Beating the Procrastination Monster: Strategies for Success

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Monday Mindset & Motivation

Procrastination is a challenge we all face. It’s the monster that lurks in the shadows of our to-do lists, whispering justifications for delay and promises of “later.” Yet, as we all know, “later” often leads to missed opportunities and increased stress.

But why do we procrastinate?

Understanding procrastination is the first step toward overcoming it. It’s not about laziness but rather a complex interplay of fear, perfectionism, and a misunderstanding of our energy levels and motivation. Recognising these underlying causes can empower us to tackle procrastination head-on.

When I work with clients who want to write, I can see a powerful set of emotional responses at play. This issue involves feelings of anxiety, fear of failure, and even fear of success, which can lead to a paralysing inability to take action. When you understand why, you can begin to unravel its complexities and develop strategies to overcome them.

Try these…

Break Tasks into Smaller Steps: I’m a big fan of the chunk. Large projects can feel overwhelming. By breaking them into manageable pieces, the work becomes less daunting, and you can enjoy the satisfaction of completing steps. And you get to celebrate success more often.

Set Clear Deadlines: Open-ended tasks invite procrastination. Setting firm deadlines creates a sense of urgency and helps prioritise tasks, making starting easier. I like to work on several projects, then set a deadline for the one that HAS to be done, and channel my energy into that.

Eliminate Distractions: Identify what commonly distracts you and take steps to minimise these interruptions. Whether it’s turning off notifications or creating a dedicated workspace, reducing distractions can significantly enhance focus. I love Brain FM for giving me 90 minutes of creativity when writing. I’m in the zone, and that’s all there is.

Use Time Management Techniques: Techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for focused intervals followed by short breaks, can boost productivity and make tasks less intimidating. This works brilliantly in co-working sessions.

Accountability: Share your goals with a mentor, colleague, or accountability group. Knowing that others are aware of your goals can motivate you to take action to avoid letting them down. I do this and use The Wheel Of Life Workbook to stay on track.

Reward Progress: Reward yourself for milestones reached. This positive reinforcement can make starting a task you’ve been avoiding more appealing. My rewards include a dog walk and tea and chocolate.

Understand Your Productive Times: We all have times when we’re more productive. Schedule challenging tasks during these periods to maximise your natural energy levels. I love the mornings, but I am as good as a soggy dishcloth by early afternoon, or at least I feel that way.

Visualise Success: Take a moment to visualise the benefits of completing a task. This positive outlook can motivate you to start and persist with your tasks. This is where daydreaming comes into play. Try it.

Reframe Your Tasks: Instead of viewing tasks as burdens, see them as steps towards your greater goals and dreams. This shift in perspective can make tasks feel more meaningful and less like chores.

This Week…

This week, choose one procrastination-beating strategy to focus on. Pay attention to how it impacts your productivity and mindset. Remember, overcoming procrastination is about consistent effort and finding what strategies resonate with you. What works for me may not work for you.

Experiment and play with these strategies. Let me know how you get on.

Let your journal be a mirror reflecting your true self, unfiltered and raw, capturing the essence of your journey through life.

Dale Darley