Stop Procrastinating: The 5 Step Plan For Getting Your Shit Together
There is perhaps no greater day-killer than the dreaded scourge of procrastination. Once it sets in, that’s it: You’re trapped in a fog of avoidance, anxiety and “just one more” episode on Netflix. Then, one more. Then, another. Then, the day is gone.
You’re not alone; we’ve all spent time doing just about anything we could to stall productivity. But, fear not! There are actually ways to overcome procrastination and avoid entering a YouTube “suggested videos” black hole when there’s work to be done. Here’s our step-by-step breakdown on crushing procrastination once and for all:
1. Write down your goal and give yourself a deadline
As we all know, a goal without a deadline can be put off forever. By actually writing down both your goal and your deadline, it will feel more “permanent,” and you’ll be less likely to push back your productivity timeline in favor of a binge-watching sesh.
2. Break down your goal into small pieces
Instead of facing one huge, amorphous task, divide it into three (or six, or 10) achievable steps. Each step could be one hour or one day in duration. Then, concentrate on only the first step.
3. Combine a miserable task with something you enjoy
If you hate to exercise, watch your favorite TV show while walking on the treadmill or go to the gym with a friend who you love to hang out with. Or, bribe yourself: Schedule a manicure immediately following every dentist appointment. Read a junk tabloid (the kind you embarrassingly enjoy) whenever you go to the dentist— and only when you go to the dentist.
4. Give yourself a time limit
You can always give your task a very short time limit. Just get started. Knowing the torture won’t go on forever will help you to stop procrastinating. You may even be encouraged to continue the job past your time limit. Once you are in motion, everything changes. You are engaged and connected. You’ll be surprised how your energy and momentum build. You may actually start to enjoy the task.
5. Reward progress
Set up a reward system to make sure you celebrate progress and small success as you go along. Whether a drink with friends or a candy bar for yourself, make it something that acknowledges your effort.