10 Practical strategies to stop procrastinating
It is clear that the habit of procrastinating is common, as well as the consequences, but not all postpone the same tasks or under the same contexts.
This means that there are people who postpone the moment of ordering the closet and bathing the dog, but there will be other people who postpone to write a good essay for the school or finishing a tedious job report.
The strategy of freezing helps in most cases because it trains your ability to realize at the exact moment that you are procrastinating.
However, I think it is useful to have more than one "wave breaker" against the waves of procrastination. That is, it is useful to have more than one strategy.
Go for it!
- Border strategy
You will be surprised to learn that this tendency to postpone what is not urgent has an evolutionary background. Human beings are connected to consider the needs of the present much more strongly than the needs of the future.
So, the strategy is simply to turn that important activity into something urgent in order to take action.
Mark a time boundary or a specific date, at which time that important task should be ready, so you will create the necessary urgency to act.
- Topping strategy
Yes, a topping is like a cookie or colored chips on top of an ice cream.
I agree that we do not procrastinate eating an ice cream, partly why it's urgent (if it does not melt) and partly why it's tasty, but I think you understand the point: with the right toppings I'm sure you'd eat it with You win up a broccoli simply because it makes it more attractive.
All you have to do is find an activity that you enjoy (and that is healthy) to "sprinkle" on that boring activity.
- Pixel strategy
It is very common to procrastinate when an activity, because it does not generate an immediate benefit and the future, is still far away.
The solution is to find a way to have a broader perspective, see those "unimportant" tasks with the lens of a larger image.
Imagine with me that your day is just a tiny little picture in your whole life that is the big screen. Think that if you procrastinate something important, the pixel will look black. And the more days you continue procrastinating, the more black pixels you accumulate.
You agree that in the long term the full screen that is your life (your year, month or week) will not look good, right?
4 Origami strategy
If that activity that you procrastinate constantly looks like the size of Mount Everest, what you have to do is fold it several times until it is much easier to start.
The only rule is that you divide that activity that you postpone into something so easy that any other activity with which you decide to procrastinate becomes more complex.
One way to do this is to create a list of small and very specific steps and start with the first step.
- Frog strategy
As the book by author Brian Tracy explains, start the day by finishing the task that least motivates you so that you forget about it and follow the day with other things that you enjoy the most.
The task that motivates you the least is a disgusting frog, do not think about it too much. First thing, eat that frog!
- Internal dialogue strategy
The phrases like "I have to" or "I must" imply that you do not have your own decision and promote self-sabotage, lack of motivation and self-control.
Therefore, rethink your internal dialogue, saying "I decide to do ..." or "I choose to start ...". This way of talking to you implies that you have control and helps you avoid procrastination.
- Strategy of mental clarity
Many people procrastinate because they are not clear about what they have to do exactly. And the effort of thinking how I start, what goes on or how I know I'm done, becomes something uncomfortable and tedious that your brain prefers to avoid.
Writing what you have to do in a specific way or the steps to follow gives you mental clarity and helps you not to procrastinate.
In addition, writing the steps to follow, also helps you to visualize it in your mind realistically and overcome the possible obstacles that appear.
- Realistic planning strategy
Sometimes we procrastinate simply because the day is very saturated, full of slopes and that generates stress, anxiety and overwhelm. In addition, as it becomes difficult to identify important activities and tasks, you are more likely to end up postponing with less relevant activities.
- Train your discipline
If even trying this powerful trick you cannot freeze these waves of procrastination, you probably have to train to be more disciplined in your life.
In fact, the discipline becomes a fundamental tool to overcome distractions and end effectively (without procrastinating) everything you start and have more self-control in your life.