How to Stop Procrastinating

how to stop procrastinating

Dear struggling friend:

Let’s face it, if you are reading this, you probably have a lot of ideas in your mind. But, Do you know how to stop procrastinating on what you know you need to get done? Procrastination steals your time, focus & makes you avoid responsibility. 

Procrastination is something that I still struggle with. The difference is that I’ve become better at this due to dealing with chronic procrastination and over extending deadlines in the past, I’ve learned pretty good strategies to finish my degrees, to have a balanced life, and to manage to start my own business. But every time I face a new habit, a new assignment, or a change of seasons (with different amount of responsibilities) it takes me months or even a year to not procrastinate.

I’ve been given a little bit more to do this season, had to say no to a lot, so maybe I can give you 12 key strategies that will help:

1. Drink your Favorite Drink

 

My favorite drinks right now are coffee, and water (infused with some mint leaves and freshly squeezed lemon juice). By the way, Mint is a natural stimulant, which means that it will help you focus. How about you, would you like to try drinking your favorite drink (preferably non-alcoholic) while trying to focus?

Side Note: If you are a chronic procrastinator, doing #1 on repeat won’t work. So continue reading!

2. Knowing Your Why

 

Knowing your why is important if you are someone who likes to know the reason behind everything before you do it.

 

Recommended Read: Know Your Why

 

 

3. Remove Distractions

 

If your excuse is “I don’t have time to work on that.” Ask yourself how long you have been struggling to start that one thing that can change your life drastically? Also look at your schedule, is there anything you can remove so that you focus on what you need to get done?

I had to cancel many opportunities to attend Bible study meetings, and conferences, so that I could have time to work and pay for tuition, in addition to studying.

4. Unclutter your Work Space

 

Focus on what is in front of you. Or go somewhere where you have less clutter in front of you. If you have to get writing done and you are struggling, try to get this one app. It’s called Cold Turkey and it’s free.

5. Become Aware of How much Free Time You Have

 

Have you noticed how much free time you are wasting lately? Stop thinking about how to do something, or thinking you can do it later. If you are in a season where you have a lot more time in your hands, this is your time to do everything that is not easy for you to do.

Because later on, when you start having a lot more added to your plate, it will be harder to get those not-so-exciting tasks done. I’m talking about filing, organizing, decluttering, donating, putting items on sale, getting your receipts ready for tax season, saving money, learning about budgeting, learning everything you can about a skill that can bring you profit, etc.

You have my permission to add these items to your “To Do List” by the way.

6. Use a timer

 

 

 

how to stop procrastinating

Image from Flicker

                                                                                                                                     

Choose a cooking timer or the Pomodoro technique, and set it up for 10 to 15 minutes to get some tasks done. Take 5-minute breaks (or more if your Pomodoro timer is set for more time) in between if it’s wise or continues your job. Many people struggle with starting, but once you start, it’s easier. If 15 minutes is not working, just do 5 minutes. If 5 minutes is not working, put your timer for 2 minutes, I’m confident that should work. Sometimes, once you start, you will go over the time you set your timer. You can also use a kitchen timer or stopwatch on your phone or watch.

7. Get an accountability partner

 

Get an accountability partner in whatever you find hard to focus and start doing by yourself. It’s best if your accountability partner is doing something similar to what you are trying to do. It’s also encouraged if your accountability shares similarities with you.

One example is when your co-worker or colleague is working on similar goals as you. Don’t wait, challenge each other by staying accountable to each other in your goals, or simply start by asking him or her, “How much work (sales) did you do today/this month?”

Another example, if you share similar spiritual beliefs, so that he or she could both pray and hold you accountable. In my opinion, relying on God is powerful.

8. Are you Avoiding Responsibility?

 

Ask yourself:

Am I avoiding Responsibility by engaging in another activity or by browsing the internet instead of focusing on what I need to get done?

9. Group Related Action Items and Take Action

 

If it’s a big project like wedding planning, designing your website, or baby shower planning, or starting your own business, etc. You have to get a notebook or To Do List app, and write down your different projects, and then schedule in your calendar a day to do 1 action item.

Group related action items into the same day or the same weekend to get them all done.

10. Hire a Coach

 

If you can’t do the above on your own, or with an accountability partner, I encourage you to hire a coach to help you stop procrastination and to focus! Let me be your coach. 

11. Take Action right after an already Attained Habit

 

You can do this by scheduling and planning to work on a new habit right after a habit that you already do without much thinking. Notice how much motivation you have right after you are done with an already attained habit, that’s the right time to start building a new habit.

 

 

12. Work your Planning Muscle by writing Tasks and Deadlines

 

The first thing to do to work on tasks and deadlines is to choose a planning system depending on your lifestyle and learning style. Once you decide whether you want to plan by using pen and paper/planner, an electronic service, or any other electronic calendar (like Google Calendar) or Electronic To Do List, it’s time to write or type every task that you have and assign reasonable deadlines.

When it comes to assigning deadlines, it’s easiest to do this when you notice at what times of the day you are more likely to have motivation and more energy.

Once planning your To Do List starts getting easier, it’s important to start scheduling entire days and weeks in advance. A coach can help you do that more strategically.

Here is a Testimonial from someone that needed to make the most of his schedule:

“I looked for a coach who could help me improve my productivity, and chose Liliana because in her description it said she is good with creative minds. Well, I am, always distracted with good ideas, and everything that crosses my path every day. She guided me in a few weeks making a new schedule, especially a week schedule that ended up a two-weekly schedule. In the schedule lays my needs, my tasks, and it became something that gave me back time, hobbies, and doing my work in a different way. I’m very content, surprised and happy about how Liliana worked with me so far.” Geert

Now, let’s focus on what matters to you.

Would love to read your comments in the space below!

Now that you read some strategies to fight off procrastination, what is one way you plan to tackle it?

28 replies
  1. Emma
    Emma says:

    This is one of my worst faults! I can always find something else to do when I’m supposed to be focusing on something important. I definitely need to learn how to get rid of distractions.

    Reply
    • Liliana Fung
      Liliana Fung says:

      Hi Emma, yes, the need to remove distractions is a common solution to stop procrastinating. Try to check back @ my blog in a couple of weeks, I will try to write about removing distractions. To not miss any of my future updates to this blog, sign up to receive my updates here: bit.ly/creative_ideas

      Reply
    • Liliana Fung
      Liliana Fung says:

      Hi Robin, hope you find an accountability partner(s) soon, it always makes a difference to have people ask you how you are doing in your goals/tasks!

      Reply
    • Liliana Fung
      Liliana Fung says:

      Thanks for reading and for your honesty Tara. To not miss any of my future blogs related to this topic, sign up to receive updates sent to your email here bit.ly/creative_ideas

      Reply
  2. Sarah-Louise Bailey
    Sarah-Louise Bailey says:

    I agree that planning and a written task can help a lot in completing multiple works. Setting your mood and be aware of what matters most instead of inserting distracting works that will eat a lot of your time is so important too.

    Reply
  3. Annemarie LeBlanc
    Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    These are all great tips. I should let my son read this. He’s easily distracted and leaves his work all half done. For myself, however, I try to focus on one task at a time. My only issue is that my mind wanders to living in a far away place close to a beach. 🙂

    Reply
    • Liliana Fung
      Liliana Fung says:

      Hi Annemarie, I also daydream often, as long as we get the most important things done, that’s what matters. Glad to know this blog can be helpful to your son too! If he would like to receive more tips via email to help with procrastination, here is the link:
      bit.ly/creative_ideas

      Reply
  4. Elizabeth O.
    Elizabeth O. says:

    Very awesome tips! It’s never good to keep procrastinating. Work just piles up and you get nothing done! I think it’s important to have a schedule, at least that’s what works best for me.

    Reply
    • Liliana Fung
      Liliana Fung says:

      Thanks Elizabeth for taking the time to read my blog. Yes, having a schedule is an important strategy as well!

      Reply
  5. Echo
    Echo says:

    Procrastination is a skill I have perfected, LOL! I am really good at putting things off until the last minute. I am going to try some of your tips.

    Reply
    • Liliana Fung
      Liliana Fung says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read my blog Azlin. Yes, it’s very common problem to many! I will continue to blog about related topics.

      Reply
  6. Hey Sharonoox
    Hey Sharonoox says:

    These are great tips! I do procrastinate from time to time when it comes to making phone calls. I find drinking coffee helps me to push myself on doing the task while enjoying my cup of coffee.

    Reply
    • Liliana Fung
      Liliana Fung says:

      That’s great! Thank you for sharing what you do when you find yourself procrastinating Sharon! Drinking coffee helps me too!

      Reply
  7. Taty Pradilla
    Taty Pradilla says:

    I am a horrible procrastinator. I will put everything off I can until the last minute. I am going to give this a try and see if I can get better.

    Reply
    • Liliana Fung
      Liliana Fung says:

      Sounds good, thanks for reading! I hope that in a few days, you share with us what tips you are implementing, would love to hear which ones work for you!

      Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Try your best to stop bad habits such as procrastination. I wrote some strategies, click HERE […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *