Beating procrastination can be hard. We do well for a few days, but then old habits set back in, or we get frustrated with our lack of apparent progress. Nothing goes fast enough. If you face a small setback at this point, it may be enough to stop working on what you wanted to accomplish in the first place. Thankfully there’s something you can do to greatly improve your chances of success.

Accountability. 

This is the third post about how to beat procrastination. If you would like to read the earlier blogposts on this topic, they are available here and here.

Track Your Progress 

Start by tracking what you do. You can do this via a simple habit tracker. Use a box for each day of the week and check it off or fill it in when you do the thing you told yourself you would do. Keep tracking until it becomes a habit or until the project is done. 

For larger projects that you may or may not work on a daily basis, it helps to write down your goal and then break it into milestones. Record your progress and how much closer you’re inching to each of your goals. 

Make Daily To-Do Lists 

Write out a list of everything you want to get done for the day. I find it helpful to do this the day before. Play around with how many items you put on that list. You don’t want it to overwhelm you, but you do want to challenge yourself to get more done. The list holds you accountable because you can see in black and white if you procrastinated or not. 

Tell Someone About Your Plans 

If there’s something you’ve been struggling to get done, tell someone else about your plans to finally tackle it. Call a friend, tell your spouse, or announce it on social media. Encourage the people you’re sharing with to check back with you on how you did. It may be the little extra push you need to stop procrastinating. 

Find An Accountability Buddy 

Last but not least, find someone else (ideally someone who’s overcoming procrastination too) and start holding each other accountable. This could be as simple as checking in by SMS once in the morning to declare what you each want to get done, and then again at the end of the day to see what happened. Knowing someone else is there with you (and that you’ll have to say whether you completed your tasks for the day – or not) can be super motivating. 

Give each of these procrastination beating strategies a try and see which ones give you the best results. Like anything else, procrastinating is a habit and you can get out of it and turn yourself into the motivated and productive version of yourself you want to be. 

The next post in this series will cover how to tame the little voice in our heads that encourages us to put things off…

Lisa Billingham
Sunset Coast Hypnotherapy
Perth, Western Australia

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