We all know what procrastination feels like. The care-free attitude months before a major project is due. The calm before the storm. Then scrambling around at the last minute, despite plenty of time to prepare. Leaving us wondering, “How did I do this to myself again?”
In the moment, it seems harmless. All that matters is that you got it done, right?
Not only does this habit unnecessarily push your stress through the roof, you are jeopardizing your self care when you constantly push yourself to the limit, at the last minute. Momentary stress aside, there can be long-term mental, physical and emotional effects that come with procrastinating on everything, big or small.
So whether you feel like you work better under pressure, or think these minute stresses are part of life, you don’t have to live this way. Procrastinating can cost you opportunities, create drama, and leave you kicking yourself because you were unprepared.
Fortunately, there’s a better way to stop procrastinating and get motivated!
How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Motivated
Make the First Step
Even though you may tend to push things off in exchange for more time to relax, sometimes the real culprit of your procrastination is fear. Get out of your head! I lost almost a whole year of blogging and research time because I was too busy finding excuses to not start. Meanwhile I wasted a whole lot of time doing nothing.
Fear can be a real motivation killer, if you let it. It can trigger the mind to protect itself by keeping you from stepping out of your comfort zone. That’s your ego talking.
But by committing to starting, you’ve won half the battle. Every time you follow through, you train yourself (and your brain!) to get used to what that feels like. And each time you conquer a fear, it’s one more win for your confidence.
Have a Plan
All successful goals start with a solid plan. Outline what you want to accomplish so it is clear to you. But if you run into something that isn’t clear, don’t stress out! Be patient with yourself as you learn and gain more information.
Also, prioritizing is necessary. It will feel less overwhelming when you’re not looking at a long list with no time frame, feeling like they all need to be completed simultaneously. Decide which are urgent right now, and schedule out the rest, with a realistic time frame.
Pro Tip: Stop procrastinating and get motivated by setting reminders on your phone or sticking Post-Its in familiar places.
Turn Off The Distractions
Have you ever seen statistics of the overall time we waste scrolling through social media? They. Are. Staggering. Yet we all say how busy and pressed for time we all are. Frankly, if you want time, you have to make time. And sometimes that comes with sacrifices to our chill time.
But with sacrifice comes great reward, right? That extra time spent hacking away at that to-do list is a long-term investment and is giving you your freedom back. Your mental freedom, that is. Because every time you prolong something longer than you know you should, it’s holding you hostage. Up until the last minute. And no one needs that kind of stress!
Don’t let the fears of having to “learn on the job” cause you to back out. If this is important to you, you must make it happen. It’s up to you and you only to ensure its success. This blog has shown me how creative I can be from learning code and creating my own logo to becoming more knowledgeable about social media engagement. No one could have told me this was what I was going to be doing!
Treat your time like it’s as precious as your favorite boots. None of us knows how long we’re here for, so go for what you want in this life. And continuing to procrastinate on things you want is keeping you from seeing what you are capable of.
Be Patient With Yourself
You mustered up the confidence to take the first step, made a plan and stuck to it with hardly any distractions, and you’re seeing some progress. But now maybe you’ve hit a few bumps and were met with some obstacles. First congratulate yourself for putting yourself first, and show yourself some patience.
Most things worth striving for are not instantaneous, so they take some time. Keep up with your plan, tweak it if necessary, and keep researching for new and more innovative ways to get there. Your resilience and hard work will pay off if you stay consistent and realistic.
You can do this!
Putting things off comes with a cost. It can leave you unprepared, unmotivated, and controlled by your fear. And can even cost you a new and great opportunities.
So if you’re struggling getting something done, breaking through your habit to procrastinate is the first step. When you push off your goals, you push off your dreams. And an important part of your self care is making your goals a priority, because you are a priority.
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