We have all done it at some time or other. We put off our exercise routine until tomorrow; we continually delay finishing that project or starting that business. Procrastination is the mother of all demons and can literally stop you in your tracks from achieving all that you desire.
Here are 5 effective processes you can use to slay this giant.
1. Do it now
Hold your breath and jump right in! Putting things off until the last minute is a bad habit, and like all habits, is ingrained in our subconscious mind and hard to break. It feels like the normal thing to do and we simply continue along our path. To complete a task immediately may even feel strange or like a forced action.
2. Take baby steps
Sometimes we procrastinate because the task may be intimidating to us. Perhaps we have no possible inkling on where to start. In these cases, it is quite fine to take it one step at a time. Say you are preparing a business plan and for the fifth time this week, you have turned on the computer and looked at the blank screen. Or you have just remembered you need to do some more research before you begin, but you are still not ready. You simply need to break down the project into smaller pieces and tackle each bit separately. Make each task an individual project and after completion of each one, celebrate and acknowledge your achievement.
3. Forget it
Why force the issue? If you have been dragging your feet on something for a very long time, it may all be for the best. Something, somewhere is trying to tell you something. That something is your intuition and it is usually right! Think about something that you have been putting off again and again and again. What are the reasons that you need to complete this task in the first place? Does someone want you to do this? What is their agenda? What are your reasons for this lengthy delay? I find it amazing that 99% of the time I put off doing something, I am thankful that I did! Disregarding a project after a long period of procrastination is, however, usually a last resort.
4. Support team
Do you put off tasks because you feel that they are too big and complex for you to handle alone? Or because you need assistance? Be honest with yourself. “No man is an island”. Ask for help! There are many resources out there that can provide you with all you need to carry out your job. If you are a solo-professional and you put off answering emails, then do not answer them yourself. Hire an assistant, find some college students that want experience, get a family member to help. Procrastinating on life-changing activities could be as a result of fear of the unknown. Get a mastermind group together, find a mentor, join a support group. You do not have to do it all by yourself.