10 Ways to Stop Procrastinating

Here are ten ways to help stop putting things off:

  1. Use a timer. Using a timer throughout the day has really helped me stay focused. I actually like the challenge of competing with the clock. I use a timer on my computer or on my phone—depending where I am. I know a business coach that likes to use an egg timer so that she can actually hear the minutes ticking. She says it keeps her more focused on the task at hand.
  2. Reward yourself once the project is completed. If you need more motivation, then give yourself smaller rewards for completing milestones along the way. Make a list of big and small rewards that you can give yourself, then refer to it when you need some motivation.
  3. Use visualization techniques to imagine how great you will feel once the chore is completed. Envision how relieved you will be to get that project off your plate. Think about how you will enjoy the reward that you have promised yourself. Picture the benefits that you will reap from completing that project.
  4. No one is perfect! Perfectionism is a great way to become paralyzed. Those of us who have a fear being imperfect tend to wait for the right time to complete something. There is no right time—Just do it. No matter how much time you spend on something, it won’t be perfect.
  5. Enlist an accountability partner or hire a coach. Sometimes we can get more done when we have the encouragement of others. We also tend to be accountable to others more than to ourselves.
  6. Break bigger projects down into smaller tasks. Sometimes we look at a project and think ‘I’ll never have time to do that’ or ‘this will never get done’. But, if you look at the parts of the whole, then you can break it down into manageable pieces.
  7. Be realistic about how long the tasks are going to take you. Try not to work on a task for more than 50 minutes at a time. After 50 minutes, get up and move around, then re-focus. If you can tackle some more–great, but make sure you aren’t getting burned out with one big task.
  8. Plan, Plan, Plan. I cannot tell you how much easier my life has gotten since I started planning my days, weeks and months. I used to jump right in and start working on “stuff”, but now I know why I am working on a particular task and for how long.
  9. Conquer the hardest part of the project or toughest task of the day first. You will feel like you have accomplished a lot early in the day, and this will motivate you to get even more done. Pat yourself on the back, and start on the next task.
  10. Clear out the physical and mental clutter so you can focus. Do not multitask, only focus on one task at a time. Keep your work area clutter-free so that you won’t have any extra distractions.