Are you a chronic procrastinator seeking effective ways to stop procrastinating and actually get things done?
My tendency to procrastinate used to make me miserable because I’d always end up scrambling at the last minute, staying late in the office to catch up and meet deadlines.
Sometimes, I’d pull all-nighters, inevitably feeling off for days afterward.
It was downright awful.
I might have had deeper issues causing my procrastination, but looking back, the main reasons were my laziness and lack of direction in life.
When I started my own business, I knew I couldn’t continue with the same mindset and attitude.
Above all, I didn’t want to.
It was time to declare: “Enough is enough”.
Since then, I’ve experimented with various time management techniques to overcome laziness and procrastination.
Here are 4 ways that have helped me stop procrastinating and work for me every day.
4 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Stop Procrastinating
Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.
1. Kick Off My Day Right
When I used to drift through life aimlessly, each day looked and felt the same. That all changed when I stopped tolerating my directionless life.
I learned that the only thing standing between me and the life I wanted was myself.
My biggest obstacle was the inferiority complex I’d carried with me all my life. The first step I took to change my mindset and attitude was to start each day with gratitude.
Every morning, instead of dwelling on why I wasn’t living the life I wanted, I’d thank myself for another day and another opportunity.
I’d remind myself that my ordinary day could be someone else’s once-in-a-lifetime chance in other parts of the world.
I began to view each day as a privilege and a gift, not an entitlement.
Gratitude inspires me to begin my day with a positive outlook, which prevents me from procrastinating.
2. Embrace the 3-Minute Rule
In an interview, Seth Godin was asked what advice he’d give to an aspiring entrepreneur.
While it’s not groundbreaking wisdom, it’s a powerful reminder that resonated with me.
It took me back to all those days, weeks, months, and years when I’d tell myself I’d start something but never actually did.
Now, when I don’t feel like doing something, I persuade myself to do it for just 3 minutes. I’d say: “Just 3 minutes, that’s all“.
More often than not, I stay in the zone until I finish whatever I’ve started.
With the 3-Minute Rule, I’ve:
Starting is often the toughest part.
The 3-Minute Rule helps me overcome that initial barrier and stops me from procrastinating.
3. Commit to Being a Doer TODAY
When I learned about the traits of successful people, I committed to being a doer, not just a talker or a dreamer.
The other night, I read an inspiring answer to a question on Quora:
Asim Qureshi, former Vice President at Morgan Stanley, shared a conversation he had with his boss during an internship at Barclays Capital.
His boss, who was giving him a lift home, said:
Look, Asim, a lot of people say they will learn French, or lose weight, or they will read some book. The difference between most other people and me is that I don’t do them tomorrow, I actually do them. Today.
I’m tired right now, but I don’t care. I’m going to drop you off, get home, and I will read at least a couple of chapters of (some finance book I can’t recall). I don’t care how f***ing tired I am. I am going to get through a couple of chapters. Because I don’t do things tomorrow. I do them today.
Successful people feel exhausted just like the rest of us do. But they still do what needs to be done.
I commit to doing things TODAY. No excuses.
4. Stop Berating Myself
Each day, I have 2 or 3 of the most important tasks to complete.
Looking back on the past 30 days, I strayed off course a few times. I had to deal with just one task instead.
It wasn’t ideal, but self-blame doesn’t make me feel better. In fact, it does the opposite.
So, I avoid berating myself with “could’ve, would’ve, or should’ve.”
Instead, I ask myself, “I wonder…”:
Reframing my thought process with “I wonder…” allows me to evaluate my day logically, without self-defeating emotions.
It eliminates negative self-talk that keeps me from being proactive and positive.
Final Thoughts on Conquering Procrastination Daily
There’s always room for improvement.
But with all of the above, I’m content with how I spend each day without procrastinating and getting things done that need to be done.
Usually, you can feel it before falling asleep, right?
That sense of contentment from a day well spent…
It’s a wonderful feeling that we should all aim for every day. And the strategies mentioned here are surefire ways to make that happen.
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