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How to Stop Procrastinating - Tips & Tricks

Updated on December 27, 2013
A stack of papers that no one wants to tackle
A stack of papers that no one wants to tackle | Source

How to Stop Procrastinating

Ideally everyone would be productive. However, this isn't the case. Procrastination is the bane of all productivity. Even when you have a strong desire to do something, procrastination can still hold you back. Here are a few methods and techniques that can help you get past your laziness and accomplish your goals.

A classic to-do-list
A classic to-do-list | Source

Make a List & Schedule

This is one of the most ubiquitous but most effective methods to fight procrastination. Having a list of all that you have to get done helps to quantify exactly what must be accomplished. Without a list, you may have a basic idea of what must get done, but it seems much more overwhelming. Having a list allows you to realistically look at your goals and maintain organization.

Forming a schedule also helps tremendously. Making a realistic timetable for your tasks gives you a goal for their completion. Without a schedule, tasks can be dragged out indefinitely and seem fairly endless. Also, having a schedule will help to counter any sort of perfectionist characteristics you may have. Since you have a limited time for completion, you have to make choices about how much effort to put into each task. This should greatly increase your efficiency at getting stuff done.

Extremely hard work
Extremely hard work | Source

Do the Most Challenging Thing First

This may be a difficult thing to do, but completing the most challenging or most dreaded task first is extremely helpful when trying to get things done. Because it is the worst task, you will dread doing it the entire time you are completing other tasks. Eventually, it can become too much, and you will give up. To avoid this possibility, do the hardest thing first. Get it done and out of the way. The great feeling you will get after completing it will help give you a strong boost when approaching the remaining tasks.

Clearly, this man has no motivation to do anything.
Clearly, this man has no motivation to do anything. | Source

Find Motivation

Motivation is crucial to completing any task. No matter what else you do to prepare, if you lack motivation, no quality work will get done. There are many different sources of motivation, and they will differ for every goal you must accomplish. Think about what it is that you need to get done, and try to find the reason that you must do so. Try and develop this into a form of motivation to drive you forward. When you begin to falter in your ability to be productive, remember your motivations, your goals. This can provide a second wind when trying to get through extremely strenuous tasks.

Yes, this is a distraction.
Yes, this is a distraction. | Source

Remove Distractions

Anything that distracts you from your goals is harmful and must be avoided. Only you know what does and doesn't distract you, so you must make the call. For instance, many people find music very relaxing and listen to it while working. Personally, I find it very distracting. I often find myself singing along and not actually working. Again, make a judgement call about what distracts you and avoid it. You can enjoy those things after you have finished.

Going elsewhere to work is also a very important part of stopping procrastination. If your work can be taken with you, find a productive, distraction-free location. This can make a huge difference in productivity. It can also make avoiding distractions much simpler.

Napping is a perfectly acceptable break time option.
Napping is a perfectly acceptable break time option. | Source

Give Yourself Breaks

This is typically a forgotten or underrated way of dealing with procrastination, but I feel that it can be very important. Working on a single task for hours on end can be extremely draining, both physically and mentally. To help counter this and extend your productivity, take short, scheduled breaks. Make sure you have a strict time table for these breaks to avoid causing procrastination. However, spending a little time doing something that you enjoy in the middle of a project can help break down the load and make it much easier to continue.

This may be a little beyond your abilities.
This may be a little beyond your abilities. | Source

Do It

Finally, you have to just do it. Even with all the planning and motivation in the world, you still have to get up and do it. Develop your internal drive to succeed. Procrastination is the enemy, and you must get past it if you want to actually get things done. Work hard, and you will accomplish your goals. Hopefully these tips will help you to stop procrastinating and find success.

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