How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Getting Things Done

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When it comes to organization – procrastination is your biggest enemy.

Do you wake up in the morning with grand plans? The day is filled with possibility. There are a million things to do and you are going to get them ALL done today.

But somehow – you don’t end up doing all the things.

Sometimes, I’m lucky if I have even started organizing my life by noon.

It’s not that I am lazing around – I’m certainly busy.

I’m just not doing the right things.

Now pay attention here – the reason why I am not doing the right things is because I don’t want to do them.

Not because I don’t know what to do.

It’s an important distinction.

I am not getting anything done because I give in to PROCRASTINATION.

If this situation happens to you too – then it’s high time that you kick this monster to the curb.

Here is a 4 step action plan that you can follow to overcome your own habit of procrastinating:

  1. Figure out why you are avoiding a task.
  2. Focus on how you will feel if you get it done.
  3. Squash your objections.
  4. Create a written plan.

What Is Procrastination?

Procrastination is “the action of delaying or postponing something”.

I think we’ve all been there.

You procrastinate for a number of reasons:

  • you don’t like the task of what you need to get done,
  • you feel overwhelmed by the tasks in front of you,
  • you have a fear of failing,
  • a desire for immediate gratification,
  • and, if you are like me, there are just other things you would rather be doing.

How to Stop Procrastinating

So, what can you do about it?

Step 1: Your Personal Why

Well, the first step to overcoming procrastination is figuring out your own personal why.

You will need to do this on a per task basis – don’t try to tackle everything that you are putting off at once.

For example, you have a mountain of laundry to do. (Why on earth would you ever procrastinate on doing that?)

But seriously.

You have a mountain of laundry to do.

You don’t want to do it.

The more you procrastinate, the bigger the pile gets.

It’s time to face the facts and create a plan of action.

Start with the why.

Why are you putting it off doing the laundry? Let me guess:

  • you don’t like to do laundry
  • that huge pile is intimidating
  • you think it is going to take way too much time, and
  • there are way better things to do with your time.

Step 2: Focus On How You Will Feel

Imagine what it would be like if you actually did that thing you have procrastinating about.

Try some of these words out for size:

  • happy
  • relieved
  • free
  • excited
  • relaxed

Focus on that awesome feeling – and think to yourself – I CAN DO THIS!

Step 3: Tackle Each of Your Objections

Clearly you have a lot of reasons for procrastination.

But it’s got to get done, right?

How to Deal With the “You Don’t Like It” Objection.

Create an incentive for yourself.

There is nothing wrong with a little bribe or reward – even if you are giving it to yourself.

In college I had a friend that loved iced tea. She would reward herself with a glass of iced tea when she finished a homework assignment.

She would not allow herself to get up and go to the kitchen until the assignment was done.

The iced tea was her incentive.

Overcome the Overwhelm Objection

You don’t have to give in to procrastination if if the task is monumental.

Just break it down into baby steps – or enlist some help.

If it is laundry that you are putting off – split it up into smaller piles and commit to doing one or two loads a day until you get caught up.

Another alternative is to get some outside help (did someone say kids?).

Ask or teach your kids to do their own laundry – and help them, instead of them helping you.

If that won’t work, price out the laundromat. Maybe you need a little splurge this one time.

Find a way to find help.

The Too Much Time/Better Things To Do Objection

I hate the word mult-tasking because I don’t think it’s really effective.

But, depending on what you have to do – maybe you make what you have to do more pleasant by combining it with something you like better.

I enjoy listening and watching a lot of training about blogging.

This is something I can do while I fold laundry.

Step 4: Create a Plan

So, maybe by now you are feeling a little more motivated to conquer your procrastination habit.

Well, let me warn you that INTENTION is not enough.

What you need to do is set some goals.

Write down the following:

  • what it is you need to do
  • how you will feel when it gets done
  • the steps you need to take to get there, and
  • how you will reward yourself when the mission is accomplished.

Look at your schedule for the day and find a block of time that you can dedicate to what you need to get done.

Break down what you have to do into actionable steps using the SMART Goals framework and decide how long each one will take.

Then put them in your planner.

This is key, too.

I use a fun LifePlanner from Erin Condren – it allows me to channel my creativity and gives me a permanent place to record my action plans.

Basically it keeps me accountable.

Don’t Let Procrastination Get In the Way of Your Success

Procrastination is an ugly thing – it can keep us from achieving our full potential.

But you don’t have to give in to it!

Start with the smallest little thing that you have been putting off and use this action plan to get it done.

Stop avoiding it, your prize will be the feeling of accomplishment, face your objections, and make a plan.

Once you start the ball rolling, you will create habits that you can use to stop procrastinating in the future.

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