3 Quick Ways To Stop Procrastination


What is more frustrating than knowing exactly what you want, what you have to do to get it and not being able to move forward – a term we commonly label procrastination?

Failure to achieve doesn't always come down to issues of time management or the fact we have procrastinated on a lucid plan we had all worked out, it sometimes comes down to the fact that we don't have a plan at all or at least a plan that we truly believe in.  Any way you look at it though, procrastination is often the result that is most obvious when we analyze our inability to act in congruence with where we believe we should be.

First – let's define procrastination in way that makes it clear and simple for all of us: 

Definition of Procrastination:  The simplest definition is that we put off doing what we know needs to be done.  However, I like to enhance that a little so that we understand the truly frustrating impact that it often leads to in our lives – specifically, it is the period of time between when we decide we need to do or achieve something and the time at which we actually begin working on that goal.  In other words, there must pre-exist an objective at which time the clock begins ticking on when we take action toward that objective. 

There are hundreds of reasons that we can come up with for delay in action ranging from laziness to fear through interruption and other oustide forces.  Therein lies the challenge in tackling procrastination, there are so many possible causes that it is tough to pain all situations with the exact same brush.

However, there are some very powerful things you can do in your life to prevent procrastination from occuring in the first place…making your life much more productive, effective and happy.

1. Refinine Your Objectives:  Look, when it comes right down to it, procrastinators often delay action based on the fact that the objective they are aiming for is not big enough, not important enough, or at least is perceived that way by them.  So you may have several errands in a day that you put off doing in favor or something else – that something else could be MORE important (if you have the right objectives defined) in which case procratination is justified or it could be that you put off the errands in favor of something less important such as watching TV, surfing the internet, hanging out with friends, etc… The challenge is still that your objectives are not big enough, so instead of following through on them, you gravitate to other things.  The choice you have is simple, either reinforce the importance of the errands (place enough positive consequences on accomplishing them and negative options on NOT achieving them) OR come up with MORE important objectives to replace those that really don't matter anyway so that when you do gravitate away from them you do so toward something that is more important and meaningful. 

2. Recognize and Deal With the Fear.  We all get nervous, that feeling like we have been kicked in the stomach, the butterflies, the self-doubt, the sweaty palms when we tackle something that is either outside of our comfort zone or is aimed at accomplishing a VERY important objective in our life.  For example, we may create a huge barrier to taking weekly music lessons because our ultimate objective is to play live in front of an audience in 1-month and while exciting, that makes us very anxious.  The result is that we sabotage our own progress with our fear and anxiety.  To deal with this fear, we need to bring it to a much more objective level.  Inside Attracting Greatness there are a terrific set of exercises that help us manage fear and anxiety so that we can put it aside and continue to achieve incredible things in our lives – this basically allows us to overcome procrastination whenever we want. 

3. Win the War Inside Your Brain:  For hundreds of years studies have shown that the human brain will almost always go with instant and immediate gratification versus taking disciplined action toward a longer-term objective or goal.  If your objective is to eat a salad for lunch each day, that works fine if you can put yourself into a controlled situation where the salad is easier to get than other food, but what happens if you are out with friends and everyone is ordering the fish and chips…could you resist "slipping" for just one day (which leads to a second day and so on…) if this situation is put in front of you?  For most people, no.  So, to win the fight against procrastination, you must realize this basic human behavior to "cheat" and work in advance to keep your discipline and willpower in the face of short-term distractors. 

If you can set big objectives, work on convincing yourself of the emotional benefit of reaching those objectives, challenge your fears with pursuing those objectives and think through some possible "de-railers", then you WILL get the leg up on stopping procrastination in your life for good. 

Give these a try and let us know how they work for you…oh, and do let us know if you have another technique you would like to add by leaving us a comment.

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