Have you ever thought about the number of things you could have achieved if you were able to beat procrastination and forge ahead with your life?
Many people have thought about the same thing and I’ve personally been there so, you’re not alone.
As a Content Creator, Web Developer, or Graphics Designer, there have been times you’ve talked excitedly about things you want to achieve only to find yourself postponing them when it comes for time to work on them…
But, regardless of your own struggles with procrastination you get to realize that, a lot of people have still forged ahead to achieve a lot with their lives.
And then you ask yourself, how did they do it? You’re going to have those answers in this guide.
But before I get to answer your question, I want us to define procrastination.
Procrastination is the deliberate act of delaying or postponing to work on a particular project or activity until it gets too late.
There are different reasons why different people procrastinate. And I’m going to state some of these reasons below…
Why people procrastinate
- Fear of failure. A lot of people procrastinate because they are afraid if they get to work on a project they might fail at it or they might not get something perfect. So, instead of getting started, they postpone it.
- Lack of motivation. For many others, they don’t really have enough reason to start a project even though the project is very important for them. This can be due to the fact that they are not passionate about such tasks, it’s cumbersome, they don’t have adequate benefits or skill set etc. This is a major issue for so many.
- Lack of self discipline. Among freelancers and entrepreneurs, Indiscipline and lack of accountability have also been responsible for procrastination in many cases. In some instances indiscipline can also be linked to lack of real motivation to get up and get to work.
- People also procrastinate when they hate they things they intend to do. For example, if you hate a certain social media platform due to criticism or bullying, it might be difficult for you to keep creating content on that platform.
There are so many other reasons why people get to procrastinate.
Sometimes it gets so bad that even after talking about a project with so much enthusiasm we still foot drag when it comes to implementation.
As someone who’s experienced procrastination, lived and worked with people that procrastinate a lot, the following are some strategies tools that’s helped me and my clients to overcome procrastination…
Identify your Priorities
One of the first steps you can take to beat procrastination is to identify your priorities.
Find out, what are the important things that matter to you and how can these things propel you in your journey to achieve your goals.
Doing this gets to give you an idea about what matters. And where you should focus your attention primarily.
The moment you figure out this area of priority, it becomes easier to define the steps you can take to work it out.
Create a schedule
Work can get messy sometimes. With a gazillion things to achieve in a very short while, procrastination can set in from no where.
This is the time you need a schedule as an important tool to create order and get organized.
To beat this kind of procrastination, you need to create a work schedule as part of your strategy.
To do this successfully, you can start with asking questions that will help you understand yourself and schedule out things in the best ways you can keep up with.
For example, if you realize you are always more energetic in the mornings, you can work on scheduling your most important tasks around that time.
Same with creatives. If your most creative hours is around evenings, you can schedule your creative tasks around that period where you’ll get the inspiration to achieve better results.
Remember, a clear and concise schedule will help you in getting things sorted out and well organized.
And following through with the schedule will boost your productivity as well as improve your confidence in your own abilities.
Set up Reminders
It doesn’t matter that you’ve identified your priorities, created a schedule or set up meeting appointments…
Sometimes, due to your very tight schedule, you might naturally get to miss out on important tasks and activities or forget about them entirely.
When this happens, it adds up to your workload and the things you need to do in the future, making you more susceptible to postponing the work.
Instead of allowing this to happen to you, you can use reminders as an important tool to keep yourself in the loop as you continue to beat procrastination and achieve more with your work.
While using reminders as a tool, you need to discipline yourself to follow through with the reminders you set.
Doing this over time will create a consistency that will enable you to stay more committed to working on scheduled tasks, even without a prompt.
A deadline is simply a set time in the future which a particular project or goal needs to be achieved.
It’s an important tool in your arsenal if you want to beat procrastination and improve your productivity.
Personally, setting up goals and deadlines have helped me in achieving a lot compared to when I had no deadline.
As a blogger for example, you should have a deadline for when you’ll create content to be posted on your blog.
Same goes for you as a tech guru. You should know the dateline when you’ll deliver the website
Setting deadline gets you on your toes and ready to work. It helps you to be conscious that there’s a time line for a particular job or activity to be completed.
Working with this understanding makes it easier to commit to doing the work so you can deliver on expected timeline thus reducing your susceptibility to procrastination.
Don’t wait for the perfect timing, to get started on your project.
Often times, creatives and people in the tech and freelance space have a tendency to wait to start a project at a perfect time when things will be more convenient.
This perfect time could be a time when they are less busy, more creative or when there’s less work to do.
Personally, I’ve had to struggle with this for quite a time. And I can say, it’s really widespread among freelancers and entrepreneurs.
Unfortunately, no matter how long you wait, most often, such perfect timings never really comes. It’s an illusion.
And the longer you wait, the more you lower your chances of ever getting to work on the project.
This doesn’t have to be so. Ask yourself, what can i do in this 30 minutes or 1 hour that can get me doing something about this project. And then get started with that.
Do it in bits
One big reason why people procrastinate is because they see the task they want to work on as being too enormous to be done at once.
To avoid this, you can get get to work on the project in bits. This is a science backed strategy that’s helped a lot of people to overcome procrastination.
So, if what you’re working on is a book, instead of waiting to write the whole book in one week, start it in bits.
Schedule a time to write it immediately. It can be 3-5 hours in a week or however you want it, beat it down in bits. With this you’ll be achieving remarkable success no matter how little. At the same time, you’ll also be able to utilize the best of your cognitive abilities.
And with consistency, you’ll get to complete the book in no time.
This applies to other projects too. You can always start it in bits when it looks overwhelming. Doesn’t matter if you’ll do it, leave half way attend to some other things and come back to it. Just get started.
See the Big Picture
This is another important suggestion you can use to fix procrastination.
So, start by asking yourself, what would I gain if I take a step to get started on the work. And what would I lose if I don’t?
This is the big question I ask myself when I find it difficult to get started on a project.
Ask yourself this question. And the answer you get will give you clarity on the cost of procrastination.
From there you can decide whether it’s worth it to get up and get started on what you want to achieve or it’s best to do it some other time.
Most procrastinators are perfectionists. In fact, perfectionism is one of the biggest excuse for procrastination.
As a creative, entrepreneur or freelancer, it happens you don’t want to do a shabby job.
You want to create something perfect. The kind of work that everyone will give you all the right nods.
But sometimes, this is a trap. This idea has stopped so many people from getting started on anything. And you may never be able to put out anything if all you do is wait for the perfect work.
What you need right now is not a perfect work but a great job. And you can’t get anywhere close unless you start from somewhere.
You need to work on creating something great. You need to start from where you are. And with the experience you gather along the way, you’ll learn how to create even better works.
Also, remember that in most cases, perfection is relative. To a large extent it’s a mirage and you may never get to achieve the kind of perfect that’s perfect to everyone.
So, instead of waiting for a perfect craft, work on achieving excellence and creating your own kind of perfect right from where you are.
This is the way to beat procrastination.
Now that you’ve successfully get yourself over to do some things, it’s a good time to give yourself that well deserved thumbs up and buy you some chocolates.
Yes. Especially when it comes to those very difficult tasks.
It’s not easy. Trust me, waking up everyday to do the work will need a lot of discipline and uncommon commitment.
So, as someone that’s gotten this by, you need to reward yourself for the ones you’ve done. And then remove yourself from some benefits when you fail to achieve some tasks.
It’s always a two way thing.
Look at it like taking yourself out after you’ve successfully completed that website development Job on the target date without any hitches.
Sometimes, the mere looking at what you’ll do to yourself after you successfully achieve the task can boost your motivation. It happens so many times.
Also, when you procrastinate and fail to achieve a task, do not be too harsh on yourself. Try to find out the reason why you had to procrastinate and find a way to avoid such at other times.
As you just read, these strategies have worked for me and many other people around the world in our journey to beat procrastination.
And it can work for you too.
But before it does, you have to realize that procrastination is a problem that’s stopped you from achieving your potentials and that you have to commit to ending it.
Also, work on building sustainable systems around how you work. This is a science back strategy that can boost your productivity while reducing the need to procrastinate.
Finally, I want to re-emphasize the need to hold yourself accountable to meeting your deadlines and staying committed to work. You can start this with getting an accountability partner who can be your friend, sibling or spouse. They have to be willing to hold you accountable also.
So, there you have it. Do you have more questions on how to end procrastination and achieve more with your life? You can talk to our team here.
Now it’s over to you. What are the top strategies you’ve ever used to overcome procrastination?