7 Tips for Conquering Procrastination
Have you ever felt like you reached a deadline way too soon? I’m sure we’ve all felt the scramble to finish a project that’s been delayed at least once. Why didn’t we start sooner? Why didn’t we prioritize this project? What could we have done to avoid this situation?
Believe it or not, procrastination is incredibly common. According to some studies, about 25% of adults admit to frequent procrastination, and among students, that number jumps to 80-95%. These somewhat debilitating habits often start at a young age and follow you into the future, affecting your work and home life.
But there’s always a solution!
With some hard work and dedication, even the biggest habits can be broken and replaced with more effective and healthy ones. If you’re ready to make a change and prioritize all the deadlines in your life, check out these tips and tricks on conquering procrastination!
✔️ Identify Why
Learning the reason behind why you’re procrastinating is essential!
Are you avoiding a project because it’s boring or of little interest to you? Or maybe because it seems too big or like you’ll never get it done? Whatever the reason, take a moment to figure out why you seem to be putting the task off so you can conquer it much faster.
Many people find that obtaining insight into the reasoning behind their procrastination can protect them from feelings of inadequacy and guilt. Knowing yourself is vital to breaking or making any habit and solving most problems. It can also keep you from falling into familiar, unproductive, procrastinating habits.
This brings us to the next point.
✔️ Eat the Frog
Sometimes called a “productivity hack,” the “Eat the Frog” technique is one you should definitely try using. I know, I know, it sounds incredibly gross. But trust me, it works!
The idea behind this technique is that if you get your most complicated or challenging tasks out of the way first – i.e., eating a frog – the worst will be over, so all your other tasks will seem like a breeze. Achieving progress can aid you in gaining momentum and prioritizing your “to-do” list, making the top priorities easier to manage.
It can be hard initially, but trying to accomplish the largest tasks first rather than last can help you stay motivated as you tackle those more minor tasks.
✔️ Minimize Distractions
This is a big one. We’re constantly surrounded by distractions… cell phones, kids, the TV, coffee, and lunch breaks; you name it. But when you’ve got something important to work on, be sure to remove as many of those distractions as you can: make a cup of coffee before you sit down; turn your phone off or store it in a drawer; put on noise-canceling headphones; go to a different room.
Do whatever is needed to have a productive work environment and minimize all the distractions that keep you from getting the task done!
✔️ Find Accountability
One of the best tips for conquering procrastination is to find someone to keep you accountable and vice versa if needed. Having a friend checking in on you or inquiring about your progress every few hours can help give you a much-needed push.
Even a small text or phone call asking if you’ve finished a task or are moving forward with a project can help keep you accountable and help you see how far you’ve come. (PS, if you need accountability with clean eating, check out our 30 Day Challenge where we have a private group you can join!)
✔️ Break Down the Project
Maybe you’re someone who does well with to-do lists. If you like checking stuff off to show your progress, try breaking larger projects into bite-size tasks.
First, this will take the pressure off the big, daunting task. Secondly, having smaller things to do will seem more manageable and help you accomplish those tasks sooner, so you’re not scrambling at the last second to finish everything.
If you need more guidance, add details to your to-do list! If necessary, add dates for any deadlines next to each item. Or estimate how much time each task will take to complete (then double that number so you don’t accidentally underestimate how long it will take and later feel overwhelmed or discouraged).
✔️ Set a Timer
This can go along well with the last one! If you do well under pressure, try setting some timers for yourself to complete certain tasks. Or, if you tend to forget about certain repetitive tasks, add an alarm on your phone to remind you every time it needs to be done.
Whether it’s half an hour or a whole hour or more, set a scheduled amount of time to focus on your work; even if you don’t get a complete task done in that time, you’ll still be miles ahead of where you were when you started – which means you’ll be that much closer to finishing!
✔️ Reward Yourself
We all love a treat, right? If you like feeling rewarded, treat yourself to something when you finish a task or project. Reward your efforts by allowing yourself to indulge in something that you find fun and enjoyable.
Need a bite full of motivation? These Peanut Butter Rice Cakes are packed with energy + mood-boosting nutrients!
A cup of coffee, a dessert or baked good, a trip to the mall… whatever motivates you to finish your work, set that as a goal to work towards, and think about how great it’ll feel when you’re done!
These Black Bean Brownies are a reward you can feel good about! After you eat that frog, eat these brownies!
It’s very easy to fall victim to procrastination. There’s always going to be something else you could be doing rather than completing those big projects, but those can quickly get in the way of you accomplishing your goals.
Procrastination can add a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety to an overwhelming project, so using some of these tips to try and get ahead of it can help.
Try some out and see what happens!