Do you remember your new year’s resolutions? Yes I’m talking about the ones you decided on just over 3 short months ago. If you’re anything like 92% of the population then you will have forgotten all about them by now.
Isn’t it frustrating when you’re filled with good intentions to make positive changes and then you lose motivation and come off the tracks? Or maybe you have procrastinated and haven’t even started on them yet. If you’re in the procrastinator category, then I have some top tips that have really helped my clients to get cracking and achieve what they want.
Follow these 5 proven tips to help you overcome procrastination.
1. Focus on your why. Think about all the reasons you wanted to get it done in the first place. Then use this ‘why’ to get you motivated. I find this works really well when I’m trying to talk myself out of going to the gym. I focus on the outcome and visualise having a toned and fit body and feeling really good when I do some exercise or my friends compliment me on looking fit. And I stop thinking of reasons to not go to the gym, I just get changed and get in the car. It’s quite effective.
“TOMORROW – a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored”
2. Don’t blow things out of proportion. You may have heard of the term catastrophising. It’s a psychological term for blowing things out of proportion. This is where you over estimate the amount of effort it will take to complete a task and the hassle it will cause you, thereby putting yourself off doing it altogether. Realise what you ‘re doing and put things into perspective. Ask yourself: On a scale of 1-100, how likely is it that the thing I’m worried about will happen? Psychologists say that 95% of what we worry about never comes to pass.
3. Take action. The best way to overcome procrastination is to take action. In his book ‘The Compound Effect’, success author Darren Hardy says that once you decide on your goals, take action “Do not delay; decide what you can do now. Within the next 24 to 48 hours, what will you do to put at least one of your goals into action? “. When you take action you will start the ball rolling and it will make it much easier to keep going and continue the momentum. Don’t think about it, just do one task in your action plan to get going. When you have finished that do another one, then another. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself for what you’ve completed.
4. Avoid distractions so you keep focused on your task. Turn off your mobile phone (or turn it to silent if that freaks you out too much) for one hour at a time. Minimise the amount of times you look at your emails to 3 times a day, rather than every 15 minutes. Every time you get interrupted, your focus shifts off the task at hand and then it takes extra energy and focus to switch back to it. You also lose valuable ideas when you’re distracted.
5 . Be realistic about what you can achieve. Do you get carried away when you start making a to-do list and just keep adding to it? It’s fantastic you’re so motivated but let’s be realistic about what you can achieve with the time you have. If you keep having more tasks or goals on your list and then you don’t achieve them you will start feeling like you’ve failed. That’s not good for your self esteem and it will put you off trying again. Don’t set yourself up for failure. I suggest to clients who struggle with procrastination that they write down their top 3 priority actions for the morning or afternoon. There’s nothing stopping you from adding more to it if you have time.
Now that you’re starting to tick things off the list don’t forget to congratulate yourself on completing them. Celebrating your successes feeds your confidence and self esteem which in turn will help you more motivated to set and achieve more goals.