Procrastination is a tricky issue for even the best of us. Here are some ways to conquer the avoidance habit and get ahead of the game:
- Get an accountability buddy. There is nothing like having someone there checking in on you to make sure you get things done on time. Choose that friend you can really count on to hold you to your word and not to let you slide or get away with your regular excuses. Set frequent in-person check-ins so you can’t hide.
- Set yourself urgent “Due By” dates. Remember the pressure of turning a school report in. Create that urgency by setting yourself a strict submit by date. Put reminders in your phone that you can’t ignore.
- Post your plans. There’s nothing like a big public promise to put some fire under you. I remember before I even signed the lease for Land Yoga announcing that I was opening a yoga studio in that spot. That’s a little risky, but hey, it worked! I recently announced a Land Yoga fix up by our anniversary date. I posted it everywhere. I wasn’t sure we would get it done in time, but we did. Our contractor felt the pressure of that public announcement as well. Nothing like putting yourself out there. The community feels involved and you won’t believe the lengths they will go to to help you.
- Set small intermediary goals on your way to your main goal. Every project can be broken down into smaller, less scary steps that will help you to ease your fear and get started. Say for instance, if you are working on a book. That’s a huge undertaking. If you say you are going to write a book by next year, when you sit down to write you’ll likely stare at the blank screen overwhelmed. Instead, break the task down into smaller goals and set deadlines on those. Make your chapter breakdown due tomorrow. That will get you moving!
- Start working now. Make a rule that you can never say, “I’ll start this tomorrow.” Tomorrow never comes. Instead do one small thing right now. Even the smallest action sets in motion future actions. When you are really stuck, find the minimum action you can do to move you forward. Then do it.
Here are some other tips.
Make sure you set a challenging but realistic date to accomplish your goal. If your goal is too far away you will have no motivation. Go back to #4 and make a sub-goal with a close deadline to focus on. Don’t make your goal unrealistically close either. You’ll know inside that it can’t be done and so you won’t even really try. You want to set yourself up for success. Too many failures teach the subconscious that we aren’t serious about keeping our word to ourselves.
Finally…I know there are a lot of you who believe you do your best work last minute under pressure, but this is not a sustainable method for growth. If that’s your style, it will get you far, but only so far. Eventually, lack of planning leads to reactive instead of strategic behavior. One day when you have a team to manage the whole operation will fall apart. Train yourself now in the habits that you will need for your future self! That’s how we grow!
Like this blog? Share it with a friend who could use it. Which strategy from above are you going to use to break the procrastination habit today? Write it in the comments below. Do you other strategies you use to combat procrastination? Share them in the comments below as well. Wishing you got your Bliss Book planner? Follow me at @laralandyoga for the full launch fall announcement and come to visit me at my last pop-up of the summer Sunday, July 15th at Red Rooster Harlem 10a-4p.