How To Stop Procrastination
Understanding how to stop procrastination is key to achieving your goals.
I'm sure you have probably procrastinated on doing something important at one time or another despite knowing better, I'm guilty of it myself.
Why do we put off the things we should be doing and how do we learn to change our habits of procrastination?
Confront Your Fears
One reason for procrastination is that we fear the outcome of taking action. Think about it, would you hesitate to do something that would only have positive value and outcomes for you? We usually put things off because we fear that there will be a potential negative consequence from acting.
Sometimes you might even put it off as long as possible with the hope that you might not have to do it if you wait long enough, that the problem or situation will just go away. Most of the time our fears are overblown, and the reality is much more benign. When you find yourself putting something off, take some time to see if your procrastination is due to some fear related to the outcome, and evaluate whether that fear is founded in reality.
Change Your Associations
Another step in learning how to stop procrastination is change your associations to your behaviors. You might put off doing a task because there is something much more pleasant you could be doing. Every time you procrastinate by doing something more enjoyable or rewarding, you are reinforcing the habit of procrastination. You will begin to associate procrastination with the reward, ensuring you will be more likely to procrastinate in the future.
Sure, there may be pain later from putting things off, but the pain usually happens long enough after the initial procrastination that you don't associate the pain with procrastinating. Stop rewarding the bad habit and start to associate pain immediately with the act of procrastinating.
Shift from Short Term to Long Term Thinking
Related to the previous tip, another great method in learning how to stop procrastination is to start thinking about the long term consequences of putting things off. Think about all the stress and negativity that procrastination will bring over time if you don't take action now. Consider what you will miss out over the long term if you don't do the things you know you ought to do.
Imagine in vivid detail what will happen if you don't take action, the stress, disappointment, or regret you will feel. Only considering the short term consequences encourages procrastination, but if you really consider what the long term consequences are, you will be more motivated to stop procrastination behaviors.
Increase Your Energy Levels
It's hard to keep procrastinating if you are full of energy just looking for an outlet. Create habits of exercising regularly and eating well to increase your overall energy level. When you are in a low energy state, it is very tempting to engage in unproductive time wasters even though you ought to be doing other things.
Increasing your energy levels decreases your proclivity towards procrastination and makes you feel more motivated to take on your projects and other productive activities.
Each of these strategies can help you learn how to stop procrastination in your life if applied consistently. Ending procrastination will increase your motivation and bring more success to your life.
Return from How to Stop Procrastination to Overcoming Procrastination
Return from Underlying Causes of Procrastination to Self Motivation Strategies