How to Avoid Procrastination

Learn how to effectively overcome procrastination to allow you more time to get your top priorities done.

Far more likely than us actually having free time is us instead procrastinating on doing the tasks that we know that we need to do. The truth is everyone procrastinates about something, sometime. There are always going to be some tasks that we just don’t want to do, don’t like to do or don’t feel like we need to do at a given time. However, we would not have scheduled them for ourselves if they weren’t important in some way, so we need a strategy for figuring out ways to get over the procrastination hump and help us actually get to the tasks that we need to do.

Here are a few strategies that I have used with clients that I’ve found particularly effective:

Focus on the Goal – Rather than focusing on the task itself – the task that you may not be so excited to do – instead focus on what doing the task could bring you. For instance, will doing the task help bring you closer to generating additional revenue? Will it help you land an important client? Will it bring you more enjoyment, pleasure, or more professional development? Think about what the end result is rather than the task itself, and that can be a very powerful motivator to help you get more motivated to do a task that you are not initially excited about doing.

Reward Yourself – Finishing a task that you don’t want to do could mean that you will get a reward of calling a friend, going out to lunch, or reading something online that is completely not work related. Think about ways where you can reward yourself for doing something that you don’t like to do.  A reward can be a very powerful motivator.

Use a Deadline – Another strategy is to give yourself a deadline for finishing a task. Even a false deadline like a kitchen timer can be very powerful as a motivator. For some reason, many people respond well to having deadlines. That doesn’t mean that they necessarily like them, just that they tend to work better when the clock is ticking down. Try giving yourself a deadline for a task that you don’t like doing and see if that is an effective strategy for helping keeping you motivated.

Group Your Dreaded Tasks – Try grouping all the tasks that you regularly procrastinate about and put those in one giant time block, and complete them all at once. This can be a great way to end the week. For instance, if there are a bunch of things that you don’t like doing, but you know you need to do them by the end of every week, you could group them all for Friday afternoon. Do them all during that time and then you can start Monday without having those things hanging over your head.

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2 Responses to “How to Avoid Procrastination”

  1. Barbara Summers

    Josh, This is a wonderful article. Thanks! You’re an excellent writer.

  2. Joshua Zerkel

    Thanks Barbara!

    — Josh

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