When we struggle to achieve our goals it is often due to procrastination and it can stop us dead in our tracks for days, weeks, months or even years. I want you to succeed so check out these 7 life hacks to help you stop procrastinating right now!
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Hi, I’m your coach Jenn Summers! I’m the owner of LivingABossLife.com & The Living A Boss Life Tribe Academy where you can find all of our resources and courses. Be sure to check out our new monthly membership too!
What Is Procrastination?
First, let’s get clear on what procrastination really is. After all, we can not solve problems without understanding the meaning behind them.
Procrastination is the inability to begin or finish something that needs to be done. It is a feeling of overwhelm and can cause stress and anxiety.
Procrastination is an asshole.
Procrastination stems from our fixed mindset, it is the critic in us telling us that we can not do it, that it will take too long or that we do not have the skill to do it.
Learn more about empowering your self-awareness through our complimentary course!
What Causes Procrastination?
Many factors can lead to procrastination such tacking a project you are not good at, too large of a challenge, not past experience or perhaps a negative experience attempting previously.
Procrastination happens when something feels overwhelming. We have too much to do, so we choose to put it off and not think about it.
Procrastination is a coping mechanism, a part of our fight or flight response in which our fixed mindset chooses the flight option.
In the beginning, when we start to procrastinate it may just be little things but over time it can become an even bigger issue and more profound in other things in our lives.
Before you know it, you could be procrastinating everything in life and no longer wanting to tackle projects or try new things.
Procrastination is a bad habit and bad habits take some time to break while we instil healthy habits and make them a part of our life.
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The 7 Hacks To Stop Procrastinating
Now that we have defined procrastination a bit and what causes it we can start to look at how to stop procrastinating with these 7 hacks!
You don’t need to use all of them, some may work for you while others may not. Some might feel strange to start with or maybe difficult. Even if they don’t work at first give them another try in a week or two.
The goal is to find at least one life hack to help you stop procrastinating however, you may need to use different ones for different areas of your life.
Stop Procrastinating By Choosing A Small Task
We find ourselves facing a large task at a hand, perhaps are large goal and the fight or flight kicks in and we find ourselves making all sorts of excuses to get out of the situation.
It is not a very productive tactic but is easy to fall into.
Eliminate the overwhelm that causes procrastination by picking one thing, one task, something that is small and that you can do right now!
Of course, make sure it is relevant to the goal at hand.
Perhaps your goal is to declutter your bedroom but you overwhelmed with where to start. there are boxes all over the place, the closet is a disaster, you haven’t seen the dresser tops for months and have no idea what hides under your bed.
What is one small task you could do? Maybe it is unpack one box? Maybe it is sweep under the bed? Maybe it is to make the bed. Choose one of them.
It doesn’t matter how small it is. The point is to start somewhere. Don’t just think about it, do it! Take action and create momentum.
Eliminate Procrastination By Using The 15-minute Hack
Yep, that’s right, you want to get something done then start small yet again.
Start with 15 minutes on a timer or 20 if you really want to boost your confidence.
The technology in our lives provides many ways to use a timer, if you choose to use your phone make sure you turn off notifications so they don’t distract you. If you have some favourite music that pumps you up create a playlist that lasts 15 minutes to get you really motivated.
Sometimes I struggle with getting my girls motivated to do their chores in that case I prefer to use the oven timer and we pretend it’s a race against time. They then know how long they have and it makes it fun.
I love to use the 15-minute rule when I keep walking through the dirty kitchen and want nothing to do with it. It also works great for my early mornings when I have tasks that need to be done but yet I want to check out social media.
See more about that in life hack #3.
If 15 minutes feels too long, then start with ten or even 5 the ultimate goal of this hack is to start and do something. Often times we will get rolling and continue on because we have created a momentum which is key to stop procrastinating!
Bribe yourself with an award
As I was saying some mornings I just really want to catch up on my social media but I have got shit to do and the more I put it off the bigger my procrastination causes me anxiety.
Every morning I work one my morning to-do list and then I can go to social media once I’m finished.
Rather funny but the social media I want to get to usually involves my business too but I know it can be very distracting so I use it as a motivational bribe.
Above I mentioned getting my daughters motivated with using timer, but sometimes they need even more motivation.
For example this year we are homeschooling so I created a reward system. They get a sticker for each lesson they complete. Once they complete one line they get to choose from the treat box (suckers, tattoos or other little prizes) once they complete an entire card they get to choose from the big prize box which consists of clay, books, journals or other random finds I find at the dollar store. This works extremely well for us.
There’s nothing wrong with bribing yourself if that’s what motivates you. I have a friend who loves to clean for half an hour and then watch an episode of T.V. then she gets back to cleaning repeating the reward of T.V. until the tasks are done.
There was a case study done on a few runners who used chocolate as their motivator. Half the runners were told they would receive a piece of chocolate when they finished and the other half were not. The ones who received the chocolate each time they would run kept up with running and did quite well. The ones without the chocolate reward did not do as well and in fact, some quit running after a few runs. Rewards work!
Find something that motivates you and go for it. Remind yourself of the prize at the end of the project whenever you’re tempted to put things off for another day.
I also highly recommend celebrating achievements and goal success. Rewarding these accomplishments helps to build acknowledgment over your success and builds your confidence to keep growing and trying new things. If we do not celebrate our successes they are easily forgotten and procrastination can seep in again on similar tasks.
Accountability Partners Can Stop Procrastinating In No Time Flat
Accountability is a large part of why I chose to become a life coach. I love to cheer people on, to help them find a way to their dreams, to motivate them to not give up and to help them see obstacles they can overcome.
In short, I love building others up through their success.
When choosing accountability partners there is much to consider, whether you choose niche’ specific or a coach/mentor. Check out 7 ways accountability can help you succeed for all the accountability info you can dream of and things you should be aware to avoid when choosing an accountability partner.
Having someone to keep you on the right path can be a very strong motivator, but you must remember you need to show up for them too.
Every week in The Living A Boss Life Tribe we do a thread of weekly goals to help you get accountable in a group setting which might just be what you need to get started.
I believe in accountability so much I have added it to the SMART goals acronym.
Your Tasks Need To Be Measurable To Prevent Overwhelm & Stop Procrastinating
Just like breaking your goal down into smaller tasks you also need to break down tasks into measurable terms. How long will you spend on this smaller task? How will you know you have reached it? Is it a specific number?
If your long-term goal is to generate $10000 a month in income within the next 5 years what is your goal for this month? Give it a number, give it an end date. Check out our Money Mindset Workbook for more money goals as well as our Money Mindset post.
Without breaking down tasks into measurable timeframes it can easily cause overwhelm that leads to procrastinating. Smaller measurements give you confidence that you can keep going and show your progress towards your end goal. Remember it doesn’t matter how small just start.
Use your measurable progress to keep you motivated!
Focus on your WHY To Stop Procrastinating
When choosing your goal you dug deep until you found the real reason behind your goal. If not, please do this now so you can find your motivation. You can learn more about this in our conquer your goals post.
Finding your true why is what motivates you inside to succeed. Without the goal being specific to your wants and needs it will be almost impossible to meet a large end goal.
Everything we do needs to have a purpose and needs to generate feelings for us to stay motivated. What was it that drove you to set this goal? Please do not confuse the purpose of a task to finding your passion which I feel is bullshit and I tell you all about why I think passion is bullshit right here.
Ask yourself why until you find the deepest reason inside of you and write it down. Create a vision board, journal about it, hang it on your bathroom mirror. Whatever you need to do to keep your why front and centre.
Every morning remember why you are doing this and when you feel procrastination seeping in pull out your why and refresh the feeling of motivation.
Take Action Now!
Often times we wait for the stars to align or think we are not ready so we procrastinate the shit out of it and before you know it we have talked ourselves out of the goal.
Do not allow procrastination to hold this power over you. Every time you find yourself in a situation where you can walk away or take action. Take action. It does not matter how small just take action.
Once we take a small step we begin to build momentum. Once we take a big step and see amazing results we see our motivation soar.
When we take action is not always butterflies and roses and sometimes we hit a snag. Do not let this stop you. Reassess and find a new way to give it a go. Even it takes 100 tries to get it right you can and you will and it will be so worth it!
Check out our top 20 motivational quotes to help get you pumped up!
Stop Procrastinating By Using These 7 hacks Starting Today!
Procrastination can slow us down but as you can see there are many ways to keep motivated and defeat your fixed mindset from procrastinating your goals away.
Whether you choose to find an accountability partner, to use the 15-minute hack or to dig deeper into your why you can achieve whatever you truly set your mind to.
Remember it is ok to ask for help to stop procrastinating and that there is someone out there who has done this before and utilizing their help can keep you moving forward. Do not allow the fact that someone else has done it before you make you feel like an imposter, no one has what you have!
Which of these strategies have you tried in the past to stop procrastinating? Which of these will you try in the future? If you have tried some of these before and they did not work then take the time to reassess and figure out what was getting in the way. Learn a way to get around it so that you can start moving towards a more productive lifestyle.
Remember it is okay to take relaxation breaks and you must always remember to practice self-care! I think you might also like our retrain your brain post which has many great strategies to change your mindset.
I hope this post helps you see how strong you are and helps you to stop procrastinating! Now get out there and take on the world one small task at a time!
Take care and chat soon;
Living A Boss Life