Procrastinating is strange, isn’t it? We actively avoid the things that will bring us more clarity, happiness, and success in our lives and businesses. And instead focus on the tasks that make us feel busy but are not as important to complete. Why do we do that? It only creates more confusion, stress, and anxiety! Thankfully, there are some quick tweaks you can make to overcome procrastination and find your motivation and focus again.
But, first let’s talk about why people procrastinate.
It turns out understanding your WHY is key to stopping the procrastination cycle. Procrastination is complex and different people procrastinate for different reasons. According to an article called, Why People Procrastinate: The Psychology and Causes of Procrastination, we need self-control and motivation to help us get a project done. However, we also have all kinds of factors that demotivate and hinder us. When what hinders and demotivates us outweighs our self-control and motivation we will procrastinate.
Common reasons people procrastinate include:
- Abstract goals
- Rewards are too far into the future
- Feeling overwhelmed, and
- Lack of motivation.
If you are curious to read more reasons, there is an exhaustive list in the article linked above. While getting down to the nitty gritty of why you procrastinate can take time and soul-searching, there are some quick steps you can take right now that will immediately motivate you and stop the procrastination cycle.
3 Quick Tweaks to Overcome Procrastination
#1- Clean up your workspace
I know it sounds crazy, but your environment can make or break your motivation. Clean up your desk, de-clutter the piles, and remove distractions (that includes children, pets, and spouses if you are working from home *wink*) and you will be able concentrate better and decrease the overwhelm. Changing up your workspace can also do wonders for your motivation and overwhelm.
#2- Pick a reward
If you need to get a task done that you have been avoiding, try giving yourself a reward when you complete it. The trick is to make sure the reward is in the immediate future. Pick something small if you like, but make sure it’s something that will motivate you to complete the task you were previously avoiding.
#3- Choose the next right step
Sometimes a task is daunting because it is large and time-consuming with lots of steps to completion. If that’s what’s making you procrastinate, pick ONE small next right step and complete it. To figure out what that step should be ask yourself, “If I were to take action right now, what is the smallest possible step I could take?” (I got this question from this amazing article here) Then write down the answer. Set a timer 10-20 minutes and get it done. Then reward yourself immediately. Rinse and repeat.
Procrastination has caused confusion and overwhelm in the past. And it will probably rear it’s ugly head in the future. But procrastination does not have to slow you down indefinitely. With these 3 quick tweaks you can feel inspired by your workspace again, reward yourself when you make progress and boost your motivation, and work in small productive steps to beat overwhelm. You will be a master at overcoming procrastination in no time!
With grace & grit,
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