21 Effective Ways to Avoid Procrastination

Ways to Avoid Procrastination

Let’s get straight to it -- here are 21 ways to avoid procrastination that work, wherever you are: 

  1. Suffer. One of the best ways to overcome procrastination is to go through the pain of feeling it. Allow yourself to procrastinate on something. Take time to really notice how it feels.
  2. Be clear about what you want to do. Clarity is essential. Before you tackle doing it, make sure you know what it is you’re going to do.
  3. Be aware of it. You can't reach a solution if you don't know what the problem is. Why and how are you procrastinating?
  4. Decide if you actually care enough to do that task. Are there enough valid reasons for committing to it? If not, dump it.
  5. Defer it. When something lands in your inbox or on your desk, do it the following day. Try this cure for procrastination -- it really is one of the most effective ways to get things done.
  6. Commit it to writing. There’s power in them lists! Whatever it is, write it down and keep it with you. Visual reminders work.
  7. Make it easy enough. This is the key to overcoming procrastination about anything.
  8. Ready, fire, aim. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. Start, then make it better.
  9. Break it down. Remember, starting is the hardest part… unless you make it the easiest. Make it a habit to do things in chunks of time that you can face. Any length of time on a task will move things on.
  10. Time it. Grab an egg timer; set it for any length of time that doesn’t scare you. Now focus single-mindedly on your task for that length of time.
  11. Work when you work best. What are your most productive times of day? Whether it’s early in the morning or last thing at night, do it when you’re least likely to get distracted.
  12. Sell it to yourself. Before you do something, take a minute to focus your thought on it. Imagine the feeling you’ll get from accomplishing something, then get to work on it.
  13. Sell it to yourself some more. These procrastination quotes should do the trick.
  14. Pick and choose. On any given day, work though a finite list of tasks.  Doing them in any order you want enhances the feeling of having a choice. Having said that, the list becomes infinitely easier if you…
  15. Do the worst first. Got something hard or unpleasant? Do it quickly. If you get it done in one go, great. If not, time box it daily until it’s done.
  16. Be accountable. Tell someone else what you’re going to do and when you’ll do it by.
  17. Sort out your space. Got a messy desk ? Can you get your hands on what you need without too much effort? Your workspace often determines whether you can and will get on with a task or put it off.
  18. Eliminate distractions. Phones, TV, the internet -- remove yourself from what you know will stop you.
  19. Prepare a reward. When you actually do something, reward yourself for doing so with something minor but meaningful.
  20. Do it on a specific day. Remember this old Scottish proverb:  What may be done at any time will be done at no time.
  21. Make it a habit. Do things when they show up, not before they blow up.

Apply these 21 ways to avoid procrastination to help you actually do what matters to you! 

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