9 Ideas To Overcome Procrastination

By Rick Houcek

Did you know between 80% and 95% of college students procrastinate on their school work, according to the American Psychological Association?  Some say they work better under pressure, but this may not be true.

As adults, we don’t do much better.  Sometimes we intentionally delay. Sure, at times that can be the right course, but be honest with yourself when you know you are really just procrastinating.

Here are 9 ways to stop.

  1. Identify your passions and do only those things. For me, it’s 4 big things:  family, fitness, business, and baseball.  Those are the only 4 things I do.  I get up early in the morning and stay late.  I can’t wait to get at it.  When you are living your passions – and little else – it’s a pretty good life.
  1. Create this rule: when you set a goal, take the first action step today, before you go to bed.  Don’t delay – not tomorrow, not next week – today.  It gets you engaged on the playing field of action and overcomes negative inertia.
  1. Use positive affirmations like “I’m a high performer and this task, this assignment, this project, this initiative is another chance to prove my excellence.” Or, “Even when I fail, I learn exciting new things that I can apply the next time, and I’m a better person for it.”  Positive affirmations, or self-talk, used over time can have a dramatic effect on personal performance.
  1. As a rule, surround yourself with high achievers. Their energy, their enthusiasm, and their get-it-done nature will rub off on you.  If you hang out with losers, guess what then seeps into your skin?
  1. Tackle big projects in small chunks. There’s the old saying, “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.”  Map out a list of action steps and tackle them systematically, one at a time.  It’s not so daunting now.
  1. Have an accountability partner. You for him or her.  He/she for you.  Or hire a coach.  Someone to keep you on track to hold you accountable.
  1. Accept control and responsibility for everything in your life. Doing the opposite – giving up control – provides a perfect excuse for non-performance or missed deadlines.  And then we blame other people or events.  This doesn’t help because we can’t fix them.  But we can fix ourselves.
  1. Upfront, identify a reward you will give yourself for successful completion. Now, this might seem trite and childish – like ice cream or a movie after school – but adults are just really taller versions of kids.  So rewards can and do work.
  1. Perfectionism works for some, but it derails others. I tend to be a perfectionist.  To me, it’s a good thing.  It forces me to do my very best and not settle.  But for someone that struggles to achieve things, perfectionism is too much pressure.  Be happy with small steps, even if done slowly.  Good enough is good enough.  Over time, enough small successes bundled together will equal a great big achievement and you’ll one day get to the place where being a perfectionist no longer scares you.

Put these 9 anti-procrastination ideas to work for you and I know you will enjoy greater productivity.


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