We all procrastinate. There’s nothing wrong with you – you’re not lazy, you’ve not got a syndrome, you’re ok just as you are…trust me.
As a life and career coach here are my top tips to stop procrastinating and actually get stuff done…
- Become conscious about what you’re doing or not doing
Increase your awareness and make some conscious decisions. If you want to scroll on TikTok for the next hour, then admit it and scroll away. If you want to take a nap, then do it, guilt free. Ask yourself without any judgement – what do I want to do right now, do I want to get that thing done I keep putting off or do I want to do something else? Then make a choice and do it. No judgement. Instead of beating yourself up for ‘procrastinating’ make a conscious choice about how you are going to use your time and then do it.
2. Get really clear about what the task is that you are putting off
So, if you’re procrastinating there’s probably something you keep putting off. What is that task? Get REALLY clear on what it is, what you need to do to achieve it and what is blocking you. Often, we aren’t doing the task because we think it will be difficult, or we don’t know how to do it, or we think it will be boring, or we’re not quite clear exactly what it is. So instead of confronting that discomfort we just put it off. We call it ‘procrastinating’ because it is an easy label to assign and explain the behaviour away instead of confronting it.
Instead, try looking the task in the eye. Explore it. Get familiar with it. Breathe through the discomfort this might bring up and get really clear about what the task is and what you need to do to achieve it. Then go back to step one and make a conscious choice about whether you want to do it or not.
3. Break the task down to it’s smallest component
Once you’ve identified the task in real crystal clear clarity, ask yourself what the first small step to achieve it would be. If you want to do an hour of yoga, start by committing to just getting the yoga mat out, no more, no less. If you want to write a 5,000 word essay commit to getting your laptop out and opening Word. If you want to write the marketing update for your boss commit to adding one data point to the dashboard.
Just do one small thing. Take the pressure off. Break it down and just do one tiny element. You can always come back another time and do one more part of it.
Try these three steps and see how your life changes!