When someone asks what is one of the main causes of failure I’d simply point at them. The voice inside us, the one that always second guesses things, who doesn’t believe in the end point, that eventually leads us to regret. That “thing” has been the main cause of many failures to date but I want to share with you the 3 tips that helped me overcome procrastination.
First, what is procrastination?
Postponing your dreams because you believe you have all the time in the world until its too late.
Here are my 3 steps to overcome procrastination and begin achieving the life you desire.
HOW TO OVERCOME PROCRASTINATION
Recognize That You Are A Procrastinator
In my opinion, this is one of the most important steps on this list. Recognize that you are a procrastinator, don’t deny it, and definitely don’t play yourself.
Look back at the last task or two you’ve completed, ask yourself did you really need all that time to complete such task or did you simply take too many social media breaks in between.
Ask yourself why you are doing this, envision how your life would change if you stopped procrastinating, how much more could you get done, perhaps how much more free time you could have for things you care for.
Ultimately, understand that procrastination is a form of habit, a bad one that is and the best way to get rid of a bad habit is by replacing it with a better and more pleasant one.
Once you understand why you procrastinate and how you procrastinate begin taking action on removing the bad habits with a better one.
Here are 2 steps to replace bad habits and overcome procrastination:
- Surround yourself with those who live the way you want to. Now I am not telling you to ditch your current friends, but you need to understand the power of influence. If you are constantly surrounded by 4 procrastinators, chances are you will be the 5th. If you are surrounded by 4 high achievers eventually you will be the 5th, the choice is yours.
- At this point, you are probably saying “Yea like it’s that easy to be surrounded by such individuals”
- Well here is a tip, start off with joining entrepreneurship groups on social media, but make sure to evaluate each over a week or two and eliminate the nonsense.
- Cut out the triggers, yes cut them out, get rid of them! My main trigger to procrastination during high school was a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, an MMORPG. I was addicted, I preferred playing this game over anything including my school work. Eventually, my addiction cost me a year of high school with terrible grades preventing me from entering the university I wanted. However, I knew the solution for this habit was to delete the game and gaming account, which I’ve done just that. This helped me to focus on my studies for the next year and get into the university and program I wanted.
Make A List Of What You Are Putting Off And Break Down The Tasks
Yes, what are you putting off exactly?
Make a list of it then evaluate and eliminate what is unnecessary.
It is in the human nature to want to feel “important” and “busy”. In our minds, we automatically come up with tens of things to do for the day and week. However, funny enough most don’t even accomplish half of it.
At that point, you are only to blame because that’s what happens when you don’t have a plan written down for your goals throughout the week.
I suggest you make a list of things you have been putting off and simply begin eliminating your imaginary work. At this point, the maximum number of important tasks I’d suggest having per day is 3.
Next, take the important tasks and break them down into smaller bits, this will make it easier for you to digest and allow you to track your progress throughout the day.
Now get to work! and make sure each day you finish at least one of those tasks by 9 am.
That’s correct 9 am! Successful people often do more by 9 am than the average person does in a whole day. That’s because the average person procrastinates and stretches a simple 2-3 hour task throughout the whole day because “we still have time”. I know because I was one.
It’s up to you and how bad you want it.
To sum it up:
- Make a list of the things you’ve been putting off.
- Evaluate and eliminate the work you created in your mind.
- Conclude to a maximum of 3 important tasks per day.
- Break down the tasks into smaller bite sizes.
- Get to work and make sure to complete at least one before 9 am.
Create Accountability And Give Yourself Firm Deadlines
Creating accountability, I wish I’d done this earlier but better now than never. This is one of the key ingredients to overcome your procrastination habit.
Most of us are guilty of creating a deadline that we do not follow. In fact, almost most of my tasks used to be this way.
You know, we’d first come up a date and time we’d like to finish the task. Then extend it by 23 minutes because somehow the clock is 07 past the hour. At this point, we talk ourselves into justifying it as an excuse to start the task 30 minutes past the hour. Then oops, we got caught up online now its 38 minutes past the hour. However, we promise ourselves we’ll start in 22 minutes when the minute hand is on 12 again.
The cycle just goes on and on because at the back of our mind we know the task is not due until its actual due date. For those who are self-employed, that’s great you create your own schedule which means you got forever.
The more time you give yourself, the longer it will take to complete it. Give me 30 minutes to write an article I’ll write it in 30 minutes, give me a week it will take me exactly 7 days for the same quality work.
Here are my 3 ways of creating accountability and standing firm:
- Ask yourself how important the task is for you. Starting the task by knowing the importance of it will give you a sense of urgency to complete it as soon as possible.
- Be reasonable about the task and give yourself a realistic time limit to complete the task. At this point, you should know how long it takes you to complete such work, not including your procrastination time.
- Schedule your days with work, education, family and hobbies so you have very little room left for procrastination. This will give you an urgency to complete the task because your schedule is full for the rest of the week, meaning you have no other time to complete the task. Many of us put off our families and values because we believe “we are too busy” to spend time with them. In reality, we are killing the quality time we could be spending with our family during the procrastination period.
Learn to stop giving yourself too much time to complete a task, this only sets you up for procrastination. However, be realistic about the time you need as you can’t complete a 4-hour task in 2-hours.
Procrastination is the ultimate thief of time, it steals from our family, friends and future.
Thank you for taking your time to follow Project Compound.