I get emails every single day about 1 specific thing it's procrastination. How to stop, how to control it. Well today I'm going to share 4 ways you can stop procrastinating today.
Procrastination can be one of the hardest things to overcome. We don't want to procrastinate, it just happens. Today I want to be honest and really talk about what you can do to stop procrastination once and for all.
I believe that if you have all of the tools to succeed you can, and that is why I'm sharing this post with you. By the end of this post, you'll have exactly what you need to stop procrastinating today.
Don't leave this post too early because I did put together a bonus for you so you can stop procrastinating today, tomorrow, the day after that, and so on. That bonus is available at the end of this post!
Why do we procrastinate?
This really needs to be talked about before we get into what you can do to fix it. By talking about why we procrastinate, you can develop an understanding of yourself so you can recognize the signs so you can do something about it.
I know that we don't set out to procrastinate on things, it just happens. I don't know about you, but I know that I have every intention of completing all of the tasks that I put on my to do list or schedule and sometimes those tasks are put off for one reason or another and that's what I want to talk about
Why do we procrastinate?
This is one of the biggest. You feel overwhelmed so you just give up.
So why do we end up feeling overwhelmed?
There are a million reasons why we feel overwhelmed but I like to talk about a few.
Maybe you just woke up knowing you have too much to do and you just don't know where to start. I know this can be especially hard for me.
It's Monday morning, and you know that you need to get some work done before you leave the house, you need to get the family ready for the day, you've got errands to run, a house to clean, and a to do list a mile long.
You start getting some work done, and then your motivation fizzles out because you just don't know where to start, you just start feeling so overwhelmed that you just get up, go grab a cup of coffee to take a breath. One thing leads to another and you are almost out the door not getting what you needed to get done, done.
It's not like you meant to put that off, it just was too much to handle.
So yes, feeling overwhelmed does lead to us procrastinating. I did mention this next reason briefly before but I like to talk about this a little further:
Not knowing where to start!
Let me know if this sounds familiar...
You grab your list of things that need to be done, and then you have not idea where to start. Your list is literally staring you in you face and you are staring back at it frustrated because you just have no idea where to start.
Maybe you don't have a problem with a list, maybe there's a room or closet in your house that is just overwhelming. You want to organize it but when you start, it just seems impossible. There's papers everywhere, there's stuff to go through, and you think to yourself, there's no way I have the time for this.
You close the door to the room or closet and say well, maybe another time.
Procrastination isn't an outcome that we want to happen. Procrastination is an outcome of the situation we are dealing with.
Procrastination and perfection
This is something that I deal with far too often. Everything that I put out on my blog I feel needs to be more than great, it needs to be perfect. However, the logical part of my brain knows that there is no way in hell I'm able to achieve perfection.
Perfection is in the eye of the beholder.
When I started my first blog (I've had a few...), I re-wrote my very first blog post 47 different times (I'm not joking...). The pictures needed to be professional quality, the writing needed to be worthy of a New York Best Sellers Author, and my website itself needed to be Martha Stewart worthy.
Here's the reality, my first blog post was mediocre at best, the photos well let's just say that my first smart phone took better pictures. My website, well it was loud, busy, and confusing.
I was nowhere near the blogger I am now. Not because I wasn't capable back then, I just needed the experience, knowledge, and the mistakes to be the person I am today.
When you are first starting anything, you need to give yourself a little bit of a learning period so you can become better.
One day I decided that I wanted to learn how to crochet. My grandmother and mother both tried to teach me, and for whatever reason, I just couldn't get it. I always blamed it on me being left handed and they being right handed. That was a good enough excuse for me to not try.
So, back to my story, I decided that I was going to teach myself to crochet. I hopped on YouTube and started the search. I had a crochet hook and some yarn. I was ready and eager to learn. I sat and practiced over and over until I got it.
I went to the craft store and bought some cool yarn so I could make a scarf, because I was ready!
Every evening I sat down for about 30-45 minutes and worked on my new found hobby and started making the weirdest looking scarf there was.
That thing was so lopsided and uneven I had no idea what I was doing.
I could have given up, but I didn't. Each evening I kept practicing until I was able to learn how to crochet a pretty neat looking scarf. I learned new and more advanced techniques until I was able to crochet just about anything I wanted.
This is a perfect example of how to overcome procrastination when you are dealing with perfection. Perfection is not the only reason we procrastinate so that is why I want to share my 4 tips to stop procrastinating today.
I'm going to share a little example of what that can look like and then what you can do to stop that. Everything that I'm going to share are things that you can implement today!
Let's start with my first tip:
Only work on one thing at a time
This is a huge one! When you bounce from one thing to the next thing, you are overwhelming yourself with way too much causing you to feel lost, overwhelmed, and ready to give up.
Here's a perfect example of how this can be a problem for you in your daily life.
We all love the internet, right?
You sit down to do some work on your computer. Once you're there, it's time to open up the necessary window and programs. Well, maybe you open up your daily calendar, or your daily to do list and you think, well I'll work on the first 2 things on my list.
So, you open up to different documents to start working on them, you are bouncing from one thing to the next. You know these need to be done because these projects are due this week.
You start burning yourself out because you've just got too much going on. You get up to take a break and clear your head, and then you come back and writer's block has set in.
There is no way you're going to finish.
So what can you do to fix this?
The simple answer would be, only work on one thing at a time.
Sometimes that can be easier said than done, right.
What you can do, is pick 1 item to do. That will be your top priority for the day. You will only work on that 1 item until it is done.
Again, sounds easier said than done, right!
Let's set you up for even more success.
Have you heard of the Pomodoro method?
This is something that I swear by when it comes to working. What you do, is set up 25-minute working blocks for yourself. Work for 25 minutes then take a 5-minute break.
This allows you to sit down, focus on what needs to be done, and then end your block with a much-needed break. Your mind and body will thank you for this.
So, what if 25 minutes is just not enough time for you?
That's totally cool too.
Personally, I set my working blocks for 45 minutes and take a 10-15 minute break. For me, I can sit and work for a solid 45 minutes without feeling burned out. My mind hasn't turned in to mush yet.
This is totally a person preference. If you feel that 25 minutes is the max you can get out of a session then by all means, use 25 minutes as your block. If you feel that you're in a great groove at 25 minutes and feel like you can give more time, then do that.
It's about setting up systems that will work best for you!
Now, let's talk about the next way you can stop procrastinating today.
You may hate what you're doing but it needs to be done!
Isn't this the worst!
I thought once I was an adult, I wasn't going to have to waste my time with things that I didn't like doing...
Well here's the reality. I hate cleaning bathrooms, and I'm not a millionaire so I need to clean these on my own.
I don't like getting check ups every year from the doctor, but I don't have a clone to go in my place.
That's the reality. When you're young and you think that you aren't going to have to do things you hate when you're an adult is just a lie.
We all have to do things that we despise and that's a fact that isn't going to change anytime soon.
What can we do to actually get those things done without putting them off?
There's no secret here that I don't like cleaning the bathroom, the other non secret is I like a clean home (including a clean bathroom), so how do I do this without putting it off until the bathroom grows legs and walks off on its own?
It's all about the Eat The Frog Technique!
Seriously, you don't really have to eat a frog when doing this.
The point of this is when you create a list or start a new project, you start with the worst thing first and then work your way up.
This is forcing you to finish the most undesirable thing first so you are getting that out of the way to move on to the next thing.
You are more likely going to finish your to do list or project by doing it this way.
When it comes time for house cleaning day, I set up a list and prioritize that list by the how likely I am to complete that task.
The first thing that is always on my list is cleaning the tub.
Because I hate cleaning the tub.
Knowing that once that awful chore is done, I can move on is easier for me to get going then having it hang over my head.
If scrubbing the tub was the last thing on my list, my tub would probably grow legs and walk out of my house.
By completing that first, it really takes the stress away from the rest of the chores.
So I want you to try that. Then next time you have a project to do, a house to clean. Pick the least desirable, most difficult, or the one that you are least likely to finish and do that first. You'll really be surprised how quickly it is done and you can move on to the next thing.
Which now brings me to my next tip, and that is:
You find yourself working on the busy work and have a hard time getting the bigger things done.
When I first started blogging this was the thing that kept me from getting more done.
I would find myself answering emails as soon as they came in, responding to a comment on social media within moments of getting it.
See, I had my phone notifying me every time I received an email and a comment on social media making it impossible for me to get anything done but that.
I was never getting anything substantial done.
Sure I was getting things done, but it wasn't the things that were most important.
That's when I needed something to change.
I was only focusing on the tiny little busy work details when I really need to focus on the bigger tasks.
That's where move the rocks system really helps out.
It's like filling your jam jar.
I love this analogy so I'm going to share it with you.
You have a jam jar, 3 rocks, a handful of pebbles, and some sand. You need to fill the jam jar using those things.
The rocks represent the big tasks, the pebbles are the medium tasks, the sand represents the busy work, and the jar represents you and your time.
If you start off by fill the jar with sand, you will not have any room left for the rocks and pebbles.
That's why it is wise to start with the rocks place those in the jar first, then add the pebbles, finally filling the rest of your time with the sand.
In this method, you are focusing on getting 3 big tasks completed that day or that work period (depending on how you set your days up).
Once those 3 tasks are complete, it is time to move on to the middle tasks, and then finally filling the rest of the day with the busy work.
Knowing that everything needs to be done, sometimes it is hard to figure out what should be done first. This system will help you with setting up some priorities for yourself.
Setting up your day can be tough, and we can all use a little help! Download the free Organized Busy Mom Workbook!
Which leads me to my last tip and that is:
Not knowing if you are working on the most important thing.
Have you ever had that day when you look at your list or your calendar and cannot figure out where to start? You have so many things and you know that you need to work on the most important thing.
You end up wasting tons of time writing out a list that is prioritized so you know that you are working on the most important thing.
Once you finish that one thing, then you need to figure out what the most important thing is again.
So much wasted time, so much frustration can lead to you just throwing in the towel and wanting to give up.
What if I told you that there was a better way.
An easier way.
When I find myself in that situation, I like to take a piece of paper and divide that paper into 4 parts and then label it:
- Urgent and Important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Not important or urgent
Then I list all that I need to get done on that piece of paper assigning priority to each task.
That way once I pick something to work on I know that I am working on the most important thing!
In this post, I showed you 4 ways that you can stop procrastinating today. Sometimes reading a post and taking action can be a lot to handle. That is why I created The Organized Busy Mom Workbook. Inside this workbook, you'll find my 8 top tips that will help any busy mom become more organized.
Each tip comes with its own worksheet so you can create a plan of attack right now. Click the button below to download the free workbook.
Are you someone that procrastinates and wonders why you do it? Did you learn anything that will make your life a little easier? I would love to know in the comments below!