How to stop procrastination now . . . that’s a tall order for those of us for whom it comes perfectly natural. But why is that? Well, the truth is there is nothing “natural” about it. Like most bad habits it has its roots in much deeper personal issues. We can’t cover all of those here but let’s look at some practical everyday things you can start doing to shift this negative habit.
Understand Why You Procrastinate
- As with most things in life there is no simple answer but most likely procrastination stems from low self-esteem and a negative attitude toward life or at least toward the specific task.
- When you have a low opinion of yourself you don’t have much incentive to change that self-opinion. You will need to shift your thinking here in order to start your journey on how to stop procrastination. Your true self, minus all of your life’s baggage, is someone worthy of love and full of hope. Focus on that best part of yourself.
- If you are an occasional procrastinator examine your true incentive, or lack of motivation, for what you are putting off. If it is a task that must be done, search yourself and attach the completion of the task to something important to you. This should provide the necessary incentive.
Procrastination is Rooted in the Present
- “There is no time like tomorrow” is a quaint expression laced with a legacy of failure.
- One way to motivate yourself in the present is to envision the future result of your current efforts.
- Prior to starting, it can help to actually picture the feeling of accomplishment you’ll have when the task is finished. If needed, revisit as well during moments when you start thinking of procrastinating.
- Keep in mind that procrastination is a negative habit that occurs most often with people who need instant gratification. Work at holding yourself accountable.
Break Your Task into Sections and Take On the Easiest Portion First
- By dividing your task into sections each is not so overwhelming and feels more manageable.
- Choose the easiest section to do first. That way you ease into the task and, because it is easy, you build positive momentum towards the next section.
- The road to how to stop procrastination will be difficult enough so make it as simple as you can where you are able to.
Adopt a Great Attitude
- Positivity tends to breed positivity. Positive action is easier when your spirits are high just as tasks are more difficult when your mood is down.
- If your down but the task simply has to be completed give yourself a small reward first. Make it something that always brings you instant joy and ride the wave of that enthusiasm.
Daydream with a Purpose
- The process of procrastinating often begins with daydreaming about something you would rather be doing.
- Turn that on its ear by replacing that thought with a clear vision of what it will feel like when you are done. Not only will you have put that obligation behind you but you’ll also have that internal feeling of pride and accomplishment.
When understanding just how to stop procrastination it is best first to understand why we fall into this negative habit to begin with. Once you wrap your head around that focus on steps to overcome your instinct to put things off. As in the breaking of any pattern it mostly takes a consistent, focused effort to change your behavior. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and do something you can be proud of yourself about.
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