5 Tips to Stop Procrastinating

Any Olympic procrastinators out there? You’re not alone.

These tips are meant to help you create better habits so you become less of a procrastinator in all areas of your life. Whether you’re an executive, a stay-at-home mom, or a student, these principles will help you shun procrastination by creating effective habits.


The Universal Problem

When I was in college and had a big essay due, I would suddenly have an overwhelming desire to do all the chores I had been putting off for weeks. I could fervently finish 3 loads of laundry, vacuum, paint my nails, and answer all my emails, but that 12-page term paper stayed untouched.

If you've faced similar situations, here are 5 simple tips to help you destroy your procrastination habit.


1. Commit ahead of time and write it down

Make the goal ahead of time, and give yourself a deadline. You’ll be more committed to yourself and less likely to put off the task. When you make the goal, write it down. Your sense of commitment is stronger when you put it in writing. Put it on your calendar, a notepad, or in your phone. Just write it down.

2. Start right away

There are times when I accomplish in one day what might normally take a week. Other times, I go a whole day doing nothing productive. Typically my day follows the pattern of how much I get done before noon. Being productive early on leads to feeling accomplished and motivated to do more. Start off strong, and your entire day will go better.

If you want to achieve even more, try doing the hardest task first. Once that is done, the decrease in stress will help you accomplish the other tasks more easily.


3. Get a buddy!

Ask a family member or friend to check on your progress and help you stay focused. Having someone you're accountable to motivates you to follow through with your goals. They will be there to support, encourage, and congratulate you. When I’m overwhelmed with tasks, my husband reminds me of the benefits of not procrastinating. This empowers me, and I can get things done in half the time.  

4. Stop punishing yourself

We procrastinate,

and then we feel bad about procrastinating,

so we procrastinate some more.

Stop this vicious cycle by being positive and not talking down to yourself. The worse you feel about yourself, the less likely you are to accomplish your goals.

What would you tell your best friend if they were in your situation? “You can do it! You’ll feel so much better when it’s done! I believe in you!” Say those same things to yourself. It might sound silly, but it works.

5. Think small

Sometimes we think too big. We feel we have to complete that whole report, unpack the entire house, or exercise for 2 hours. Thinking too big can make it difficult to start a task.

Break it down into bitesized pieces. Commit to write the outline, unpack a box, or exercise for 10 minutes. Once you get started, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself (helping with tip #4). You’ll also probably accomplish more than you set out to do because of the added sense of accomplishment.


Getting It Done

We can easily spend more time stressing about a task than it would take for us to accomplish it. Remember these tips and apply them each time you’re tempted to procrastinate, no matter how big or small the task.

To see more tips for behavior change, visit www.teambitesize.com. Don’t procrastinate; just do it.