There are millions of people who will tell you that there biggest problem is procrastination. And they would be 100% correct, as this is a productivity problem that strikes all of us at times. However, some people take this issue too far by making it a habit, or worse yet, a lifestyle.
In addition to not getting things done, procrastinating can take a real toll on you as a person. It can affect your relationships, the way that people (including yourself) see you, and the way that you think about yourself. After all, who wants to be known in their own mind as the lazy guy who can't get stuff done?
I hope that these tips can help you learn how to stop procrastinating. I used to have a real issue, and while I still do it from time to time depending on what needs to get done, my productivity has improved greatly by following these tips.
The 2-Minute Rule
You have likely heard this before so I'll be brief. The two minute rule is very simple- if something will take you less than two minutes to get done, do it right now. You will be shocked, and I mean blown away, at the amount of things that we need to get done, yet push off, even though they could be accomplished in less than 120 seconds.
Start following this rule and it will blow you away by how much stuff you get done. When tasks that will take this short period of time come to you, immediately do them. Don't let them sit in your head, or think about how much you won't enjoy doing it. This will make you less likely to accomplish the task. Just do it.
Don't Get Caught Up In Motivations
A lot of guys think that the best solution to procrastination is to get motivated. And there are lots of motivational posters, videos, etc. that you have access to online.
I'm a big fan of motivation. My Favorite videos playlist on YouTube is filled with stuff like Mike Tyson advice and speeches from Rocky. But a lot of guys get so caught up in the motivational content that they never get anything done for themselves.
Start blocking away a few minutes a day to get motivated. Make it something short like five or ten minutes. Because if you are spending hours browsing foreign luxury cars that you would like to buy when you get the money, or listening to guys pump you up about lifting weights, you aren't getting motivated. You're just a lazy guy watching the awesome lives of other people. Make your own motivation.
Hard Comes First
A lot of times you will hear people say that if you have a list of things that need doing, you should start with the easy stuff. Apparently the theory is that if you have a bunch of things to do and do the easy stuff first, it will build you confidence and then you can get on to more challenging things.
And while I am a big believer in building your confidence, I disagree wholeheartedly with this line of thinking.
Get your hard stuff done first. It will get the thought of it to stop weighing on your subconscious. Plus, that will build a ton of confidence. What is going to make you feel more confident, getting that big thing that's been stressing you out done, or knowing that you have an appointment for your dog to get brushed?
Sometimes your "hard stuff" is a big project and you can't get it all done in one day. I'm not suggesting that you start neglecting every other area of your life. In this case, I want you to make a list of everything that needs to be completed to finish that big project. This is a step by step list of all you need to get finished, in order. Start crossing things off the list as you finish them, and make a mental pledge to get a number of items from the list finished that day. Rinse and repeat.
Eliminate Distractions... To An Extent
Getting rid of all the distracting things in your life is impossible. But you can help yourself out by removing some of the big ones. If you have a tendency to watch TV while working at home, don't turn it on in the first place. Then you won't have to worry about it.
Other things you can do are install add-ons and computer software to ensure you can't access websites like Facebook and Twitter. While not going to time suck websites like YouTube for hours on end is a good thing, that doesn't necessarily make you stop procrastinating. All this does is ensure you aren't wasting your time on those specific websites, it doesn't mean you are getting stuff done.
A lot of guys will go overboard with reducing the distractions in their life. Eventually it's too much and you find it taking serious time, stop. At some point you need to rely on your own self control and willpower. Stop calling yourself a lazy person. Call yourself a productive person who is sometimes lazy, pick yourself up, and get things done. This is only half the battle so save your energy. Getting off Facebook is great and all, but that doesn't make you productive.
Realize It's Okay To Slip Up
Perhaps most importantly, don't freak out over little mishaps. Sometimes you screw up. Sometimes you go on a binge watch on Netflix, and you don't get anything done. Not every day is going to be one that you are proud of.
So long as you realize when you make mistakes or are not being productive, and don't allow that type of behavior to keep cropping up and manifesting itself in your everyday life, you are helping to kill procrastination.
Part of what keeps people procrastinating so long is not being able to realize just how much time they are wasting. I'm not saying it's okay to be a loser who never accomplishes anything so long as you realize you are wasting away. Just learn to be aware constantly of what you are doing, and always be willing to question yourself, and ask if what you are doing is really productive, or if it's your subconscious trying to put something else off.
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