How to overcome procrastination

3 February, 2018

overcoming procrastination

If there is one thing I’m good at its procrastinating. If there was a town called procrastination, I would be Mayor!

I have good intentions. I really do. I set off to do something productive, but during the “setting off” and the actual “getting there”, something happens… I get distracted.

The distractions can come in any form..

  • the ping of a text
  • an advert on Netfix for the next episode of the show I’m currently watching
  • a phone call
  • a pile of ironing ( I hate ironing, but if I’m putting something off, then ironing suddenly becomes very attractive)
  • the vacuuming (as above)…

A day has enough hours, you just have too many excuses

Procrastination doesn’t make me feel good. I always have the nagging feeling that I should be doing something else, and the thing that I should be doing, isn’t going to go away. All I’m doing is prolonging the agony.

After years of this behaviour I’ve come to realise the answer to procrastination is quite simple…

Its all about perspective.

If the actions aren’t important to you, then you ‘ll do everything you can to avoid doing them.

Try this:

Make a list of everything that you have been putting off this week… I bet that when you see them written down, its not surprising that you’re avoiding these tasks!

This is where you have 2 choices.. just get them done, or forget about them.

If you’re going to get them done, put a date in the diary of when that is, and commit to it. Imagine what the completed task will look like and how you’ll feel when it’s done. You have to WANT TO complete the task otherwise you’ll continue to put it off forever.

overcoming procrastination

So how do you stop yourself falling back into procrastinating?

It all starts and ends with the importance of the task.

 

When you feel yourself about to avoid a task ask yourself these 2 questions:

  1. How much do you really WANT to accomplish the task?
  2. How much do you really NEED to accomplish the task?

Putting the tasks into perspective really does help, as it gives them meaning, and it is the meaning that will drive you to completing them.

 

The next thing to do is to starve your distractions:

Move your mobile out of the room. Turn the TV off. Move the ironing where you can’t see it.

Remove all distractions and excuses!

 

Give yourself a time limit

Tell yourself that you’re going to work for only 20 mins on the task. More than likely you’ll end up devoting more time to it, since actually starting is the worst bit and once you’ve started you’ll probably want to finish it. Especially if you realise that its not going to take as long as you thought it would.

It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves – Sir Edmund Hillary

This quote is so true! The tasks themselves are never that arduous. Once you get started, you wonder why you had put it off in the first place. Its not the task that’s the problem its the blocks that we put in place that prevent us from completing them.

And just think, getting things over and done with is probably one of the best feelings, now isn’t that worth putting into perspective?

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31 comments

Olivia Crayton 4 February, 2018 - 6:44 pm

Really great read!! Love these helpful tips.

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Ashley 4 February, 2018 - 6:59 pm

OH I am the queen of procrastination there is always something else I can do instead of accomplishing what I am supposed to do! I like the idea of a time limit… I recently started keeping a day timer to set my priorities and find that it actually takes me less time to do many tasks than I originally think especially when I can break them down! 🙂

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Chetna 4 February, 2018 - 7:22 pm

Great tips. I procrastinate a lot lol. This is useful

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Sunrita 4 February, 2018 - 7:52 pm

I think I fall in the same bracket as you! I tend to over think and loose focus. You have some great pointers esp about setting time limits. Thanks

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Lucy 4 February, 2018 - 8:47 pm

Some really great tips in here. I tend to give myself a time limit and if I haven’t completed them I forget about them as they’re clearly not that important. I find that schedules and to-do lists help me beat most opportunities for procrastination 💗

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Cora B. 5 February, 2018 - 1:07 am

I really love this! I remember getting so sick of the brutal ways to get over procrastination but your ideas have a nice touch of love 🙂 Makes you revaluate what you actually NEED to do in your life, which is refreshing.

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Adrienne Bruner 5 February, 2018 - 5:43 am

That’s exactly what I need to do …make my phone out of the room. Any ding of a notification gets me so distracted!

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Jenna 5 February, 2018 - 6:35 am

Love it. Thanks so much. I love that you said to write the tasks down. I think just doing that would make it easier for me so I could just go down the list and tick them off. I love ticking checklists off. Thanks so much for the inspiration! ❤️

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Sarah Dean 5 February, 2018 - 10:31 am

Great tips! I’m terrible for procrastination – the internet and instagram are giant procrastination holes I fall down all too frequently!

I am a list-maker in other things in life so love the idea of being more disciplined with a to-do list and time limits. Have to try this out!

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Lambam 5 February, 2018 - 1:40 pm

This is such a important part of our lives . I personally struggle with procrastination a lot and am working everyday to stop it . Thank you for this amazing post

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Kalyn 5 February, 2018 - 2:06 pm

Being a mom has limited my time a lot, so procrastination totally kills me when it happens! However, I often get distracted by tasks I WANT to do, such as work on my blog or dye my hair. So I always make sure to do the tasks that NEED to get done first.

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Nicole | Glamorously You 5 February, 2018 - 2:14 pm

I have been time-blocking my schedule and tracking my time with everything lately. It keeps me on track and getting things done!

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Wendy Tomlinson 5 February, 2018 - 2:31 pm

Goal setting is super important for me. I have to know my priority tasks each day to achieve my goals. I’m definitely what I call a shiny object person. The slightest thing can distract me and then that’s it, I’m off in la-la land. So I make sure that every day, I have my set tasks to do and I do them early on in the day, that way even if I get totally distracted later on, I know I’m made significant progress first.

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April 5 February, 2018 - 2:34 pm

Perfect timing! I’ve been really struggling to get motivated lately. This definitely helped give me a kick start!

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Johanne 5 February, 2018 - 2:42 pm

Very helpful! I am definitely a procrastinator. AND I get easily distracted haha. Time limits are a great idea, but what actually helps me is to reward myself. Working hard means I have more time to read or watch Netflix, so I give myself that as a reward when I focus.

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Rebecca Rice 5 February, 2018 - 3:56 pm

You have no idea how much I need this right now! I am terrible with going Netflix binges and it really stops me from being productive and putting in work where I need it the most. Definitely going to try some of your tips!

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Kelsey 5 February, 2018 - 4:03 pm

For me procrastinating hits when organizing or tidying the house. As much as I’d love to just organize as I go, I get lazy. I read in The Happiness Project about the one minute rule and it’s something that has worked for me: don’t put off anything that can be done in one minute or less like hanging up your coat, filing a bill, putting something back where it belongs. It has helped a lot!

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Mikki 5 February, 2018 - 5:14 pm

This was a very insightful perspective. I had been searching for something that would make it crystal clear as to why I’m not getting everything done even though it’s on my to do list. You laid out a very good plan to combat those pesky procrastination problems. Thank you!

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Sheena 5 February, 2018 - 6:13 pm

Hello Lucy, great post! I, like you, put deadlines next to each task. It’s a great way to be accountable to myself. I also work for a specified amount of time on one task. For example, i work for two hours on one thing, take a break, work on something else, and come back to it. Thank you for sharing. I pinned.

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Michelle 5 February, 2018 - 7:37 pm

I am *so* bad at procrastinating. I always think that I have more time than I actually do, or that things will take me less time than they actually do. It’s a terrible habit I’ve had since I was in high school and now that I am entering my 30s, I should probably get over it.

Great advice in this post!

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Kathryn 6 February, 2018 - 2:43 am

I am very good at procrastinating. These tips will so come in handy. Definitely going to be try some of these tips.

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Yolanda 6 February, 2018 - 3:20 am

I feel like you’re specifically writing this post to me lol Great tips and I really like the idea of dedicating 20 minutes to something. I actually tried this recently and put a timer on… and it’s amazing how productive I was in the given time. It really works.

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Crystal // Dreams, etc. 6 February, 2018 - 6:20 am

I love this! My phone can be so distracting so I’ve started leaving it in a different room so that I can get stuff done without seeing texts or other messages come in. It’s been so helpful to improve my focus!

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nikhila 6 February, 2018 - 1:36 pm

Seriouslyyy! I can relate to every word here!

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Susannah 6 February, 2018 - 8:25 pm

Ugh its true- my phone is such a distraction! I like the idea of writing everything on a list to make sure I think about it and do it!

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Amy 6 February, 2018 - 10:35 pm

I NEED this so bad right now! Thanks for these great thoughts and tips.

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Lucy 8 February, 2018 - 6:47 pm

Good luck Amy. I hope the tips help. As a fellow procrastinator these tips have helped me.

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Arielle Joy 7 February, 2018 - 5:23 am

Ah yes! The darn devil called procrastination. Over the years I’ve come to utilizing some of the tools you’ve discussed here and they’ve really made a difference!

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Lisa 7 February, 2018 - 4:37 pm

In order to get more done, I have been distancing myself from my cell phone. I do not take my phone into my home office so that texts and instant messages are not interrupting me but I am able to hear it in case of an actual phone call. I have found this very helpful!

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Julie Plagens 8 February, 2018 - 6:52 pm

This was timely! I’ve been putting off learning how to do something on mail chimp. I’m just gonna sit down and figure it out!! Thanks for the motivation.

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Claudia 18 February, 2018 - 7:56 pm

Thanks for the advise, I can relate to this post, I procrastinate a lot. I’ll try your advice by putting everything in writing and setting a time limit!

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