Practical Ways to Overcome Procrastination

Publish date: 2021-03-09
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Why do you think you've been procrastinating ?

Fill in the blanks in the following sentence;

I'm motivated to ……..but I procrastinate because…….

Procrastination doesn't always go hand in hand with lack of motivation. In fact I believe that procrastination and lack of motivation are very different in nature. While procrastination is a mental habit, lack of motivation for the most part stems from misalignment.

It's only through clarity that your mind and body will both engage and accept change and growth. Remove confusion, uncertainty, and ambiguity from your goals.

There are plenty of reasons as to why you procrastinate and I’m sure they seem valid to you. Here are some tips that can help you overcome this habit.

Getting Organized with Your Goals

If you're like me and have multiple goals, being aware of what you need is not just nice, it's necessary. Otherwise, you might find it quite challenging to work around the clock to balance them all out. You might even forget about some of your goals and before you know it, you become frustrated and are left feeling defeated.

Use a visual representation that helps you put things into perspective.

Goals are not necessarily always big. Your goal could be just about anything really. They could be tangible things in the materialistic world. Things like dropping a habit, adopting a new habit, developing a skill, or creating a lifestyle.

No matter the size of the goal, goals are goals.

  • List your big and small goals, short-term and long-term goals, and individual and collaborative goals.
  • Rate them based on their level of urgency and importance.
  • Assign each goal to the related area.(eg. career, finance, leisure, relationship, etc)
  • Determine the relationship between these goals.
  • Which goals are a prerequisite for other goals?
  • Determine how they will all fit into the big picture context.
  • Which one is your primary, secondary, and tertiary goal?
  • Get practical with your goals by outlining the details, like the things that you must have in order to achieve this goal, or the things that you need to set aside to accomplish these goals, and etc.
  • Review your goals every single day.

Getting specific with abstract goals

The gap between today's reality and future’s aspirations is the alignment of intention, attention, and action.

In order for you to achieve vague goals such as more financial stability, better career path, better relationships, better habits, better living conditions. You need to create milestones and action-based plans. So get more specific as to what that vision really looks like to you because your progress will become much more noticeable once you break up your big goals and complex tasks into smaller ones.

  • Start moving away from abstract ideas towards specific, and measurable goals.
  • Get real with yourself about where you are today.
  • Set realistic timeframes.

For example, you're thinking about moving to a different country five years into the future. What factors must you consider before making this decision? What are some actions that you can take today that are within your control and that will move you one step closer to clarity?

It could be as simple as doing some research on your destination country to get relevant information that will help you make a concrete decision.

For example;
  • The rules, policies, and regulations of that country.
  • The processing time once you submit a visa application.
  • The required documents for the application and what you're missing.
  • The estimated time to gather all the documents.
  • An assigned time to carry out each step.

Broadening Your Horizon

You probably are not a happy person If you can't see further than tomorrow.

First, invest in self-discovery so that you can start loving yourself for the right reasons. Understand your strengths and weaknesses so that you can become more confident, motivated, and internally balanced.

  • Say yes to opportunities that make you feel good, internally.
  • Ask yourself, what about this opportunity makes you feel good? Is it a short-lived thrill or does it have the potential to contribute to a long-lasting joy? Find two to three reasons.
  • Next ask yourself, by saying yes to this opportunity, what might become possible for me? What are the benefits? Find at least two things.
  • What are the costs of accepting this opportunity? Find at least two things.
  • Weigh each side.
  • Put things into perspective and draw conclusions.

Becoming More Decisive

Yes, sometimes you’re the sole decision-maker and well sometimes you’re not.

Let’s take a look at these two examples:

Your intention is to accomplish a goal that is absolutely within your control such as self-improvement.

Bring your attention to the area at hand by asking yourself some questions that can help remove stagnancy and procrastination.

This could be something like getting clear on responsibilities, expectations, and success measures.

  1. Identify the area which you want to develop.
  2. What measures are in place for you to know you succeeded?
  3. What are some steps you can create in the form of concrete actions that can support you?
  4. Do it!
  5. Assess the result.
  6. Improve the step.
  7. Assess the result.
  8. Improve the step.
  9. Continue to refine till you reach a satisfactory level.
  10. Move on to the next step.

Do things that make today better than yesterday.
Set yourself up for things that will make your tomorrow better than today.

Your intention is to accomplish a goal that is not entirely within your control such as establishing a better relationship with your partner.

Again,bring your attention to the topic by asking yourself some questions that can help remove stagnancy and procrastination.

This could be something like getting clear on responsibilities, expectations, and success measures.

  • What exactly is better? What would you like to be different ? (It could be something like spending more time together, having more sex, having more fun outside, collaborating on a creative project, or more cooperation, more respect, or more intimacy. Whatever the case, get specific with it.)
  • What is a requirement for you? What is nice to have?
  • What are some things that are up for negotiation and what are you willing to compromise?
  • What will indicate that you've succeeded in establishing a better relationship?
  • What are your expectations in terms of communication in times of uncertainty and in times of harmony?
  • What will be one step that you can take that is absolutely within your control and is not dependent on the other person?
  • And how will this step, let's say a certain behavior, benefit you in other areas in your life?

Leading a Principle-Centered Life

Sometimes confusion, uncertainty, discouragement, disappointment, or stagnancy in one area can have a domino effect in other areas of your life.
For example, the challenges you face in your finances are reflected in your relationship. The relationship dynamic influences your pursuit to achieve your career goals and so on.
It happens to all of us. However, think about what some concrete steps are that you can take to minimize this kind of interruption?

Final Thoughts

  • Replace maybe with yes and no.
  • Make peace with delayed gratification.
  • Switch off the inner dictator and speak to yourself as you would to a good friend.
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say. For instance, If you say something make it your priority to deliver and commit to it 100%.
  • Give your day a better structure by creating unshakable anchors and no matter what the Circumstances.(eg. A short walk around the block).
  • Strive for excellence not perfection. Doing the best that you can is all you can do. Small steps matter. Celebrate your small wins.
  • Finally, remember the brain can only hold on to four chunks of information at once a time.

I help others overcome procrastination more effectively. I hope that this is the beginning of that for you.

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