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Stop Procrastinating and Get Motivated

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Stop Procrastinating and Get Motivated

I used to believe I was the queen of procrastinators, ‘stop procrastinating’ I would say to myself. I have learned about procrastinating and that the things I put off are the things I least like to do!

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What I do now, to stop myself from putting everything off until tomorrow, is to plan each day by writing myself a list of stuff to do.

Planning puts you in control of your time, and you will be less likely to daydream and waste time. You can even do a timetable for the whole week.

If you do not do anything, you never get anything done.

If there are some things left unfinished, put them on your timetable for the next week. Tick what you have completed, and when they are all done, your reward is a good feeling about yourself. You might find yourself amazed at how much you get done and just how much more time there is left to do the things you want to do. The key to stopping procrastinating and getting things done is deciding to give it a go.

Decide to spend just a few minutes doing the thing that you keep putting off. You feel when you get the job started. The next time you do a little more and maybe even finish the job.

Sounds very basic, doesn’t it? It can begin with just a few minutes a day. When a job is overwhelming, and you think it is going to take too long, simply decide to get a start on it. Then do it for only five minutes. Spreading your time out over a few weeks gets it done eventually.

Are you putting things off because it is not what you want to do?

I procrastinated about completing something I had put off for many years. Then I finally realised that it was something that I did not want to do. I changed my plan, looked at other options and found the answer to my problem. You too can learn from your situation and decide whether you are enjoying what you are doing or whether is it so dull that you never get around to it.

Sometimes it is good for us to do things we do not like doing. However, when it comes to completing projects that lead us to success, we need to look at the circumstances and see if there is another option. It is no use putting in wasted effort if you are not enthusiastic or excited about what you are doing.

Are you procrastinating because you do not have the right things around to make the job easier?

Do you not sort the bills and paperwork because you do not have a desk or a designated area? Alternatively, do you not fold away the washing because the closets and drawers are full?

Do you not write because you do not have a computer?

Make do with what you have.

I received my first computer (many years ago), as a gift from a friend. It was very basic, with not enough RAM for an internet connection, in fact, a little 250MB in total! However, for writing purposes, it worked well as a word processor. So you can imagine I procrastinated a fair amount because of its lack of connection. Eventually, I bought a new computer and that meant that there were no excuses left for me to procrastinate.

The point of that little story is that whatever it is that you need to make the job easier, do it. Find a desk, a filing cabinet, more space, whatever it takes to organise and remove your trouble areas to help you get on with it and stop procrastinating.

Are the things you put off just too dreary? Stop procrastinating tips:

Some tips to reduce the boredom of some jobs:

  • Try playing music or listening to the radio while you work.
  • If at home, watch television while you work and use commercial breaks for the tasks that are most difficult.
  • Call a friend on the phone while you work on jobs such as the dishes or folding washing.
  • See if you can get a family member to help do a job and set yourself a time limit. My children are willing to help if I say something like, ‘Let’s see how quickly we can do a ten-second tidy.’ We all start tidying and counting while we do it or use a stopwatch to time ourselves, and they have more fun doing it if I help.
  • Do the boring jobs first? Get them out of the way quickly so that you have more time to do the things you love.
  • Is it an important job? Does it have to be done, or can you leave it and put up with it?

Some things can be put off until another time. It does not matter if everything is not perfect, after all, it is only you that is going to complain, isn’t it?

Do you find yourself doing meaningless tasks around the house or at work and using them as an excuse for, not doing something else?

Are you looking for the dust to clean? If you want to stop procrastinating, maybe you are taking on too much unnecessary work. Does your home need to be impeccable before you allow yourself to do what you want to? Are you happily helping everyone else finish their tasks and going out of your way, just to be nice?

Do you stop and ask yourself first, ‘Do I want to do this?’ If the answer is no, then say no, you need to finish a major task of your own first. It is not easy to say no when you want everyone to think you are a superwoman/man. However, you know that when you do, you have taken control of your life, and that feels good!

Do you procrastinate because you are afraid to make the ‘wrong’ decision?

When deciding, and you feel stuck, you might put it off altogether because you fear making the ‘wrong’ decision. Don’t worry too much about it when this happens to you because most choices are reversible. However, if you keep in your mind that you have the option to change it later, you get over procrastinating.

~Sari Puhakka


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