7 Tips to Beat Procrastination

Is procrastination a serious challenge in your life? Admittedly, it can be difficult to do things we don’t want to do.

Even when we know that waiting too long will create a lot of challenges, getting started can still seem impossible. Unfortunately, when procrastinating affects your job-related tasks, it can have a negative impact on your professional career as well.

So how can you kick this annoying tendency to put things off and start getting them done instead?

Try these strategies:

  1. Schedule when you’re going to do it. Make an appointment in your calendar for the day and time you’re going to work on the task. This is far more effective than just leaving everything up in the air until the right moment seems to present itself.
  2. Consider scheduling just enough time to get started. A long, unpleasant task can be very difficult to start. Think, “I’m going to work on this for 20 minutes.” That’s easy enough that you should be able to sit down and get busy. Interestingly, once you get started, you’ll probably spend a lot more than 20 minutes on it. Getting starting is the tough part.
    • Make it as easy to get started as you possibly can.
  3. Break the task into smaller parts. Larger tasks can seem overwhelming. By dividing the task into manageable parts, it will be psychologically easier to tackle the project. It’s easier to do 10 small things than one big thing.
    • For example, once you’ve done five small things, you know that you’ve completedfive things, instead of just starting on the one big thing without deriving any sense of accomplishment. So break that task down into smaller bites.
  4. Which part is the most dreaded part? Frequently, there is a small part of the task that is really holding you back. Is it possible to get someone else to take care of that part of the task for you? Can you outsource it? Many times, if someone else handles the part you dread, everything else will fall into place.
  5. Pick the best time to do it. We all have times of the day that we’re better at certain tasks. We have times when we’re better at concentrating, others when we’re more creative, and other times when we have more energy. What’s the proper time for you to tackle the task? Do you need quiet and privacy? Do you need access to certain people?
  6. Get what you need to complete it. Make a list of the tools, supplies, and resources that you’ll need to both begin and complete the task. It’s hard to get started when you know you can’t get finished.
  7. Reward yourself! Give yourself a reward for completing the task. You’ve earned it! It doesn’t have to be anything big, but we all like a little treat now and then. A little additional motivation never hurt anyone.

Imagine how much better your life would be if you could kick the procrastination habit out the door. Unfinished tasks have a profound effect on your sense of well-being and peace of mind. Living with the stress that procrastination can cause isn’t necessary. Start using the tips above and remove the challenge of procrastination from your life. You’ll be so glad you did!

Manage Self-Talk and Improve Your Life

Self-talk is an integral constant in your life. You start talking to yourself when you wake up in the morning and don’t stop until you fall asleep at night. Who would’ve thought you had so much to say? Right? But you do!

When self-talk is positive and helpful, amazing things can happen. When self-talk is negative, life can be much more challenging than it has to be.

Like much of who you are, your style of self-talk is a habit that has been molded by your experiences and environment. Imagine how your life could change for the better if you were able to alter your self-talk into something more supporting and encouraging.

You can start living that life today! Just follow these simple steps to get started:

1. Make a list of your negative self-talk phrases and attitudes. For 24 hours, record everything you say to yourself that isn’t supportive, regardless of whether or not you think it’s true. Here are a few examples to get you thinking:

• “He would never want to talk to me.”
• “I’m not good enough for that.”
• “I could never do that.”
• “Things will never get better.”

2. Prioritize your list. Which items have the greatest negative impact on your life and your sense of happiness? Put the list in order, from greatest negative impact to least.

• Prioritizing is important because it will naturally force you to spend your time on the most important items.

3. Create a new list. Now that you’ve made your list, you’re going to improve it. Convert at least the first 10 items on your list into positive thoughts. If you’re feeling motivated, you can rewrite as many more as you like.

Even if you don’t believe the new, positive idea, just change it into a positive version. For example, “I could never do that” changes to, “I can do anything I set my mind to.”

4. Change your thinking. Now, for the challenging part. Each time you catch yourself engaging in self-talk matching an item from your list, substitute the new self-talk expression.

• Be diligent at all times. Considering how many times you may have said the negative item to yourself, this new practice will require a lot of attention. The good news is that over time, the positive things you say to yourself will become a habit, too!

5. Move further down the list. After you’ve conquered the 10 most negative items, look at the list and consider how it would improve your life to change those remaining negative self-talk items. You may have formed such positive habits with your first 10 items that the rest of them might not really be applicable anymore!

Self-talk will always be there, so it will benefit you to exercise some control over it. Anything you hear over and over again, you start to believe. That’s the way our minds work.

The first step to gaining that control is to monitor your thoughts and feelings. Then the necessary steps can be taken to change it for the better. As with all habits, these self-talk patterns can be challenging to change, but doing so will really boost your happiness. Get started today!