Ready to stop procrastinating and make progress towards your goals? If you’re one of the many who are now spending much more time at home, these tips could make life easier (and more productive) for you.

This is the second post about how to beat procrastination. If you would like to read the first blogpost on this topic, it is available here.

7 ways to motivate yourself to make progress 

Choose one of these seven simple hacks to motivate yourself into action. Practice it over the next few days or even a week, and then choose the next one and practice it as well over the next few days or a week. Keep going until you are practising all of the tips. Find the ones that make the biggest difference for you. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating, come back to this list and employ one or several of these hacks.  

Tip #1: Pick Something Small 

One of the big reasons we procrastinate is because something feels overwhelming. There’s too much too do, so we choose to forget about it for a little while. It’s a coping mechanism, just not a very productive one. Instead, pick one thing, something small that will give you a ‘quick win’ and make you realise that you can succeed. This creates momentum and forces you to take action. 

Tip #2: Set A Time And Go 

Another hack that works like a charm is to set a timer. Your phone has one built in, as do most smart watches, or you could use a kitchen timer. Set it for fifteen or twenty minutes and chip away at a task you’ve been procrastinating on. Then take a short break, and start again, setting the timer again. This works just as well for declutter your closet as it does for filling out those dreaded expense reports. If twenty minutes feels too long, start with ten. Again, the goal is to start and do something. If this tip resonates with you, you might want to read about the Pomodoro Technique.

Tip #3: Bribe Yourself 

There’s nothing wrong with bribing yourself if that’s what motivates you. Work on a home improvement project for an hour and then watch an episode of your favorite show. Or promise yourself a new gadget or pair of shoes when you finish painting the living room. Come up with something that motivates you and go for it. Remind yourself of the prize at the end of the project whenever you’re tempted to put things off for another day. 

Tip #4: Find An Accountability Partner 

Find someone else who’s either trying to be more productive or beat procrastination themselves. Check in with each other daily via phone, text or videoconference. Share what you want to accomplish and what you will get done today. Knowing you have to report to someone else makes you take action. It’s also motivating to see the other person do the same. Try it.

Tip #5: Measure Your Progress 

When you’re working on something long-term like losing twenty kilograms for example, it can be tempting to procrastinate because it doesn’t seem like you’re making much progress. Instead, prove to yourself that you are getting closer and closer by tracking or measuring it. Make a chart, use a spreadsheet, keep a journal. Find a way to measure your progress and use it to motivate yourself to keep going. 

Tip #6: Remind Yourself Of Your Why 

There’s a reason you’ve decided to do that thing you keep putting off. Think about why you want to get it done. Is it so you get your tax refund? So you can run around with the kids? So you can find the clothes you actually want to wear? Find out your why. Write it down and then keep it front and center. Look at it every day before you get ready to get to work. 

Tip #7: Just Start

This is the easiest but also the most powerful. Just get started. That’s right, sometimes all you have to do is just get moving in the right direction. Do something. Do anything. Even if it’s something super small. You get over that initial hump and start to build some momentum.

If you would like some help to beat procrastination, you can phone me, book a no-obligation discussion or online appointment.

Get help now

Don’t let things or people distract you into procrastinating 

You wake up in the morning motivated and ready to tackle whatever it is you’ve been procrastinating on. Or maybe you’re excited about a new project. You drink your coffee, get dressed, and get ready to get going. Then something happens. 

Maybe you open your email, or worse Facebook and get sucked into spending the next few hours on your computer. Or maybe a good friend calls and asks you to go shopping. Or you get an alert that your favorite TV show dropped on Netflix. It doesn’t matter what it is, the point is that there are people and things that will try to distract you into procrastinating. If you let them. 

There’s a simple strategy you can use to keep this from happening. It’s to make the important project you’ve been procrastinating about a priority, and start working on it first thing every morning.

  • The whole process starts the night before. Before you call it a day, sit down and make a simple plan for what you want to get done the next day.
  • Identify the three most important tasks. Maybe they are all focused on one main project, maybe it’s several things you know you should be getting done. 
  • Write these three things down. They don’t have to be anything big. In fact, I find it helpful if they are all items I can do in an hour or less.
  • Look at your list and work on these three most important tasks before you do anything else. When you get up in the morning, get to your office, or start work at home – do these tasks. Don’t look at email. Don’t start playing on your phone. If possible don’t even answer the phone before these three tasks are taken care of. Make them your number one priority. 

This alone will make a huge difference in how your day goes, how productive you are, and of course it keeps you from procrastinating on those projects. Putting them off until the end of the day when you’re too tired to do anything is no longer an option. 

If you would like some help to beat procrastination, you can phone me, book a no-obligation discussion or online appointment.

Get help now

Aside from that, simply being more aware of what things, devices, and people tempt you to procrastinate is helpful. When you find yourself putting something off, look back and see if you can pinpoint what caused it. Then take action towards preventing it from happening in the future. 

The next post in this series will explain how to keep yourself accountable.

Lisa Billingham
Sunset Coast Hypnotherapy
Perth, Western Australia

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