We’ve all had those moments where we’ve decided to watch TV instead of doing the work we need to do. And then we typically feel bad about ourselves afterwards because we have even less time to accomplish our tasks.
Instead of putting off what’s important, it’s time to stop procrastinating. To help you out, I’m sharing nine steps that’ll help you kick this habit to the curb.
How to Stop Procrastinating
Ready to step out of procrastination mode and into productivity mode? All you have to do is follow the nine steps that follow and you’ll be feeling ready to tackle your to-do list!
1. Quit Justifying It
The first step to stop procrastinating is to figure out what the root cause is so you can put an end to it. Think about it… How many times have you justified your procrastination by saying you work best under pressure? How often have you made excuses because you were letting the fear of failure hold you back?
You need to figure out why you’re procrastinating. If it’s all in your head, stop making excuses for yourself. If you’re feeling low-energy, go for a quick walk and drink some water. There’s always a solution to the problem at hand.
2. Set Deadlines
If a task doesn’t have a set deadline, you’re going to be more likely to push it to the bottom of your to-do list. And then when will you get it done?!
In order to stop procrastinating on thing, set a deadline. Then, create a step-by-step action plan to help you make it happen. Which brings me to my next tip…
3. Put it on the Calendar
Once you have your deadlines, put it in your calendar! When you block off time to work on specific tasks, it’ll increase your productivity and allow you to make the most of your time.
Plus, you’ll be able to give yourself ample time to accomplish a task, as opposed to waiting until the last minute.
Determine how long each task on your to-do list will take, then start scheduling it into your week. It’ll keep you on track and ensure you’re actually making progress.
Related: How to Plan Your Week
4. Break Larger Projects Into Smaller Tasks
Thinking about those big tasks on your to-do list can often feel very overwhelming. And that feeling of overwhelm can cause you to start procrastinating.
Putting things off will get you nowhere, so you can make those bigger tasks seem more manageable. To do this, break them down into smaller, actionable tasks. This goes back to that action lan I mentioned in tip number two.
For example, let’s say you’re working on a new e-course. When scheduling time to work on this course, don’t just create a block of time that says, “Work on e-course.” Break it up into smaller tasks, such as: research, create module outline, write content, create sales page, etc.
5. Eliminate the Distractions
One surefire way to stop procrastinating is to eliminate any distractions that are sucking up your attention. Unfortunately, it’s often easier said than done because we rely on two of the biggest time-sucks on a daily basis… Our phones and our computers.
Many of us are guilty of dropping whatever we’re doing to check our messages when we hear that familiar notification ping from our phones. And for those of us who work from home, there’s the temptation of snacks in the kitchen and our favorite shows on TV.
You need to get rid of anything that distracts you from your work. It helps to create set times for checking emails and social media during the day. Don’t fall into that trap of, “Oh, I’ll just check Facebook real quick.” It’s never a quick visit on Facebook!
Turn off the notification sound on your phone as well. And work from a room that doesn’t have a TV. Do whatever you need to avoid the distractions.
6. Get an Accountability Partner
With an accountability partner to motivate you along the way, you’ll be more likely to stop procrastinating. Find someone who you can relate to the things you’re working on. For example, if you’re a creative business owner, find an accountability partner who is as well.
You can tell each other what you’re working on to keep each other on track. Use weekly check-ins as a way to ensure you’re both making progress on your goals.
7. Make Time for Yourself
Let’s face it, you have a lot going on in your life. Maybe you’re a full-time girl boss or you’re juggling a day job and pursuing your dreams at night. We’re all committed to the hustle, but you still need to make time to take care of yourself.
When you take time to rest and recharge, it’ll help you stop procrastinating. Why? Because it’ll put you in the right mindset to accomplish tasks since you’ll feel much more motivated.
Schedule in time for self-care, but push yourself to get things done during your work hours. It’ll be great motivation knowing that you’ll have that time to yourself later.
8. If All Else Fails, Change Your Environment
Sometimes, going to the same office day after day can leave us feeling unmotivated. This is especially true if you work from home and find that you hardly leave the house during the week. You can stop procrastinating by switching up your environment from time to time.
If you normally work from home, work from your local coffee shop or library for a change. A new location might be just what you needed to get your creative juices flowing again.
If you can’t get out of the house, you can change the vibe in your home office by giving it a coffee shop feeling. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and use an app like Coffitivity. It gives you the subtle background noises of the coffee shop right in your own home.
9. Reward Yourself When You’re Done
And finally, once you’ve finished that task you’ve been procrastinating on, give yourself a little reward. There’s no harm in a little positive reinforcement! What you choose as your reward is totally up to you!