7 effective Ways to overcome Procrastination

Procrastination

Laziness is the fear

of the work to come

 

- Cicero -

 

 

  

It's a perfectly common scenario: you sit there and just can't get your ass up. The upcoming task is too strenuous or you are too tired. That in itself is no problem. In some cases you can even postpone it until tomorrow, if you need a day off. It only becomes a real problem when you no longer enjoy being lazy, because you have a lot of things to do, but you still don't start. I speak from experience here. I am and was an extraordinary good Procrastinator. So let me show you 7 ways, what you can effectively do about it.

 

 

 

 

 

1.What is the reason why I'm lazy?

 

The very first step is to find out why you don't feel like doing something right now. Is it just because you really want to relax? Because that is perfectly right and necessary in a reasonable amount. We humans are no machines. Sometimes the workout goes well, you sleep for 8 hours, you are full of energy and in a good mood. On some days the exact opposite is the case.

 

I set myself days when I don't have any ToDo's at all. Usually Sunday or Saturday. And then I enjoy my time off. And you should do the same. If you don't have work to do, then some days you should make the most of your leisure time and only do things you enjoy.

 

But when lazing around no longer feels like fun, but rather feels like apathy, and you also feel guilty because you are avoiding your tasks, then it has nothing to do with relaxation. That's why you should take a moment to reflect and question your procrastination or laziness.

 

  • Do I just want some peace and quiet or am I postponing things?
  • Which tasks do I want to avoid the most?
  • Why do I avoid this task? What is stopping me to do it?
  • Do I force myself to do something that I might not want to do?

 

I myself know too well that such things accumulate and turn into stress. Burnout also develops from such a principle. More and more tasks are added until even the smallest additional task, be it shopping in the supermarket, just seems like a burden weighing tons.

 

There is a solution or corresponding technique that can help you at this point. So first ask yourself why your progress is failing and which tasks you are avoiding. Maybe there is something else behind it, a psychological or health problem. (Although I very much doubt it. In most cases you are just a procrastinator) Nevertheless the "WHY" is a powerful weapon when it comes to analyzing a problem and finding its root.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Set yourself clear goals

 

It may not be because you don't have enough motivation, but instead that you simply lack a clear goal in mind. There is a difference between "just doing some exercise" and a concrete training plan, that you perform on fixed days of the week.

 

So first find out why you aren't motivated and then see if there are clear goals you want to achieve. If you set up a structured plan, it will help you get things in order. It doesn't matter if they are long-term goals or just small side jobs. You need to know exactly when something is due and incorporate it into your plan accordingly.

 

 

Here's what your plan might look like:

  • Monday: Before work - pay due bills. / After work - gym.
  • Tuesday: Before work - reading a chapter in a book about productivity. / After work - shopping for groceries.
  • Wednesday: Before work - cleaning and tidying the kitchen / After work - gym.
  • Thursday..... etc.

 

You see that this isn't witchcraft. You simply add small things to your everyday life, so that you constantly achieve your goals. Whether general fitness, wealth or the perfect relationship are your long-term goals or cleaning out the garage and filing taxes are your short-term goals, it doesn't matter. 

 

Set your goals. Turn even annoying little tasks into a ToDo, that you can integrate well and then put a check mark behind it. If you design your week similar to the example above, you can do everything you want to do and have the weekend completely free and can arrange this time as you like.

 

It really makes no difference whether you have to take care of your children, your dog, or whether you have huge ambitious goals like becoming president of your country. Turn your ideas into clear goals! And as soon as you turn them into a ToDo, they can become reality.

 

 

 

 

 

3.Start now!

 

It doesn't matter how big or small your project is. What's important is that you either fill your time with things that you enjoy and thus make your time what you want it to be, if the conditions allow it OR do things that bring you closer to your goals. Just lying around and doing nothing is bad, unless you just want to take a nap, then it is okay.

 

The problem is that you don't make a real decision and just let your time pass in apathy. This is to be avoided at all costs, because it only postpones tasks, thereby increasing your frustration, which can lead to depression and a negative self-esteem.

 

If you stumble from time to time, it's nothing to worry about. However, if you never do anything that either gives you pleasure or shortens your to-do list, you will feel the negative consequences. For example, you will feel useless and may even tell yourself things like: "Oh, I can't do anything right anyway." That's a bad excuse.

 

So you should get ACTIVE and start immediately! By "active", I don't mean that you should necessarily jump up and run around the park three times. By "active" I mean an active decision. And it doesn't matter if it's an important task, an errand or the selection of the evening movie.

 

So just skip this state of hesitation. Do not hesitate or only very little. Make up your mind! Better to regret a decision than to have wasted your time and done nothing. Unless it is not a vital decision. Such things should be carefully planned.

 

So the slogan applies: "Just Do It!!" - Start immediately, so that you don't even give your brain the chance to think about the thousand reasons why you don't want to do this or that.

 

 

Examples:

  • Don't scroll through Netflix forever, instead just watch the first movie that sounds interesting. Even if it wasn't the best, you at least watched one movie and didn't waste another hour to search.

  • You would like to go running, but you are too tired too lazy and the longer you sit there, the more reasons you can think of to postpone your workout until tomorrow. Solution: Jump up and put on your running shoes. Put on headphones and motivate yourself with your favorite music. Get out and start running!

  • You have chores to do, but you just can't get yourself up. Before you know it, you'll pick up a broom and sweep through your house.


I think you understand how this works. Overcome the hesitation with an act! It's simple in principle, but it helps immensely. Because even if you were tired and lazy today, you will feel better afterwards. Don't spend hours scrolling through social media and miss out on your life. Outsmart your laziness! BAM! Just put the smartphone down and go! 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Set deadlines

 

The common problem with postponing or procrastinating is that you do not have a deadline. Everyone should know the scenario from school days. You still have plenty of time for a project work or a presentation and could start early enough, but you just do nothing. Instead, you spend the last 24 hours before the deadline with stress and do this work at full speed.

 

 

So you have just a motivation problem, until you have a time problem.

 

 

Then the motivation arises from necessity all by itself. Even if you have the noblest and greatest goals, but don't know when you want to reach them, you will in most cases end up like when you are doing your schoolwork. You keep putting it off and nothing really happens.

 

You can see for yourself that you lose weight much more disciplined just before a holiday than in winter, when nothing is on the agenda. And it is exactly this principle that you have to use. So set yourself time limits. This works for example by including external appointments as a goal. 

 

  • You make a fixed appointment with the editor, when he will correct your book. By then you must have finished your manuscript. 
  • You'll sign up for a nutrition course. By then you want to have read 10 books on the subject because you are giving a short lecture. 
  • You invite your family on a certain date to play something for them on the piano. 
  • You will have friends over in the evening and the apartment must be tidied up by then.

 

It doesn't matter if it's work, goals or chores. The pressure of an appointment, because someone expects something from you, is the best way to motivate yourself, if you don't meet your own deadlines. Of course, you can also just put it in your calendar that you have to lose a certain amount of weight or achieve this and that by then. If you keep to it, then all the better. If not, then get appointments from outside.

 

So make sure you set deadlines. It must be marked FAT and RED on your calendar so that you are always reminded. This way you can define your goal and give it a realistic time by when you want to reach it.

 

 

 

 

 

5. Work in intervals

 

This is a very simple and effective method. It is also known as the Pomodoro method (Italian for tomato). The principle is quite simple to explain. You concentrate completely on one task for a short period of time without interruption. When the time is up, you take a break and repeat the interval if necessary.

 

The advantage here is, that if you can't get your butt up or don't want to get something done, then it can help a lot to just grit your teeth and do something effectively for 20 minutes. For example, if you don't feel any motivation at all today, you can at least make the compromise: "I'm chilling today, but at least for 20 minutes I'm doing something productive".

 

Never underestimate the effect of concentrated work, even if it's only 20-30 minutes. If your focus is completely on this task, you can achieve much more than in 2-3 hours with distractions and interruptions.

 

 

And this is how the Pomodoro technique works:

  • Find a task that you have / want to do
  • Set an alarm for 25 minutes
  • Work without distraction and interruptions for this period of time on the completion of the task
  • Once the time is up, take a 5 minute break

 

You can repeat this cycle depending on your needs and efforts. This means that after a short break, during which you should preferably drink a glass of water, you set the timer to 25 minutes again and work with renewed concentration. After 4 rounds you should take a longer break of about 30 minutes if you want to repeat the whole thing.

 

So you don't have to paddle around for two hours every time. Just make little chunks of 25 minutes each, followed by a break. Full concentration and then you have more time for everything else instead of wasting your time on distractions, mobile phones and other things. Full speed once and then relax.

 

 

 

 

6. Motivational speeches/-music

 

It helps incredibly to listen to motivational speakers. An audio book or on Youtube. Look at some and test them. You won't like everyone, it's a matter of taste. Some motivational speeches or music can sound rather clumsy, but give it a try. And not only before you start a task, instead it's best to do it during it.

 

You want to do something that you don't enjoy, but you have to do it. Then put on headphones and start the task immediately without hesitation. Believe me, you can feel like a hero who saved the earth from the evil forces even when doing laundry.

 

Whether it's a marathon or just sweeping the driveway. Give yourself that motivational boost. One person is more interested in music that inspires him, the other in clear motivational slogans like "You can do it!" And yes, you can do it! Don't underestimate this point and try it out.

 

 

 

 

7. Visualize how you get things done

 

Visualization has nothing to do with spirituality, instead it is one of the best methods to not let your goals out of sight. It works by imagining how you will reach your goal or how you have already reached it. You concentrate on this image and pay attention to all the details and especially to the emotions you feel.

 

The point is to let this image of your achieved goal flow into your subconscious mind, so that it becomes an automatism. Things that your subconscious learns, are usually carried out by you without great mental effort. Just think how hard it was for you to perform a sport exercise, playing a chord on the guitar or driving a car or a similar thing in the beginning and now you can just do it without thinking about it.

 

So if you imagine often enough how to do a certain thing or achieve a goal, it actually becomes easier in practice. You can compare it to preparing for a school exam. The more you practice the tasks, the better your results. And the same goes for visualization.

 

 

Do it like this:

  • Find a quiet place without disturbances
  • Imagine for only 1-3 minutes exactly how you do the task or reach your goal
  • Repeat the whole thing as often and as long as possible or as necessary

If they are big goals, then it is worthwhile to visualize them long and extensively, at least 2-3 months daily for a few minutes. If it's a small ToDo that you can still do today, then imagine how you handle the daily challenges as soon as you wake up. Imagine in your mind's eye how you do these things. Like going to the supermarket, cooking your food, taking a package to the post office.

 

Through visualization, these tasks are within your grasp and you will care less when you actually perform them. Everything runs automatically. Try to take 2 or 3 minutes every morning. Visualize your daily ToDo's and your long-term goals. The results will be amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

 

I know it myself, because I had problems for a long time to reach my goals. The visualization helped me the most. No matter whether it was a small, big, short or long-term goal. With it you can practice all the procedures or prepare for a job interview, for example.

 

So first ask yourself why you are putting things off. Then set yourself concrete goals and deadlines. It should also be a bit of fun, you cannot ONLY do things you hate. Motivate yourself and use motivational speeches, the Pomodoro technique or the above mentioned points to do what you want to do.


Start immediately and overcome your hesitation. The more you think about something, the slower you become. Negative thoughts are like sand in your gears. Leave out the sand completely and start immediately. Even if it's only for 25 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope the article was helpful for you. If so, please share it, so others like you can benefit from it. I wish you the best.

 

 

-LdR-

 

 

 

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