself a favour and just write it down.
Categorize and prioritize
And if you’re a serial to-do lister like I am, then you might want to take your to-do lists that one step further. Categorize them into different areas (e.g my to-do lists have “blogging/work”, “general” and “me”) and then prioritize your tasks by highlighting the things you need to stop procrastinating with and get done like, yesterday.
Try the Pomodoro Technique
If you really struggle and just need to try ANYTHING at this point, the Pomodoro Technique might help. It’s when you work on something for 25 minutes then give yourself a 5 minute break – to scroll through Twitter, stroke your dog, eat a cheesecake or whatever. 25 minute intervals can make overwhelming tasks much more manageable.
Remember to treat yourself
BUT if the Pomodoro Technique isn’t for you, then I’d definitely recommend remembering to treat yourself. Treats can encourage anyone to do anything. Especially chocolate flavoured treats. Seriously though, when we look at how to stop procrastinating, it’s sometimes less about the doing, doing, doing and more about the mindset.
This is something I’ve struggled with and something I’m still working on. The temptation to multitask and just get ALL THE THINGS DONE AT ONCE is so high but can also be detrimental to your productivity. So this point kinda falls under “how to be productive” as well. Which certainly goes hand in hand with procrastination. Not only are you making things harder for yourself but you’re also probably not completing your tasks to the best of your ability.
Turn off distractions
We all have days where every 5 minutes we’re picking up our phone and aimlessly scrolling through social media. There’s no need for it – it’ll still be there when you’ve finished what you’re doing. This is an easy one to implement, your will-power will probably be the hardest thing to contend with here. Try putting your phone in another room or turning it off completely. Don’t worry, you won’t die.
Remind yourself how good you’ll feel when you get this done
Another mindset related point but really MINDSET IS EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING I TELL YOU. And switching up our mindset really is the easiest way to overcome so many procrastination, productivity and motivational problems in our lives. Remind yourself frequently how good you’ll feel once you’ve got your stuff done. How much pressure will be lifted.
Stop hitting that snooze button
This point starts way before you even begin to tackle that to-do list. And I find that getting a good start to the morning helps MASSIVELY with how to stop procrastinating. Starting the day right can have a tremendously good effect on the rest of the day. So if sleeping in late makes you feel sluggish and more likely to procrastinate, try putting your alarm on the other side of the room and DEFINITELY try and stop hitting snooze.
Get up earlier and exercise
And finally. A way to procrastinate which actually helps with procrastination in the long run. Win. So as well as not hitting the snooze button, getting up earlier and getting some exercise in for the day can really help with procrastination. You’ll feel more awake and alert and a little endorphin hit never hurt anyone. I personally always feel more productive when I’ve exercised as opposed to when I’ve been a potato.