Stop Procrastinating Already

I’m a huge procrastinator by nature, so I have to work extra hard to resist falling back into my bad habits. I’ve tried a lot of techniques, but here are the ones working for me …

  1. Complete Unpleasant Tasks First
    First of all, they never end up being as bad as you think they will be. And they will weigh on you and distract you all day until you do them. So schedule them early in the day, and get them off your to-do list. And then reward yourself for getting them done.
  2. Break Big Jobs into Smaller Ones
    I find that if a project is too big to wrap my mind around, I put it off. But if I break it into 5 smaller projects, I not only get it done faster, I get the satisfaction of checking more tasks off my to-do list. A double bonus!
  3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail (Or to Succeed!)
    Ugh, the fear of failure can paralyze us. But remember this, if you don’t even try, you’ll definitely fail. So that’s not an option. Instead, write down your goal – what is it that you want from your business? Create a mental picture of how you’re going to feel when you reach that goal, and then write that down too. Hang the note on the wall, and read it to yourself on a regular basis. I actually send myself a weekly email reminding me what it is I want and how awesome I’m going to feel when I get it.
  4. Get Rid of Distractions
    The key here is figuring out what distracts you. To do that create a to-do list and start tackling each item. Every time you stop (for anything) write down what made you stop. Make a rule that you can’t do that thing again until you finish your task. For me I found out it was email. I’ve learned that I cannot have my Outlook open when I’m working on something or else I will unconsciously hit the send and receive button to see what I’m missing.
  5. Tailor Your Work Environment
    You have to treat your home office as an office. Remove anything not work-related like TVs, magazines and non-work books, and tell your family that you are not to be disturbed when you are in your office.

Procrastination only delays your success. It’s in YOUR best interest to nip it in the bud today.

Not sure if you're a procrastinator?  Here's a quiz you can take, as well as some advice from Michael Masterson.

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Published: March 18, 2009

7 Responses to “Stop Procrastinating Already”

  1. How about I offer five free copies of my productivity guide for writers, Writing Rituals? Like...a copy to the first five people who add a comment below saying, "Yes, me please!"


    Nick UsborneMarch 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm

  2. Rebecca, Thanks for the helpful tips on procrastination. Now to get my own computer and an office space that isn't in the middle of family life in the diningroom.
    "Yes, me please!" I'd love a copy of Writing Rituals.

    Constance MMarch 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm

  3. Thanks for the tips. Number 3 is my biggest obstacle.

    "Yes, me please!" I will also take a copy of Writing Rituals.

    EllyMMarch 25, 2009 at 5:08 pm

  4. "Yes, me please"! And thanks for the tips, Rebecca. I needed all 5, but especially 3 and 4.

    AnnieBMarch 26, 2009 at 11:13 pm

  5. "Yes, me please"!! I would love a copy of Writing Rituals!!

    SoniaDBMarch 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm

  6. Yup!! You've desribed me- please send me a free copy!

    denaOMarch 29, 2009 at 6:54 pm

  7. "Yes, me please!" I need all the help I can get...My procrastination is so bad that my son even bought me a t-shirt that says, "Procrastinators Unite - Tomorrow!"

    RuthiekMarch 30, 2009 at 8:16 am

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