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How To Overcome Procrastination

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Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya

Procrastination is the act of putting yourself away for doing things at a later stage, what you can do today or right now.  We always find something better to do than to focus on important tasks or activities that we started to work on. This leads to doing many things at the same time and never really completing any tasks.

Everybody procrastinates to some extent, but this can become a real handicap to a certain extent in the professional and personal life. There is always a valid excuse of pushing things away for later. We have a tendency of pushing things that are difficult to do or which requires big efforts to accomplish certain tasks.

Let’s say for example, I decide to take up some physical exercise at home. Just when it comes to start some exercising, I suddenly realise that I have to clean up the room first, make some place to do some exercise, and finally that thought in mind pushed away the idea of getting to exercise. We always will find the best excuse to push things away when they are really needed to be done.

For your online business, it can create a real handicap. How many times I sat down to complete a task and then got distracted or those negative thoughts came into my mind, or the fear of not able to do it right and started doing other things that were really not worthy of the effort that I put into that task. One of my best examples is to look at emails or read what others have to say on the Internet.

This usually happens when I have to write an article for my blog. Sometimes I am short of ideas and that is what gets me to excuses. Yes, I know that is really not good but this is human nature and everyone falls into this trap.

In your personal and family life, it can be also very annoying. How many times I said that I have to pay the bills, I have small notes in front of me to say that I have to pay and yet I have not paid them on time. Then when the day arrives and you have no choice but to accomplish it, you, either make a mess out of it or you found that you are all stressed out.

Why do we Procrastinate and do you find yourself in the following instances

There could be many reasons for procrastination but some of the major reasons could be due to

  • Unable to organise your ideas, actions and make proper decisions
  • Finding the tasks difficult and you feel that it is not worth a try
  • Pure laziness
  • Tiredness
  • Fear of failure
  • Not focused
  • Fear of rejection
  • Lack of confidence
  • Don’t want to quit from that comfort zone

Yes these things also happen to me and I think every one of us has at some instance faced excuses of this kind. This can really be a drawback to your career, family life and your online business (if you are doing one).

Imagine your life with the diagram here below. Do you find yourself doing all those things that are marked on this flowchart. It would take me ages to get to the end of the sequence. Our life is not a machine but we need to model it around our work and family. There has to be a balance between the two.

Creative Commons License photo credit: jean-louis zimmermann

I am a part time Internet Marketer and have to also maintain my pro life, student life and my family life. Having things organised can really help me get to where I want. So here are some ways I have organised myself and hope that it helps you do the same. I am not 100% perfect but have managed to make it work.

Ways To Stop Procrastination

  • Take some time out and do a list of all the things that you have to do.
  • Then, rank them according to its importance and urgency. You need to prioritise them according to their relevancy.
  • Now estimate the time that is required to accomplish each task. Don’t underestimate the time that may be required for each task. Always keep in hand some extra time in case you can’t finish it on time. Depending on the task, I usually keep from 10mn to half a day.
  • Depending on the duration of the task you can then classify them into categories. Say for example the task that will take lesser time can be done straight away and for longer task they may be divided into multiple smaller tasks (if possible)
  • Make yourself a detailed timetable and set yourself real targets to accomplish them
  • Distraction can also be your biggest enemy. Eliminate all sorts of distractions for e.g. television, radio, telephone, messengers. These will only lead to procrastination

Now it is nice to have a big list of things to do and all planned in advance but you don’t get out of that comfort zone and start putting them into action then it will never work. You will find yourself again procrastinating.


To Your Success,