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Learn how to stop procrastination and become an action taker!

How to stop procrastination - Have a bunch of stuff to do but can't get started?

You have reports to prepare, the kitchen sink is leaking, you missed your regular work-out twice already this week, your tax filling is due and you've yet to returns some calls. But all you feel like doing is just sit in front of the TV.

Well, you've been hit by the procrastination bug!

There are times when we just don't feel like doing anything at all. Everyone experiences that from time to time. Indeed, the difference between successful people and less successful people are their ability to overcome procrastination and get themselves to take action.

Here are some tips on how to stop procrastination and get things done.

1. Set Goals / Set Schedules

When you have a target to achieve, a schedule to meet, you'll more likely push yourself to take action. Having nothing on the line will only encourage procrastination. If you don't have any schedule set to complete the task, of course your brain will decide to relax first and not work. But when you have goals, as long as the incentive is strong enough your brain will choose to take the action that can help meet that goal. You have got to make taking action immediately a 'must', and setting goals and schedules is a great way to make that happen.

2. Reward yourself

Make a pact with yourself to give yourself some rewards for every time that you are able to successfully fight off procrastination. This becomes a motivating incentive for you so that anytime that you have thoughts about procrastinating, you'll be reminded of those rewards instead.

3. Put yourself in a strong state first

When you're lazing on the couch, you'll never be able to overcome procrastination. If you're watching TV, surfing the Internet, lying on the bed etc, the same thing will happen. Why? It is because you are in 'relax' mode. Thus how to stop procrastination is by getting out of that relax mode first and getting into a powerful state.

What do sprinters do before a race? Do they have a beer? Check their emails? Call their stock broker? Of course not! They put themselves in the right state of mind to run their best. They warm up their bodies, they focus, they prepare. They do all this to get into 'high performance mode'.

To fight procrastination, you need to do what the sprinters do. Before you even think of starting, give yourself a few moments to focus, centre your being, encourage yourself and put yourself in the right state of mind. Doing that will weaken the procrastination bug considerably.

4. Remove all distractions

Yeah that's right. Remove as many likely distractions as possible. Turn off your cell phone, sign out from messenger, turn off the TV, hide the TV remote, put the newspapers and magazines in another room, turn off the music, go as far away from the bed as possible, put the snacks back in the kitchen etc.

Don't allow the slightest opportunity for anything to be able to distract you. When there are no distractions, the odds of you procrastinating are much lower.

5. The 5 minute challenge

how to stop procrastination Whenever you feel like procrastinating, just plan to work for 5 minutes. That's all. In your mind, plan to work seriously for the next 5 minutes and make sure that you really concentrate and focus during those 5 minutes.

Why should you do that? It is because if you fully concentrate and focus on the task at hand for that period of time, usually after those 5 minutes are up you will feel like continuing. In those five minutes of focus and concentration you would have gotten momentum and into the mood of the task. But remember this only happens if you fully concentrate and get into the task.

In my opinion, this is the best way on how to stop procrastination. Often times the first step is the hardest. Once we have a little momentum it is easy to keep going. It's like there is a hump in the beginning. But after getting past that hump, things become much easier.

6. Make a list of things to be done - organizing can make things seem less daunting

When things are organized, the task will seem less daunting. Instead of just vaguely knowing that you have a bunch of things to do, when you organize and break it down to smaller pieces you will know exactly what needs to be done. One of the reasons we procrastinate is when we feel the task is too overwhelming or difficult. By removing the vagueness, we can clearly see what we're dealing with and this makes it easier to handle.

Also making a list of items will break down the work into manageable chunks. This reduces the sense of overwhelm that you will feel.

7. Start with the small tasks first

Why should we do the smaller tasks first? Well, there are 3 reasons for it;

  1. Smaller & easier tasks are less daunting. We will be less likely to be put off by feelings of overwhelm that bigger tasks have.
  2. Doing small tasks first can give a quick boost of momentum. This momentum then can be used to move on to do the bigger, harder tasks.
  3. By completing these small tasks, psychologically we will feel good that we have achieved something. This good feeling will then be carried forward to continue working on the next task.

So there you have it, 7 great tips on how to stop procrastination. Learning how to stop procrastination is not made up by just one or two ideas or methods, but it is rather it is the combination of many little things that will eventually allow you to overcome procrastination.

Use as many of these tips the next time you face procrastination. The more you use, the higher the chances of overcoming procrastination.

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