How to Stop Procrastination

Are you putting off (m)any projects?*

Once you know how to stop procrastination when it comes to what matters in life, you'll feel so much better about what you do each day.

You know that feeling when you want to get something done, but you're putting up barriers that prevent you from doing it?

Try this five step 'START' sequence...

(*‘Projects’ being anything that needs more than one action to complete.)

How to stop procrastination using the START method

This method works so you work on your projects:

How to Stop Procrastination Using START

Select it

What have you been putting off? Most of us have got several things we’d like to get off our to-do list.

Not sure which one to tackle first? Learn how to prioritize work, but consider this:

You don’t have to do anything -- you choose to.

Time box it

Once you’ve decided what you want to work on, how long are you prepared to work on it for?

There are several causes of procrastination for which there are solutions, one of which is 'time boxing'.

Essentially, this involves putting an appealing limit on the time you work on the project.

Act on it

Most projects we put off haven’t been started. Once you get the ball rolling, momentum gathers, so just start.

Time box how long you do it for, then act.

Whatever it is, do it! It’s better to act and adjust than to plan and do nothing.

Focusing single mindedly on your project is one of the secrets of effective time management. How long you chose to act on it for is less important than the fact that you actually did it.

Review it

Okay, so you’re getting there. You've actually done something on your previously-procrastinated-on-project.

The next step is to review what you did so you know what to do next time.

  • Have you actually made any relevant progress?
  • Did you get distracted? Why?
  • Did you notice how you felt about the length of time you chose to work for?

Review what you do so you do it well when you next tackle your project.

Treat yourself

Finally, whatever you've done, finish with something that you look forward to.

Work should be followed by a reward, so have something to anticipate at the end -- treat yourself to something nice in proportion to the time and effort you put in.

... and that's it!

*  *  *

Try the START method to learn how to stop procrastination. With time and practice it could become a useful way of approaching anything you want to do but can't, won't or don't.

Projects don’t always get done in one time box, so when you’re done, and when you’re ready…

START again!

Do you need to get a better balance in your life?

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