Stop Procrastinating

“You may delay, but time will not.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

How to Stop Procrastinating.

Often times we will procrastinate because we simply don’t want to do something, or it is not a priority to us. Sometimes it is fear of criticism that is the cause of our procrastination. We must learn to overcome our fears, so we can lead productive lives.

Decide what your priorities are, and nothing can hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Procrastination is a kin to laziness. The lazy sibling simply doesn’t want to complete the task at all, but the procrastinator sibling merely wants to delay completing the task, or even starting it for that matter until the last moment. (I wrote an article about overcoming laziness. Check it out here... )

Procrastinate comes from the Latin word “cras” which means tomorrow. Procrastinators want to postpone their important tasks until tomorrow, but eventually tomorrow becomes today.

We must realize that procrastination will disrupt our inner peace , if we want to condition ourselves to stop procrastinating. Procrastination will increase our stress levels which in turn will cause us many health problems.

Many of us want to delay getting our important tasks finished because we think we have a lot of time left to complete them, but we must realize that the sooner we get things done the better off we are.

Getting our tasks accomplished well before the deadline allows us more time to fine tune our accomplishments, and prepare for any unforeseen circumstances.

We all know that there are always unforeseen circumstances. It is the universes way of teaching us the folly of procrastination. It is an expensive lesson to learn from the universe, it is much more economically and socially viable to learn it here on Embracing Nirvana.

12 ways to stop Procrastinating, and Embrace Inner Peace.

1: Accountability

We must have accountability for completing our objectives if we are to do them expeditiously. Many of us perform best when we have a boss to answer to. Those who are in an authoritative position above us can be quite intimidating, but in all honesty, we are our own worst critic.

If you are in need of a watchful eye looking over your shoulder to motivate you to complete your task in a timely matter, than picture a former boss riding your behind about your lackadaisical behavior.

If this is not applicable to you, then picture the drill sergeant from the movie, “Full metal Jacket” chastising you for your procrastination. This drill sergeant will punish everybody else for your lack of desire to accomplish your task right now in the present.

We don’t need any of those imaginary scenarios to motivate us, we can motivate ourselves. We alone are responsible for our own actions.

2: Understand that nobody else will do it for you.

This is your task to accomplish. You don’t have the option of delegating the responsibility for it to someone else. This task is yours, and yours alone to complete.

As much as we would like to lay around lazily while someone else completes our task, it isn’t going to happen. Not only is no one else going to do it for you, nobody else would do it like you would.

3: Set a deadline for yourself to finish your task to the best of your ability.

Don’t give yourself the option of procrastinating the completion of your objectives. Give yourself a limited timeframe to complete your objective. The timeframe that you give yourself must be less than your actual timeframe to motivate you to complete it more urgently.

4: Take a break to clear your mind.

Our minds were not meant to focus on our task at hand continuously without stopping. We need to give ourselves a break and walk away from working on our objective every so often to keep from feeling that disinterested burnout mindset.

I often find it beneficial to remove myself for several minutes, and refocus my mind elsewhere, then I return to my task with a fresh reset mind, and everything flows more easily.

Give yourself a break, but don’t prolong your break for so long that it leads to distraction, and procrastination.

5: Get rid of the multitude of distractions that imped your path to success.

Life is full of distractions, especially with the internet so readily available on a device that we hold in our hand. There are games, interesting news stories, social networking, YouTube, and entertaining movies on Netflix which are all more desirable than completing our task.

These distractions will become our priority, and our more important tasks will be put on the back burner. If our thoughts are focused on the pleasure that we feel when partaking in those less productive distractions, we will delay making any progress towards our goals.

We must change our mindset, and think about associating pleasure with completing our tasks, and reward ourselves for doing so to avoid procrastinating.

6: Break your tasks down into baby steps to keep from feeling overwhelmed, and make the end goal more manageable.

Many times the cause of the desire for us to procrastinate is that we are overwhelmed by the sheer size and complexity of the task that we must complete. If we break our task down into smaller more manageable steps we will see it as easier to complete, and we will be less likely to procrastinate getting it done.

7: Do the least desirable task first, and all of the rest of your tasks will be downhill from there.

After you break down your task into smaller ones, pick out the one you least want to do and get it finished first. If you leave it until last you will procrastinate doing it because you don’t want to get it done.

Getting the least desirable steps done first will eliminate your desire to procrastinate, and make you much more productive.

8: Associate yourself with others who constantly take action to achieve their goals.

Like attracts like. We tend to associate ourselves with others who are most like us. If we want a good idea about who we are, we just need to look at our five closest friends. Who they are is a reflection of who we are.

Try to associate yourself with those who are go getters and get things done, and these productive habits will become yours as well. If you tell your productive friends about your upcoming tasks it will further motivate you to finish your tasks in a timely manner.

9: Tell others about your task.

They will question you later about your results, and you will want them to know that you always take action to achieve your goals. If it were only ourselves that knew about the tasks that we have to accomplish, we would be more likely to procrastinate.

When others know as well, they will likely question you about your progress, and condescendingly criticize you for what they believe is your lack of effort.

10: Stop overthinking your game plan.

The paralysis of analysis will almost always cause us to delay taking action. Our overthinking every little thing about the task at hand will cause us to become overwhelmed, and fail to take action.

Stop thinking, and start acting. Our thoughts only determine the correct path to accomplish our tasks. It is our actions that get them accomplished.

11: Just get it done.

This may be belaboring the obvious, but getting started, focusing on the task before you, and just moving forward until it is completed to the best of your ability is the best way to accomplish your tasks, and avoid procrastination.

Don’t cut corners by doing a poor job to get it done more quickly. Put your name, and reputation on it. When you are finished with the task that you had to complete take a step back, and say, “I did this, and I did the best I could.”

Take pride in your ability to perform your objectives without delay. Let this pride define you. Become the person you were meant to be. Become a person of action who takes pleasure in moving forward in life, and associates pain with lackadaisical procrastination.

12: Reward yourself for completing your objectives ahead of schedule.

Take pride in the completion of your task, and give yourself a little reward for getting your objective finished on time. This reward can be a simple salty or sweet snack to eat, or treating yourself to a fun holiday.

Rewards can make a big difference in motivating us to accomplish our tasks, but only our character can free us, and stop us from procrastinating.

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