6 steps to overcome procrastination

6 steps to overcome procrastination and improve your productivity

How to overcome procrastination

If you find yourself constantly putting things off until later you will find these 6 steps to overcome procrastination that will improve your productivity.

1. Understand your WHY

We live in a world filled with constant distractions, pressures, mundane routines and endless tasks that all mount up.

We rarely take time out to ask ourselves why we do things.

Without a purpose or goal to strive towards, we simply survive day-to-day.

Knowing why gives us the motivation and direction needed to plan what goals we want to achieve to live a fulfilled life.

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction” John F. Kennedy

2. Take Action

After establishing your WHY, it’’s time to start taking action, which is the antidote to feelings of guilt, self-doubt, inadequacy and fear – all feelings that procrastination can create.

I recommend using the SMART model to help you improve your productivity by establishing your goals and breaking each of them up into smaller steps for achieving your goal.

Start to set yourself three goals each night before you go to bed that you would like to achieve for the following day.

This approach ensures you get a good nights’ sleep, it allows your subconscious mind to work on ways to achieve your goals, and it gives you a purpose for the day upon awakening.

3. Do it First and Complete it

With your daily goals, schedule these into your diary rather than create a to-do list.

Allocate a specific time and duration for achieving each goal and prioritise your schedule to best match your energy levels.

If you’re a morning person, then schedule your highest priority goal for first thing in the morning.

It’’s important to remain working on your priority goal until completion before moving onto your next goal for the day.

4. Be Kind to Yourself

When things seem overwhelming, encourage yourself to embrace uncertainty and forgive yourself for past failures and mistakes.

They are simply learning opportunities to put into practice in the future.

Focus on what you have achieved that day and reschedule any goals not completed to the following day until they are done.

One of the best ways to be kind to yourself is to ensure you are getting adequate sleep each night, drinking enough water, eating fresh fruit and vegetables and you are participating in regular exercise.

5. Control your Self-Talk

We all have that little voice in our heads, that inner critic, the voice that can create anxiety and paralysis us with doubt and uncertainty.

Like a child that gets ignored, our inner voice is the same, it becomes louder and more persistent until it gets our attention.

The most effective way to deal with this is to simply acknowledge that voice and say ‘thank you, I am choosing to make a different decision/take a different action/make a different choice today’.

This internal response to your negative self-talk is one of the most powerful ways to break the pattern of procrastination and to control the power of your inner voice.

6. Appreciate and Celebrate!

The final tip to help you overcome procrastination is to make the small things matter by appreciating and celebrating yourself.

Appreciate every step of your efforts made towards your goals and celebrate each milestone achieved.

Ask yourself each day “what am I proud of today?” And “what can I do better tomorrow?”

Starting a gratitude and appreciation journal will also keep your focus on the positives in your life and this, in turn, will become a valuable source of motivation.

Recommended further reading: 5 Tips to Building Resilience at Work

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About Carla Egan 3 Articles
Carla Egan is a professional coach, trainer, and behavioural profiler, and combines her coaching skills with her 20-year career experience in inbound contact centre management to enable organisational change in individuals, teams, and leaders.

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