How to Stop Procrastination

GSTS

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Procrastination is not only counter-productive but also adds negative psychological effects such as stress and guilt. The following steps help break the habit.

1. Set a goal and a deadline. Decide what you want to achieve and by when. Make sure the goal is challenging and realistic so you'll remain motivated. Don't settle for only making a mental note of the goal; be proactive and write down the goal. Make a reminder for yourself and place it where you can easily see every day. It'll help you stay on track. The deadline will give you a sense of urgency and help you push forward.

List all the building blocks for achieving the goal. For example, for this article, I decided to include four components: the definition of procrastination, the causes, the benefits, and how to overcome it . (Read the complete article here.) These are my building blocks. Outlining them made it much easier for me to start writing. After you decide on the building blocks, make a step-by-step plan of what to finish each day. Initially I decided to finish one building block each day. That way, I'll finish writing the lens in four days. But after I started and finished the first one, on the second day, I simply couldn't stop and finished all of the remaining three in one day. You'll see how easy it'll get once you have a concrete plan.

2. Make a plan for each day, each week, and each month. This step is suggested in the book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. I have formed a habit of at least having a plan for each day. I mostly implement it at work. At the end of a work day, I make a list of to-dos for the next day. The key is to not make overly aggressive plan, which creates stress or overly easily-achieved plan, which doesn't motivate you. A daily, weekly, or monthly plan also keeps you on track and helps you hold yourself accountable.

3. Get all the prep work done beforehand - skill set, knowledge, etc. As mentioned above, lack of skill set and knowledge is one of the causes of procrastination, so one effective way to stop procrastinating is to acquire the skills and knowledge you need. To build a blog on my own, I needed to learn how to register a domain name, how to sign up a web host, how to use Wordpress and FTP, and even how to write simple codes. These are just the basics, but having the basic knowledge under my belt, I was confident enough to start working on building my own blog.

4. Divide a large task into mini tasks. This is an important lesson I've learned. Large tasks are intimidating and overwhelming. They're so intimidating that you don't even want to get a start on them. There comes the P word. What I've found helpful is to divide it into small pieces that are easy to achieve. I followed this method when I divided this article into four building blocks and planned on finishing one piece at a time. I also followed this method when I built my blog. I kept a steady pace. Since I was totally new to building websites, I started slow. I dedicated a few days to working on the theme and child theme, another few days on the plugins and bells and whistles, and one day on each page. I didn't push myself to finish more than I could to create pressure. I took breaks in between tasks so that I didn't overwork myself.

These are the steps that I've found helpful in overcoming procrastination. What do you find that works for YOU?
 
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artistry

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I had to bookmark this, it is so well defined. I have a terrible problem with this. Perhaps if I can internalize your excellent points, I will improve. Thanks so very much.
 

bneil

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4. Divide a large task into mini tasks. This is an important lesson I've learned. Large tasks are intimidating and overwhelming. They're so intimidating that you don't even want to get a start on them. There comes the P word. What I've found helpful is to divide it into small pieces that are easy to achieve. I followed this method when I divided this article into four building blocks and planned on finishing one piece at a time. I also followed this method when I built my blog. I kept a steady pace. Since I was totally new to building websites, I started slow. I dedicated a few days to working on the theme and child theme, another few days on the plugins and bells and whistles, and one day on each page. I didn't push myself to finish more than I could to create pressure. I took breaks in between tasks so that I didn't overwork myself.

These are the steps that I've found helpful in overcoming procrastination. What do you find that works for YOU?[/quote]
Dividing large task into mini task is really an awesome way to do this. When we think of large task, we seem to back off a bit, and say, oh no i can't do this. But if we divide it into smaller pieces, it would be less intimidating right :)
One to three are good steps too.
 

GSTS

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I'm glad you guys found these suggestions helpful. After you apply the steps in even just one or two projects, you'll notice that you start to form a habit of automatically doing things this way. In the mean time as you break a bad habit, you're forming a good one. :)
 

bneil

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I'm glad you guys found these suggestions helpful. After you apply the steps in even just one or two projects, you'll notice that you start to form a habit of automatically doing things this way. In the mean time as you break a bad habit, you're forming a good one. :)
You know, breaking a bad habit is entirely difficult, based on my experiences, :) We can't break it that easily if we've been used to it for a long time, but changing our view of life, and of things through tips like this would be beneficial.
 

GSTS

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You know, breaking a bad habit is entirely difficult, based on my experiences, :) We can't break it that easily if we've been used to it for a long time, but changing our view of life, and of things through tips like this would be beneficial.
Yep. It has to start somewhere. Start small.