Maybe you’re “planning” to start a big project next month. Perhaps you keep saying you’re going to do jump on your latest business idea as soon as you have more time. Or you could just be putting off cleaning up the house or washing the car.
Even if you’re putting off something that seems like a little thing, it’s not the size of what you’re procrastinating about that’s the problem. It’s that you’re giving energy to a bad habit that will grow and strangle your success.
So if you have a tendency to put things off, here are ten things you can do to beat procrastination and enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life:
1. Make a decision. This is my favorite way to overcome procrastination. Decision is the opposite of procrastination. Just like right and left, up and down, hot and cold, there’s procrastinate and decide.
To become more decisive, get Think and Grow Rich and read the chapter on decision every day for 30 days. This will go a long way in helping you act quickly on your ideas.
2. Write it out. Set aside a little time and follow this three-step process:
a) Get a sheet of paper and write out how you currently feel about procrastination. Elaborate on how you procrastinate—what you do, when you do it, etc.
b) Take out a second sheet and ask yourself, “What would be the exact opposite of that?” Then, on the top of the page, write “I am so happy and grateful now that…”and below it write out detailed statements that are the opposite of the things you wrote on the first sheet. When you are finished, burn or shred the first sheet of paper.
c) Read and rewrite what you wrote on the second sheet every day until you notice that you’re no longer procrastinating.
3. Chop it up. Sometimes we procrastinate because we don’t know where to begin. Break large projects into milestones, and then into small, actionable steps.
4. Quiet your mind. This one might surprise you, but meditation is one of the most effective ways to get rid of self-sabotaging behavior, including procrastination.
5. Stop trying to be perfect. Perfectionism is an illusion that slows you down and prevents you from reaching your goal. Act quickly, doing the best you can.
6. Partner up. Find an accountability partner so you can help each other commit to and follow through on the things you each need to do to move toward your goals and dreams.
7. Take a closer look. Revisit what you’re putting off and ask yourself why you have it on your list. Be honest with yourself. Maybe you’re putting it off because it’s something someone else wants you to do, but it’s really not important to you. If it’s not something that you really want or should do—or something that will move you closer to your goals, stop wasting energy on it and remove it from your list.
8. Put it on your gratitude list. Tomorrow morning, write down how grateful you are that you started the project and it’s going well. Write it in the present tense and feel like you already achieved it.
You see, expressing gratitude isn’t only for things that have already happened. Being grateful for things that you want and expect to happen raises your vibration, and thereby helps you get the results you want.
9. Reward yourself for taking action. When you accomplish something you want to put off, reward yourself. Take a coffee or tea break, go to a movie, or eat at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to check out. Do whatever will make you feel good about overcoming the procrastination.
10. Adjust your attitude. Procrastination stops you from winning and realizing many great joys in life. But even a small shift in your attitude can make a big difference in your results. So every day ask yourself, “What environment do I want to create for my life to really thrive?” Procrastination can’t survive in an environment like that.
There is no magic pill that will put an end to procrastination forever. But these tips will help you take concrete steps toward achieving more and feeling a lot better about yourself.
To more and better,