21 ways to crush your procrastination

Craig Jarrow — №14 with Augusto Pinaud

Sometimes you just need a good start to get yourself going in the right direction. Rituals and habits are good when dealing with procrastination. They tell your mind and body that you are ready to work. They can instantly turn on your creativity and energy. By replacing your lollygagging and boondoggling ways with more action-oriented ones, you can banish procrastination.

How Do You Beat Procrastination?

Each person’s procrastination is different. You need to determine which methods work for you.

Here are 21 Ways That I Use to Crush My Procrastination:

  1. Just Start… NOW. Stop over-thinking. Stop waiting. Just do it now. Sometimes you need to jump right into the task even if you think you aren’t ready. A bumpy start is better than no start.

  2. Turn Everything Off. Eliminate all distractions. Turn off your email app. Your phone ringer. Close your door to interruptions. Whatever it takes to give yourself quiet to work.

  3. Set a Timer. Set a timer for a short duration. Whether it is 30, 20, or even 10 minutes. Dedicate yourself to working for that period. You’ll find that by the time the timer goes off that you have built momentum to keep you going.

  4. Get Some Exercise. Want to kick procrastination? Hit the gym (or the running trail). A workout will get your blood flowing and energy pumping.

  5. Read Something. No, not anything. Read something related to the task you need to accomplish. Whether it is some background info or supporting documents, once you get interested in the task at hand, you will be more motivated to jump into it.

  6. Review Your Last Win. Sometimes we procrastinate because we are nervous or lacking confidence. If this is the case, think back to one of your recent wins to give you encouragement and remember what it feels like to win.

  7. Take a Walk. Sometimes you just need a quick break to snap you out of your funk. Get outside for a few and get active. The fresh air does the body good, too.

  8. Take a Shower. If it’s been a long day and you are exhausted, taking a quick shower can revive you. Not only will you feel clean, but you will have a renewed energy-level. When you don’t have time for a shower, simply changing your clothes is a good start.

  9. Tell Someone About the Task. Describing the work to be done to someone else can help get you excited about getting it done. It can also be a great source of accountability. Just make sure you transition from the talking to the doing.

  10. Set a Hard Deadline. A task without a deadline seems to go on forever. Set a hard deadline and stick to it. Having a time limit and a finish line will help you complete the work on your terms.

  11. Break a Piece Off. If you are procrastinating because the task in front of you is large, then break off a smaller piece. If you are writing a book or report, break off one chapter to write. If it is a clean-up job, then select one sub-area to clean first.

  12. Take A Nap. Wait, isn’t this counterproductive? To the contrary, a quick rest can reset your energy levels. Many leaders are famous for their daily naps.

  13. Get Help – When you can’t get the task done by yourself, get help! Know when to call in reinforcements from your friends and colleagues. Not every task is best done alone.

  14. Turn Off the TV. Watching TV, endlessly surfing the Internet, playing video games. All of these are good in moderation, but no one was successful sitting on the couch. Turn off the TV and do something productive.

  15. Put on Some Music. Music can be a great motivator. It can instantly improve your mood and turn up your energy level. Keep your favorite inspirational music at the ready.

  16. Caffeine. Sometimes you need an energy boost. Whether your choice is coffee or Red Bull, a little caffeine can go a long way to getting you going. (And going and going and going…)

  17. Reframe the Task. A good way to get a task unstuck is to “reframe” it. In other words, look at it from a different angle. Instead of procrastinating on “cleaning out the car.” Think of it as “preparing the car” so that you can take your significant other out on a date this weekend.

  18. Examine the Consequences. One way to motivate yourself is consider the negative consequences if you do not act. What will happen if you don’t get this job done?

  19. Get Up Early. The early bird does get the worm. Getting an early start can put you ahead of the game and your peers.

  20. Set a Reward. Set yourself a reward appropriate to the level of the task. It can be something small or even something big for an important task.

  21. Get Emotional. I’m not talking about having a breakdown here. But, get passionate. Your energy levels will quickly elevate and your resolve to act will increase.

Crush Your Procrastination

Each of these is a great way to beat your procrastination. Develop your own rituals and habits. Soon, you will have banished your procrastination. Or at least be able to crush it any time you choose.

Photo: Flickr / Wade Brooks CC BY-NC 2.0

Craig jarrow

Craig Jarrow

Craig Jarrow is the author of the Time Management Ninja blog. He helps individuals and companies reclaim their time.

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