10 Habits to Beat Procrastination
There’s something exciting about a new year. It’s new. It’s fresh. It’s a clean slate.
It’s like opening the first page of a new journal or notebook… The pages are blank and awaiting to be written. You begin to feel dreams, goals, and aspirations for the year ahead start to arise to the surface. It might be to:
Lose weight and get in shape.
Get ahead financially (save more, invest, reduce debt).
Buy a home.
Get a new job.
Earn that promotion.
Study that course.
Spend more time with loved ones.
Start that business.
Be more organised.
We often start the year with goals and good intentions, but soon enough, we come up against an enemy – procrastination.
'Procrastination is kryptonite to your dream'
It will distract you. Discourage you. Draw your attention away to other things. Cause you to become lazy. Before you know it, those courageous goals move to the ‘too-hard basket’ collecting dust on a shelf.
'Today’s Procrastination is Tomorrow’s Regret'
The good news is, YOU CAN beat procrastination and achieve those goals!
Here are 10 Habits you can apply to beat it:
1. Start Today. In the words of a famous brand… ‘Just Do It’. Start today. Don’t want until you have more time or resources within your reach. Truth is, there is never going to be a 'better' time to at least take steps in the desired direction.
2. Mark Out Your Plan. Without a plan, your dreams are simply ‘dreams’. Mark out your game plan. Stick to it. Give yourself daily, weekly and monthly deadlines. Be realistic, yet challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone.
3. Set Up Reminders. We are spoilt for choice with device apps and resources. Use technology. Write reminders down and stick them wherever you can see them throughout your day. Try post-it notes on your fridge, bedroom or bathroom mirror, set as a phone background, or write on the whiteboard in your office.
4. Reject Fear. Identify and face your fears. We can procrastinate because of fear of failure, fear of man’s opinion (rejection), or fear of not being good enough for the task (perfectionism). Choose to reject these fears! Know your worth and value. Know that you aren’t perfect, but you are brave, talented and able! Remain secure and confident in that.
5. Create and Follow Checklists. Checklists are your friends. The sense of achievement when you 'tick off' a task is fulfilling, and a step closer. I often mind-dump into a checklist the night before for the next day, so it's out of my head and I don’t forget.
6. Remove All Obstacles. Get rid of any distraction, temptation, or any lazy habits that are consuming your precious time. Don't be afraid to turn off the TV. Hit the 'Do Not Disturb' function on your phone and / or devices every now and then - Remember, YOU manage your device's notifications, not the other way around.
7. Schedule Time Blocks. If you don’t make time for it, it’s not going to happen. Plan your week ahead and book in block times. At the start of my week, I actually schedule in ‘writing blocks’ for the week and put them into my iPhone calendar (I even typed this blog in one of my scheduled time blocks).
8. Be Accountable to Someone You Trust. It’s easy to procrastinate when no one knows what your goals are, but it takes courage to share with someone because they will check on you. Tell them of your immediate tasks and deadlines that week. Not everyone wants you to succeed and is happy for your dreams, so choose someone you trust who cares about your future.
9. Develop Positive Self-Talk. Shut out every negative voice that says you ‘can’t’. Develop a habit of positive self-talk. Tell yourself that you ‘can’, and build up your own courage. When you feel DIS-couraged, you need to EN-courage yourself.
10. Be Still and Listen. When I feel overwhelmed at the task, the most important habit I find that works is taking the time to…. Be Still. Breathe. Ask God. He can give you strategic steps and wisdom right in that moment.
Don't let today's procrastination be tomorrow's regret. Continue to live your 2018 STRONG by applying habits to beat procrastination. Work hard to live out those dreams and experience life in all its fullness!
A year from now, you will thank yourself...
“Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper."