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Procrastination sneaks up on everyone at one time or another. It can seriously hinder your progress in just about anything. Many people are looking to learn how to stop procrastinating and take action. Learning how to stop procrastination and make motivation a habit is essential for success in any area of your life, especially if it’s become a full-blown addiction like it did me.
I’ll be the first to admit too, I’m not completely cured of procrastination and I still struggle with it every so often. But, I’ve taken some courses on it and have learned many strategies to overcome it. It is a working progress, but I’ve seen a big difference once I learned how to get motivated and ways to stay motivated.
While motivation and procrastination aren’t the same thing, having one can help defeat the other. Obviously, I’m referring to having the motivation to beat procrastination.
So, let’s go over some things I’ve learned so you can get yourself motivated, tackle procrastination and get things done in life. Trust me, it makes you a much happier person. First of all:
Quit Making Excuses
Excuses fuel procrastination. You can’t expect to improve your productivity, health, social life or any other aspect of your life if you continue making excuses for your procrastination. You can only begin taking control of your life again when you can do away with these negative self-sabotagers.
One of the biggest excuses I allowed myself for quite some time is, “I’ll start tomorrow.” Yeah, tomorrow never came. Sometimes you just have to drag your behind over to the task you need to get done regardless of your lack of excitement and that perfect excuse you believe you came up with.
Beat the Temptation to Be Lazy
Perhaps you find sitting on the couch with a day of bingeing on Netflix or movies more appealing than getting the household chores done or going out for that run. Maybe you’d rather be a couch potato than work on your home business (if you work from home) or make that blog post.
While there will always be times when you’re simply not excited enough to take action, fight the temptation to be lazy.
Now, of course, you can’t be motivated all the time. But, what do you do when procrastination seems to be stronger than motivation?
- First, don’t beat yourself up. Realize things happen and accept your state of mind at the moment. Remember, those “low moments” can be blessings in disguise as they truly make you appreciate the “high moments”.
- Second, sometimes motivation takes willpower and like a muscle, you have to work at it. By making the decision to press on and persevere to complete your tasks of the day, you are strengthening your ability to exert your willpower.
- Third, make motivation a habit.
3 Ways to Stop Procrastination and Make Motivation a Habit
1. Practice thinking positively. You’ve likely heard about the power of positive thinking right? Don’t laugh, it works. Visualize getting things on your to-do-list done. How will you feel? Visualize good health. How great will your health be if you actually get out there and jog each morning? Repeat affirmations to yourself if you have to. Read uplifting, positive things.
2. Just get started. The best way to kick procrastination in the butt is to just get started with the task, regardless of how bad you don’t want to do it. Even if you’re not motivated when you first begin the task, you’ll find that you’ll slowly begin feeling motivation kick in once you’ve started.
3. Create a system you can practice each day. One good suggestion is to start and maintain a PRE-task routine. This is something you do before you start a certain task. Make it a habit to do that thing before you begin a certain task. So, if you know you need to clean the house but aren’t feeling motivated to do so, perhaps you can make it a habit to listen to some music beforehand. Then each “household chore” day, you’ll listen to some music first for say 15 minutes to get your mind into motivation mode.
When you turn this PRE-task routine into a habit, you no longer have to motivate yourself to do the task, you only have to start your routine.
No matter what your state of mind is today, it’s not the state of mind you’re going to be in forever. And, you can always change your state of mind. Seriously, it can almost be like flipping on a switch. You just need to practice a little. But, basically, you’re simply mapping out a step-by-step guide for your brain.
Step 1: Think of a time when you were on fire (no not literally on fire). You know, when you were absolutely rocking your day and getting things done. When you were super-motivated. Now try and remember how you felt. Felt pretty dang good, right?
Step 2: Go back to the making motivation a habit steps above. Write down the steps you need to take to get out of procrastination mode and get yourself motivated. Refer to these steps whenever you are lacking mojo.
So, what about distractions?
For many of us, distractions are too easy to come by. Sometimes, people purposely get distracted. Don’t say you’ve never done that, cause I’m sure you have. I know I have. Too many times I’ve gone on Facebook or read through my emails instead of getting my writing done (or household chores).
But, again, for many people, distractions are their number one reason for not being productive. Now, distractions aren’t necessarily a form of being unmotivated, but they’re definitely a reason for procrastinating. There are so many things we can get distracted from — kids, Internet, phone, etc.
These things keep you busy, but not productive. They take your attention away from the task you should be doing and before you know it, a good hour has gone by.
Sometimes the task or project is so large, we just don’t know how or want to get started. Therefore, we find distractions. If you catch yourself doing this, think carefully about the consequences of putting the task off. Remind yourself that the task isn’t going to go away and still needs to be done.
I just say to myself, “Wendy, you can put this off until later or tomorrow and think about it all day long which puts you in a bad mood cause you know it’s there waiting for you, OR you can just get it done and get it out of the way so you can focus your attention on the things you WANT to do”.
Here’s a great course I researched that helps you stop procrastinating. Click here to check it out.😉
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