I’ll get it done tomorrow!
I’ll do it later.
I’ll get to it when I have more time.
How many of you are prone to say or think at least one of those sentences?
Or my personal favorite: I don’t feel like it!
I know all too well the personal pain and struggle of procrastination, and if you are anything like most adults, you know it too. According to research, 20% of adults consider themselves to be chronic procrastinators. This means that they consistently put off tasks and have difficulty completing tasks and goals consistently.
Some level of procrastination is normal behavior and almost everyone experiences it to some degree. It’s only when it becomes a consistent pattern that it can be considered chronic procrastination and can seriously impact the quality of people’s lives.
Is that you?
If so, please keep reading!
Here are five proven approaches to breaking the procrastination habit!
Breaking down tasks into smaller, manageable chunks has been shown to be effective in reducing procrastination by making the task seem less overwhelming. When you chunk bigger tasks, you can focus on completing one step at a time and feel a sense of accomplishment as you progress through each step.
2. Be specific with your goals
Another approach is to set specific, measurable goals, with clear actions, and place those actions in your schedule. Research has shown that setting clear, measurable goals increases motivation and reduces procrastination. By having a clear plan of action, you are more likely to take action and feel better, which becomes a positive feedback loop that leads to more action!
3. Use positive self-talk
I remember when I was in graduate school and I would put off writing my papers or studying for exams. When I would find myself down to the wire, stressed and agitated with myself, I would walk around imagining a big “L” with my finger and thumb placed on my forehead, and call myself a loser!
Negative self-talk leads to stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, which contributes to procrastination. On the other hand, positive self-talk boosts confidence and motivation. Encourage yourself by reminding yourself of past successes and practicing self-compassion.
4. The Pomodoro Technique
This technique involves breaking down work into 25-minute intervals, called “Pomodoros”, with short breaks in between.
The idea behind this technique is that by focusing on a task for a short period of time, you will increase your productivity and reduce procrastination.
This technique can be especially helpful for tasks that you find particularly difficult or tedious. Just tell yourself that you can do anything for 25 minutes, and begin. You can always continue longer than that if you are on a roll!
5. Be Mindful of your environment
Be sure that your environment is conducive to concentration and productivity. When I wrote my books, I had to put my phone LOCKED IN MY CAR so that I wasn’t distracted by mindless scrolling or relentless text messages! Find a quiet place to work, eliminate distractions such as notifications on your phone, or even clean up your workspace to help you mentally prepare for your work sessions.
Procrastination is a normal part of human behavior and it’s okay to experience it from time to time. Instead of beating yourself up for procrastinating, take steps to overcome it. With the right mindset and strategies in place, anyone can overcome procrastination and improve their quality of life.
I developed a new home study course on procrastination that I will be sharing with you soon. Pop me a message here and let me know if this is something you need!