3 Tips to Stop Procrastination

A man slouching at his desk, looking at his laptop while a sloth is hanging above his head.

We all procrastinate and then we make excuses for it. We’re declaring May the month of “No Procrastination.” Catchy, right? Are you familiar with the feeling of knowing you should get something done but you just can’t seem to do it? So…you blow it off until the last minute and then you’re stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted and full of excuses.

Habits govern our lives. That’s it, that’s the tweet. 

Our friends at Harvard Business Review point out that around half of our daily actions are driven by repetition. This is probably why behavioral scientists and psychologists are paid the big bucks, and spend so much time writing about how to establish and keep positive habits. Which we read and then promptly forget.

If it was easy, we’d all be doing it. We’ve scoured the internet and come up with these 3 tips to stop procrastination. 

Tip 1: Schedule Big Tasks Consistently

HBR calls this “deep work,” we call it the big sh*t you avoid doing. It’s the stuff that takes time, like strategies, writing, research and reporting. Set a time EACH day, where you’re gonna tackle the tough stuff and make sure it is the same time every day. Some people do their best work in the a.m. before the work day “officially” starts from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. or in the evenings after 5:30 p.m. If you do this consistently every day, you avoid pulling an overnighter the day before something is due. Don’t be that guy, no one likes that guy. 

We’ve all had coworkers that brag about the late nights they put into a task and it’s all because they couldn’t manage their time effectively. 

Tip 2: Build a System

There is no one right way of doing something, you have to design a system that works for you. Take a strategy for example. If you’re looking at a strategy as a whole, it’s overwhelming. If you break it down into a series of steps (reverse engineer it), spread out over a period of time…suddenly it’s a lot more doable. Once you have identified the steps you need to take to accomplish it, map out what you’ll do daily to hit the deadline. 

Tip 3: Get Rid of the Emotion

Why do we associate certain emotions with certain tasks? If a task stirs up a negative emotion, we avoid it. People who cope with stress by using avoidance tactics are more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc., and it becomes a vicious cycle. Sounds pretty shitty, right? 

When you’re dreading a task, schedule a reward for completing it. It’s the Pavlov’s dog approach. When a task makes you feel resentful or irritated, dig deep to find what you genuinely like about it. If you’re competitive, turn it into a game. 

Only you can prevent procrastination. Follow us for more tips and enlightenment. 

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