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How To Turn Procrastination Into Productivity

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procrastinate productivity

Procrastination is the biggest killer for productivity yet so many of us struggle with it.

For example, you may have a huge deadline due but instead of doing your work, you’re browsing the internet for hours. Or you know you should hang that picture frame that has been staring at you for the last week but instead you decide to watch a TV show you love. Or you know you need to go workout but instead you tell yourself that it’s too cold and tomorrow you’ll run a little longer instead.

When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing. And when it is too late to do them, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

In order to stop procrastinating, we need to understand why we do it in the first place.

 

Here are four reasons I’ve identified that fuel my lack of action:

  • Procrastinate for perfect: Telling yourself you need more time, resources, energy, a better plan, whatever to get it done.
  • I will do it better later: You work best under pressure, right? Not really, but it may be the only way you’re used to getting things done.
  • Productive off putting: Taking care of all those other things you’ve put off in favor of what you need to get done.
  • Maybe, maybe not: Continually question a decision and can’t move forward.

 “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb

So, how do we overcome procrastinating? Try one of these 9 suggestions:

  1. Remind yourself that there’s always more to be done than can be done. Then ask yourself if you’re getting the right things done.
  2. Make a smart to-do list by including only the items that you’re avoiding, not the ones you know you’ll do anyway. Then set deadlines.
  3. Break the task down to lessen the sense of being overwhelmed. Once you start to enjoy a small accomplishment or two, you’re more likely to finish
  4. Eliminate temptation to do something else (log off Facebook and put your phone in the other room)
  5. Bargain with yourself. If you finish making those sales calls now, you can read that new book by the pool later.
  6. Focus on the success you will achieve and the joy you will feel.
  7. Come up with a consequence that will stop you from procrastinating. If you don’t finish writing that business proposal, you have to go without eating out for a month.
  8. Ask someone to help you complete the task. Why are we so afraid to ask for help?
  9. Make your intentions known. This will add pressure, and for some of us, avoiding the embarrassment of not achieving a set goal is the greatest motivator.

 

Books I would recommend to read if you’re serious about kicking your procrastination habit:

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

eat-that-frog-book-coverThe legendary Eat That Frog! (more than 450,000 copies sold and translated into 23 languages) provides the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more. This new edition is revised and updated throughout, and includes brand new information on how to keep technology from dominating our time.

 

The Now Habit by Neil A. Fiore

nowhabitThe Now Habit offers a comprehensive plan to help readers lower their stress and increase their time to enjoy guilt-free play. Dr. Fiore’s techniques will help any busy person start tasks sooner and accomplish them more quickly, without the anxiety brought on by the negative habits of procrastination and perfectionism.

 

Procrastination by Jane B. Burka

518TJMY0cKL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Based on years of counseling, psychologists Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen offer a probing, sensitive, and sometimes humorous look at the problem that troubles everyone. Revealing the reasons we put off tasks-fears of failure, success, control, separation, and attachment-the authors outline a practical, tested program to overcome procrastination. Candid and understanding, Procrastination is a must-have today for anyone who puts everything off until tomorrow.

 

 

A young entrepreneur, author and speaker, Carla Schesser is a woman who is passionate about inspiring and educating youth to live a life they love. Carla's book, ‘#Success - Mastering the Basics to a Happy, Healthy & Wealthy Life’ is a simple, practical and motivating guide which young adults will enjoy reading while learning important skills which empower them and allow them to discover how to live a peaceful, successful, and healthy life.Carla has a rare ability to connect with her readers. She has been in the same shoes many aspiring young adults wear today and this allows her to reach her audience and inspire them in a way most people can’t.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Frank Miller

    Nov 28, 2018 at 4:30 am

    Great advice Carla. Reminds me a little of Tim Urban’s Ted talk: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator 🙂

  2. Essay Papers

    Mar 11, 2015 at 6:06 am

    Thanks for this great and informative article, It’s very helpful for peoples. I’ve bookmark this post.. Thanks for sharing this……

  3. Rose Costas

    Mar 9, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Carly you are so right. Many of us procrastinate too many times and end up rushing and feeling exhausted only because we wait until the last minute to get things done. I try not to do things based on feeling. I focus more on available time and make sure things are done. Thanks for a great post.

  4. Laurie

    Mar 6, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Helpful tips. Thanks. Sometimes starting with the easiest task works for me. I then build momentum and get things done.

  5. Deane Alban

    Mar 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    A tip I learned was to do a “mini-Pomodoro”. Getting started is the hard part. Commit to working on a task for 3 minutes. The rest should follow.

  6. PIM Organizer

    Mar 2, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Sometimes procrastination can increase productivity. For example, when the deadline is closer, will be more focused on the things that have to finish in case being fired.

    • Cody Faldyn

      Mar 3, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Great recommendations but I must say “Procrastinate on Purpose” by Rory Vaden is a much more modern day approach to productivity. We were lucky to interview Rory to give a deep dive on his book and after comparing it to The Now Habit and Eat the Frog, I think Rory takes a more efficient approach. Just my opinion though 🙂 Thanks for sharing the info

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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.

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