Ready to stop procrastinating and make some progress? Try one of these seven simple tips to motivate yourself into action. Give them each a try over the coming days and weeks and find the ones that make the biggest difference for you. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating, come back to this list and employ one or several of these tips. Your productivity will soar!
Tip #1: Pick Something Small
One of the biggest reasons we procrastinate is because something feels overwhelming. There’s too much to do, so we choose to “forget” about it for a little while…or a long while. It’s a coping mechanism, just not a very productive one. Just like my obsessive cleaning…I KNOW I should be working online because I have plenty to do, but instead, I keep cleaning and let my mind run wild thinking about it…procrastinating! To break this bad habit, try to pick one thing, something small that you can do right now to move you in the right direction. You don’t need to do a 10-hour marathon (I am guilty of this!) just do one thing each day to move yourself closer to that goal, as this creates momentum and forces you to take action.
Tip #2: Set A Time & Go
Another tip that works like a charm is to set a timer. Your phone has one built in, as do most smart watches. Use a kitchen timer…hey, whatever works, right?! Set it for fifteen or twenty minutes and chip away at a task you’ve been procrastinating on. This works just as well for decluttering your closet as it does for filling out those dreaded expense reports, taxes, bills…I’m sure you get the drift! If twenty minutes feels too long, start with ten. Again, the goal is to start and do something.
Tip #3: Bribe Yourself
There’s nothing wrong with bribing yourself if that’s what motivates you. Work on a home improvement project for an hour and then watch an episode of your favorite show. Or promise yourself a new gadget or pair of shoes when you finish painting the living room. Come up with something that motivates you and go for it. Remind yourself of the prize at the end of the project whenever you’re tempted to put things off for another day. My bribe…a massage!
Tip #4: Find An Accountability Partner
Find someone else who’s either trying to be more productive or beat procrastination themselves. Check in with each other daily. Share what you want to accomplish and what you will get done today. Knowing you have to report to someone else makes you take action. It’s also motivating to see the other person do the same.
Tip #5: Measure Your Progress
When you’re working on something long-term, like losing thirty pounds for example, it can be tempting to procrastinate because it doesn’t seem like you’re making much progress. Instead, prove to yourself that you are getting closer and closer by tracking or measuring it. Make a chart, use a spreadsheet, keep a Goals Journal. Find a way to measure your progress and use it to motivate yourself to keep going.
Tip #6: Remind Yourself Of Your Why
There’s a reason you’ve decided to do that thing you keep putting off. Think about why you want to get it done. Is it so you get your tax refund? So you can run around with the kids? So you can find the clothes you actually want to wear? Find out your why. Write it down and then keep it front and center. Look at it every day before you get ready to get to work.
Tip #7: Just Start
I’ve saved the best for last. It’s the easiest but also the most powerful. Hear this. Just get started. That’s right, sometimes all you have to do is just get moving in the right direction. Do something. Do anything. Even if it’s something super small. You will get over that initial hump and start to build some momentum. Just try it!