Most people struggle with getting things started and developing strategies to overcome procrastination. I am 100% one of those people and I am always looking for ways to not only overcome this “bad habit” and also to make it a thing of the past for me. Procrastination and anxiety are both factors that can make it difficult to start tasks, but they arise from different underlying causes and I feel it is something we can achieve power over if we get into habits that allow us to get things done.
Procrastination is the act of putting off tasks or delaying action, often to the point of experiencing negative consequences. It typically stems from a lack of motivation or a desire to avoid unpleasant tasks. People who procrastinate may feel that the task is overwhelming or daunting, or they may simply feel bored or uninterested in the task at hand.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is a feeling of unease or apprehension, often accompanied by physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension. Anxiety can make it difficult to start tasks because a person may feel overwhelmed, uncertain, or unable to focus. They may also have negative thoughts or beliefs about their ability to complete the task, which can further undermine their motivation.
While both procrastination and anxiety can lead to difficulty starting tasks, they have different underlying causes and may require different strategies to address. Now let’s dig into some strategies to overcome procrastination!
Who Does Procrastination Affect?
Procrastination can affect anyone who struggles with delaying tasks or putting off important responsibilities. It can have negative impacts on an individual’s personal and professional life, as well as their mental and physical well-being.
It can also have a significant impact on academic performance, as students may delay studying for exams, writing papers, or completing assignments until the last minute. This can lead to poor grades, stress, and anxiety. There can also be an impact on productivity and job performance, as employees may put off important tasks or miss deadlines. This can lead to decreased job satisfaction, negative performance reviews, and even job loss.
Procrastination can delay the launch of a new business or product, leading to missed opportunities and revenue. It can also impact the growth and success of a business over time. It can also be a symptom of depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions. It can exacerbate symptoms and lead to increased stress and negative self-talk. Procrastination can impact personal relationships if an individual puts off important conversations or actions, leading to tension or unresolved issues.
I constantly tell myself that I work better under deadlines that carry weight (we repercussions for not meeting them) but I know that is not only unhealthy it also puts stress in my life that I can fully remove if I choose to. So when you think about it, procrastination can and does affect anyone and everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances.
8 Strategies to Overcome Procrastination
- Break tasks down into smaller steps – Big tasks can feel overwhelming and lead to procrastination. To make tasks more manageable, break them down into smaller, achievable steps. This can help you feel more in control and less intimidated by the task at hand.
- Set specific goals – Instead of setting broad goals like “finish project,” set specific, measurable goals such as “complete research for project by Wednesday.” Having SMART goals in place can help keep you accountable and give you a sense of direction.
- Use a timer – Set a timer for a designated amount of time, such as 25 minutes, and work on a task for that time period. This can help you stay focused and avoid distractions, and can also make a task feel more manageable.
- Prioritize tasks – Determine which tasks are most important and prioritize them accordingly. This can help prevent procrastination by focusing on the most crucial tasks first.
- Eliminate distractions – Distractions like social media, TV, or email can make it difficult to focus on tasks. Try to eliminate distractions by turning off notifications or finding a quiet work space.
- Reward yourself – Give yourself a reward for completing a task, such as a break to go for a walk or a treat. This can help motivate you to get tasks done and make the process more enjoyable.
- Practice self-compassion – Be kind to yourself and avoid negative self-talk. Procrastination can be a habit that is difficult to break, but beating yourself up will only make it worse. Practice self-compassion and remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes.
- Get an accountability partner – Find someone who can hold you accountable for completing tasks, whether it’s a friend, family member, or coworker. Share your goals with them and check in regularly to discuss your progress. Having someone else involved can help keep you motivated and focused.
Helping Others Overcome Procrastination
Sometimes helping others can open up paths for ourselves in combating our own struggles. And while helping friends or co-workers overcome procrastination can be challenging, it can be an effective tool in unlocking your own progress in reducing your own delay tactics. Look for the opportunities to be of assistance in the examples below and see how you can see yourself in the solutions you provide.
- When a friend or co-worker talks to you about their struggles with procrastination, listen to them without judgment or criticism. Let them know that you understand how difficult it can be to overcome procrastination, and that you’re there to support them.
- Encourage your friend or co-worker to set specific, measurable goals for themselves. Help them break down larger tasks into smaller, achievable steps and celebrate their progress along the way.
- Offer to check in with your friend or co-worker on a regular basis to see how they’re progressing on their goals. This can help keep them accountable and motivated.
- Share your own struggles with procrastination and how you were able to overcome them. This can help your friend or co-worker feel less alone in their struggles and give them hope that they can overcome procrastination too.
- Recommend helpful resources, such as books, articles, or online courses, that can help your friend or co-worker learn more about overcoming procrastination and developing better habits. Or even suggest they read a BLOG POST 😉 about it!
- When your friend or co-worker makes progress toward overcoming procrastination, celebrate their successes with them. This can help them feel motivated and encouraged to continue making positive changes.
Remember, helping someone overcome procrastination requires patience, understanding, and support. By being a positive influence and offering helpful strategies, you can help your friend or co-worker break the cycle of procrastination and achieve their goals.
Moving Forward So You Can Overcome Procrastination
Procrastination can be a major obstacle to achieving your goals and living the life you want. It can lead to missed opportunities, poor performance, and increased stress and anxiety. However, by taking steps to overcome procrastination, you can regain control of your life and achieve your full potential. We all want that and together we can work towards achieving it.
One of the main benefits of overcoming procrastination is increased productivity. When you’re not constantly putting off important tasks, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on the things that matter most to you. This can lead to greater success and fulfillment in all areas of your life, from work to personal relationships to hobbies and interests.
In addition, overcoming procrastination can lead to increased self-confidence and a greater sense of accomplishment. By setting goals and achieving them, you’ll prove to yourself that you’re capable of great things and can accomplish anything you set your mind to. This can help boost your self-esteem and lead to a more positive outlook on life overall.
So don’t let procrastination hold you back – take steps today to overcome it and achieve your full potential.