Cure the disease of procrastination…
Debilitating. Defeat. Amortization. Disturbing. These are all words that can be used to describe procrastination. It can completely destroy your mind, dull your senses, and dull your dreams by postponing until tomorrow what should be done today.
Indeed, procrastination is a silent killer. She kills dreams every moment of the day. He is the assassin of opportunity.
Those goals we set for ourselves yesterday are still waiting for us to address them, except they’re blocked by one of the best deterrent mechanisms that stand in the way of our hopes and dreams: procrastination.
So how can we stop procrastination?
Well, it’s not that simple, especially when procrastination has become habitual. Since the mind operates on neural pathways that it creates over months and years of repetitive behavior. When procrastination is a habit, it’s hard to break. However, it is not impossible. When a person is committed enough to do something, they can get over the proverbial bump, so to speak.
So how do you do this? How to stop procrastination and start making progress?
Well, there are several methods that work really well to stop procrastination, but the following five are my best ways to do it. If procrastination has become a problem in your life, try the following methods. And you’ll find yourself more productive, and living a more meaningful life that doesn’t require you to put your dreams on hold.
How to cure the disease of procrastination?
One – Create clearly defined goals and milestones.
In a recent article titled, How to Achieve Your Goals in Life, I discussed a three-part method to setting goals through active goal setting, rather than passive goal setting. When you actively set your goals, and write them down on paper or type them into a keyboard on a device somewhere, you’re sending a visceral signal to your brain. You tell your brain clearly and concisely what you want, why you want it, and when you want it.
This is one of the most important steps to setting goals that many people simply overlook. When you don’t write things down, and just leave your goals in your mind as obscure abbreviations, it tells you that not only are you not serious about those goals, but you don’t have them. not sufficiently considered to put them in place on paper. When they are on paper, they are real. There’s a real date you’re aiming for to achieve those goals, you understand exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, and you know why you’re doing it.
So the first way to stop procrastination is to understand exactly what you want, and why you want it. Then, when you know what you’re aiming for, you can break those goals down into milestones. You can take your one-year goals, break them down into months, weeks, and even days. Then things become more achievable. You know what you need to do today, and you don’t get overwhelmed by the enormity of a huge goal.
Of them – Use the Quarter-hour system for time management.
A lot of procrastination has a lot to do with poor time management. When you can’t manage your time properly, it’s hard to move forward. And the more you fall behind, the harder it is to catch up. But it’s not only harder to catch up with, the procrastination becomes habitual, and the pattern becomes harder and harder to break. So often we need to institute time management skills, in order to stop our tendencies to procrastinate.
How is it possible?
Well, it was originally introduced by former President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower and later popularized by Stephen D. Covey in 1994 in his well-known book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
As you can imagine, it breaks down into urgency and importance. Things can be either important but not urgent (long-term goals), important and urgent (emergencies and crises), urgent but not important (interruptions), or not urgent and not important (distractions).
Most of us are stuck in the non-urgent, non-important quarter of distractions.
The famous quarter of an hour of entertainment.
We can get stuck in the quadrant of avoidance. We would rather spend time watching the game on TV than doing the work towards our long term goals.
If you have a to-do list, you are most likely not doing well with your time management. This is because you do not have any time management plan. If you want to be better at time management, you need to firstly plan the day and set a daily schedule. This will allow you to organize your time to ensure you are doing what you need to do
Procrastination is a vicious cycle that is difficult to break out of. One way to fight it is to make sure that you block out the time first thing in the morning for non-urgent and non-important activities. You can then look back on your day and see which quadrant all your activities were in. What did you do today?
If you don’t take a step to achieve your long-term goals every day, you are not only robbing yourself of your dreams, you are also setting yourself up for failure.
Three – Use the 15 minute rule.
Take a timer. Use your phone, a stopwatch or a clock that you have handy. It has to be something that can count time and place it in front of you. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Then, start doing the activity you’ve been putting off, and commit to doing it for 15 minutes.
Why only do it for 15 minutes?
Well, doing an activity for 15 minutes and only committing to that block of time helps you overcome the hurdle of procrastination. Generally, when someone does something for 15 minutes, they keep doing it much longer. And, by committing to just 15 minutes, you’re helping overcome one of the biggest hurdles in your mind, which is just getting started.
So commit to 15 minutes. Do something for 15 minutes now that you’ve been putting off. Set aside a 15-minute block each day, and over time you’ll build better habits that will empower you rather than weaken you. It all starts with 15 minutes. That’s all it takes.
Four – Change your environment.
Sometimes models are developed using environmental cues. This means that when we are at home, we have a certain set of behaviors that our mind has become accustomed to. But, when we can break this pattern and change our environment, we can change our behavior.
So if you always find yourself jumping on the couch, grabbing the TV remote, and turning on the TV when you get home from a long day at work, change your surroundings. Bring your laptop to a cafe. Or, take a notepad and pencil and go to a park and sit on a bench. You will find that changing your environment can be one of the best ways to break habits that have formed over time.
If you find yourself smothered in a certain environment, change the environment; go somewhere else. If you keep doing the same things, you can’t keep expecting different results. Pick yourself up now and change your environment. Wherever you are, if that doesn’t allow you to work on your long-term goals, go somewhere else and do it.
Five – Find an accomplice.
The last method to stop procrastination in your life is to find an accomplice. What do I mean by that? Well, sometimes what we really need is a friend or loved one to help us get over that bump. If the goal is to hit the gym 3 days a week, then having a buddy can help motivate each other. When you’re feeling down, they can help push you. And when they’re feeling down, you can help push them.
When you have an accomplice, you work as a team. It means you are not alone. This is a great method to overcome some of our natural tendencies to delay things. When we procrastinate, we send a signal to our mind that it’s okay to forget something or put off until tomorrow what can be done today. The problem is that it is not acceptable to put things off because this behavior becomes habitual.
Don’t let the silent killer of procrastination kill you. Get up now and do something to stop procrastination; do anything. The longer you do not act, the less likely you are to act in the future.