Just Doing It Just Got Easier: 5 Simple Strategies to Avoid Procrastination

One day a gentleman visited his good friend who owned a busy advertising company. It had been months since he visited his friend's office.

 

Gentleman visitor: "Say, what happened to all those "THINK" signs you used to have pinned up all over the walls?"

 

Owner friend: "I had to take all of them down. Everyone sat around thinking all day long. Nothing ever got done!"

 

Thinking before doing is good. But when all you do is think about doing something, it's called procrastination. It's one of the many dysfunctions that almost everyone experiences. For some, it's an occasional problem. For many, it's a chronic and nagging obstacle that prevents personal and group productivity.

 

If you are a procrastinator, you may be feeling:

  • Embarrassed when you don’t meet your deadlines
  • Tired from spinning your wheels while going in the wrong direction
  • Frustrated because you know you’re letting yourself down
  • Terrified that you can’t continue to cover up your failure to follow through
  • Dissatisfied when you fail to reach your goals

Procrastinators are everywhere.  I procrastinate and you probably do, too.  Even people we think are the coolest, smartest, most productive people out there, almost certainly procrastinate; maybe not too much or very often, but they do.  It’s so prevalent, in fact, that there are dozens of proverbs and axioms penned about procrastination. Many self-improvement books and articles have been written on the topic, too. You possibly have some in your files and on your shelf.  You may have actually read them.  But, have you stopped procrastinating?  Don’t feel too badly if you haven’t because it can be very hard to do without a strategy.

There are reasons you procrastinate. A few causes are:

  • You dislike or lack aptitude for doing things you’re required to do
  • You can’t get started because a project is overwhelming
  • You’re a perfectionist and afraid the results won’t meet your high standards
  • You have no clear, visual objective in mind
  • There’s no compelling reason for you to do something
  • Some things are hard to do alone

If you want to eliminate procrastination, I don’t think I can help you do that.  However, I can give you some easy strategies that I use to significantly improve my ability to get started on tasks and follow through.

5 Simple Strategies to Avoid Procrastination

  1. Throw perfection out and do your excellent best work.  When you make a mistake, think of it as a learning experience so you can do an even more excellent job the next time.
  2. When you’re unsure of how to do something, ask for help. It’s amazing how happy people are to teach or guide you through something. It’s flattering to the helper and instructive for you.  Plan to pay it forward by helping someone else who needs it.
  3. When starting a project or task, consider what the results will look, feel, smell, taste, and sound like. Make the picture very clear and include as many senses as you can. Clear imagery is your proverbial carrot on a stick.
  4. Break a big job up into small tasks with deadlines.  You can easily start and finish a series of small tasks, but sitting down to a big project can make your stomach hurt.
  5. Find a buddy to report your progress to or, even better, to partner with.  Accountability partners work really well. The great thing about accountability is that both partners benefit. It’s a two-for!

Try all five ideas or try just a few. I guarantee you’ll find relief from the stress of procrastination because you’ll learn to follow through at work and at home more consistently.

Let me know about your success or struggles with the 5 Strategies to Avoid Procrastination. You may have some good strategies to share with me.  I’d love to hear from you.

Views: 65

Comment

You need to be a member of Small Business Bonfire to add comments!

Join Small Business Bonfire

About the Small Business Bonfire

The Small Business Bonfire is a social, educational and collaborative community founded in 2011 for entrepreneurs that provides actionable tips and tools through a small business blog, a weekly newsletter and a free online community.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Members

© 2019   Created by Alyssa Gregory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service