I cannot tell you how many times I’ve put off until tomorrow what I could have and should have done today. It wasn’t until I learned how to overcome the tendency to procrastinate that my life began to change drastically for the better. Soon I began to have more energy, significantly greater success, better health and I was calmer and happier. Below are the top five methods I used to finally put an end to this destroyer of dreams:
- Get organized. Getting organized will give you better control over your day and your schedule. If your office, room, house, or life is scattered, then most likely so is your mind. Taking the time to organize will give you back your ability to focus which is the enemy of procrastination. They despise each other.
- Face the Giant. Do not attempt to complete all of the small projects before taking on the larger or more difficult ones. This was my biggest scape goat while I continually pushed the bigger or more complicated task (or simply the one I didn’t like) to the bottom of the pile. Not only can the small projects can keep you tied up for days, weeks, months, even years and there seems to be a never ending supply of them and your mind will not rest until you finally complete the “dreaded one”. Force yourself to take on the giant and completely block out everything else. Once you’ve conquered that Giant, you’ll feel great! Like a cool breeze on a hot, sunny day.
- Delegate. If you have projects or tasks that you can delegate, by all means delegate. Do not hang onto the things you do not need to. Let go. Delegating does not make you any less capable in anyone’s eyes, nor is it true that you are the only person capable of doing the job correctly. Yes, I can identify with that thought process and it’s not a healthy one. Delegation is success wise and rids you of the overwhelming feelings that often lead to procrastination.
- Meditate. Prior to learning meditation I was at the mercy of circumstance beginning the moment my feet hit the floor each morning. In other words, I did not have the mind management necessary to focus and manage my day. I often felt overwhelmed and out of control, which of course also helped lead me into procrastination. If you’re feeling scattered, how can you focus on anything? Meditation keeps you grounded and connected to your higher self. It is in the quiet stillness that we often find our answers and our ability to remain focused throughout our day. As I said previously, focus and procrastination are opposite of each other. If you train the mind to focus, you will not procrastinate.
- Challenge your mind. This is going to take real mental effort on your part however, if you really want to end procrastination, you’ll find the energy. Each time you come across a project that you attempt to put off, stop that thought process in midstream and force yourself to start on the project right away. Immediately block out everything else. This is going to take a lot of mental energy initially. I remember the fight my mind put up when I first began doing this, but I kept swinging. Sometimes I’d stumble, but I still kept swinging until procrastination finally threw in the towel. You have the same mental strength, but the desire to change it must be greater than the bad habit itself. Keep in mind that it is only as great as the number you assign to it. Your consistent action to overcome procrastination or any bad habit will weaken it until eventually it dissipates almost entirely.
I personally am not an advocate of spending a lot of time trying to discover the source of self-destructive habits, but rather I believe in developing new habits that eventually replace previous programming, thus rendering the old ones null and void. I know this to work very well from personal experience and my own life transformation. I ended my procrastination by using the methods I’ve set forth in this article. Spending time focusing on “why” only gave me excuses and kept it alive and breathing.
Again, and this bears repeating over and over – if you want something badly enough, you’ll make it happen. You can do it!