Procrastination is a common issue that affects people’s productivity and well-being. It can be caused by various factors, such as fear of failure, perfectionism, or lack of motivation. This blog post aims to provide you with 10 effective strategies to overcome procrastination, enabling you to accomplish your tasks and feel better about yourself.

 

🔄 The Vicious Cycle of Procrastination

Do you have a task or project that has been piling up for years, but you keep putting it off? It’s part of your job, but it’s not the most exciting or engaging aspect. It needs to be done eventually, but there isn’t a clear deadline. Consequently, it hasn’t been your top priority, and you keep procrastinating.

If you had regularly attended to it, the task wouldn’t have taken much time. But since you’ve been avoiding it for years, it has piled up. You hope that you will get it done “someday.”

Every morning when you wake up, you think of the unfinished task, which makes you feel anxious instead of eager to start your day.

You know that you will feel much better if you get it done. But you just can’t force yourself to face the task. Whenever you think of it, you see this daunting and tedious work.

As mentioned in another post, when you think about a task you don’t want to do, a part of your brain that processes pain signals, the insular cortex, gets activated, and you actually feel pain. But as soon as you stop thinking about the task, the pain goes away. Since the pain goes away, your brain thinks avoiding the task is a good thing.

You are stuck in this vicious cycle of thinking about the daunting task, feeling pain, avoiding the task, and feeling relief. You know you want to get the task done, but you just can’t do it.

If you are in this vicious cycle, here are 10 strategies you can implement to overcome your procrastination and feel better.

📋 Procrastination Remedy #1: Create an Inventory Sheet

We tend to avoid a task when we don’t have a clear sense of exactly what needs to be done. Make sure you know exactly what needs to be done to complete the task. Create an inventory sheet of all the parts that need to be done.

📏 Procrastination Remedy #2: Divide the Task into Small Manageable Sub-tasks

If you try to do too much at once, you feel overwhelmed. Look at the inventory sheet and divide the task into small, manageable chunks. Make it as small as possible so that you won’t activate your amygdala. You need to be able to feel, “I can do that!” instead of “That’s a lot of work.”

If you cannot divide it into small chunks yourself, get somebody to help you with the process.

⏰ Procrastination Remedy #3: Have Realistic Expectations

When you divide the task into small chunks, have realistic expectations. You probably want to finish the task as soon as possible. But don’t expect to finish the work you’ve been avoiding for years in one day. Have realistic expectations. Schedule to finish small, manageable chunks consistently.

📅 Procrastination Remedy #4: Schedule a Specific Time to Work on the Task

Block a time on your calendar so that you know exactly when you will work on it. The less ambiguous your plan is, the higher the chance you will actually execute it.

You can use your digital calendar or get a physical planner like this one.

🚀 Procrastination Remedy #5: Don’t Be a Perfectionist

Being a perfectionist freezes you and stops you from moving forward. Don’t try to be perfect from the start. Rather commit to starting a task imperfectly. Once you start it, you can use momentum to push forward.

Missed one day? Don’t punish yourself. The key is to get back on track before you totally lose momentum.

📵 Procrastination Remedy #6: Avoid Tech Distractions

Before you start working on the task, do everything you can do to avoid your tech distractions. Don’t count on your willpower to avoid checking your phone every time you hear a “ping.”

⏳ Procrastination Remedy #7: Use the Pomodoro Technique

It’s impossible to stay focused for a long time. Use the Pomodoro technique to give yourself a set time for “focus” and “break” periods. This will help you focus on the task at hand.

🧘 Procrastination Remedy #8: Use a Ritual to Bring You a Helpful Mindset

Create a ritual that helps you get into the right mindset to start or stay on task. Have a helpful mantra handy and use it if you need a little help starting or staying on task.

Here are a few examples of mantras that can help:

✅ “I am capable and strong; I can tackle this task.”

✅ “One step at a time; progress is progress.”

✅ “Done is better than perfect.”

Choose a mantra that resonates with you and repeat it to yourself whenever you need motivation or encouragement to stay focused and overcome procrastination.

 

👯 Procrastination Remedy #9: Get an Accountability Buddy

If you need help being accountable, find an accountability buddy such as your colleague, friend, or spouse. Ideally, the person has a task that needs to be completed as well. That way, you can help each other to make progress toward your goals.

🎉 Procrastination Remedy #10: Feel Good About Your Progress

When you finish the scheduled work for the day, feel good about the progress you made. When you do something and feel good about it, your brain releases dopamine, which helps you remember which behavior made you feel good. Then you will likely perform the same behavior because you want to feel good again.

One of the easiest ways to feel good is to use a tracking spreadsheet and visually show your progress.

 

🎯 Do This Now

Do you have a task you have been avoiding for a while? Use some of these strategies and complete or at least get started with the task now. You will get rid of the heavy weight you’ve been carrying on your shoulders.

Implementing these strategies will not only help you overcome procrastination but also improve your overall well-being and productivity. Start making a change today and experience the benefits of conquering procrastination in your life!