Now, this might be difficult for some people because procrastination is a way of life. It really is! If you are a chronic procrastinator, you know there is truth in that statement. You learn to live your life on the edge. You get a rush from finishing something at the last second. You can’t plan ahead to save your life.
It’s okay, there are others like you. However, have you ever thought that there could be something more out there? That there could be a version of your life where you aren’t always playing catch up? Where you are so on top of things that you have “free time?”
Well search no more. There is a life after procrastination. There is a way to be on top of things and get things done in a timely fashion. And it honestly isn’t that hard to accomplish. You just have to have a willing heart and a planner.
So buckle down for these tips on how to edge out procrastination in your life.
- Plan Ahead. Most procrastinators would say that they plan ahead. However, they either plan to procrastinate (crazy, right?) or they plan and don’t ever actually follow through with it. Planning ahead can be a huge benefit if you start to plan everything in advance. You will know how much time you have for things and you will be able to see the times when you are most free to work on stuff. Invest in a planner or a calendar so that you can start out right and make plans to help you succeed.
- Have Accountability. It is really hard to accomplish anything if you don’t have accountability. You can have the best idea in the world but if you don’t have someone supporting you to accomplish it, you probably won’t. The same goes for procrastination. You can be sure that by now all of your closest friends are aware of your chronic procrastinating. They will probably be more than happy to help you change some of your habits! However, be careful what you wish for. You might get more accountability than you really wanted!
- Start Small. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are starting something new is that they get too ambitious. Instead of trying to change everything at once, start small. Make small adjustments that can lead to bigger ones. Don’t try to tackle your biggest procrastination problem. For example, if you always procrastinate on cleaning your room, make it a goal to clean your room once a week. Once you start figuring out how to do the small things, you will naturally learn how to do the bigger things!
- Make Realistic Goals. Let’s say that you have a project due in three weeks. You decide that you are going to finish this in the next week, having two weeks left over to do whatever you want. Is this honestly realistic at all? With your current procrastinating habits, will you actually be able to finish the entire project two weeks early? If you are honest, the answer is probably not. Be sure to make realistic goals otherwise you will just fail and give up. If you have three weeks to do something, spread out your work over three weeks instead of cramming it into three days. If you make realistic goals, you will be more likely to actually accomplish them and you will continue to foster those good habits.
- To Do List. These are a great place to start. Figure out everything you need to do and write it all down. This is a very tangible way to see the things that need to get done and then you feel a sense of accomplishment when you can check them off. To do lists are great for day-to-day tasks because you don’t have to think too terribly far ahead. This is also a great way to train yourself to be thinking of the things you need to accomplish.
- Time Management. This is probably going to be one of the biggest hurdles for a chronic procrastinator. If you’re honest, you really just don’t know how to manage your time. You try to fit five days worth of work into seven hours. That is terrible time management. However, if you are able to figure out how to manage your time, you will be much closer to getting rid of your procrastination habits.
- Discipline. If anything is going to defeat a procrastinator, it is going to be discipline. In order to stop procrastinating, you are going to have to be more disciplined. When you have a deadline, stick to it. When you need to plan ahead, do it. You just have to make the choice to add more discipline into your life. Once you do this, the battle against procrastination will become much easier. Now if only discipline wasn’t so hard…
- Drive. Although drive just comes naturally to some people, you can still learn how to have drive. What are you passionate about? What is something you love to do? If you can figure this out, you will be less likely to procrastinate on those tasks because you have more of a reason to do them. If you can find a way to have more drive, procrastination will more naturally just ebb away because you will be more willing to do the tasks at hand. Try to figure out what will make you have drive and then pursue it!
- Rewards. Most people tend to work better with rewards—even if it is something really silly. This is where your friends can help you out. If you have a task to accomplish, let your friends set out a reward for you so that you will be more motivated to complete the task. Rewards are a great place to start getting rid of your procrastination habits because you are unknowingly forming new habits and getting rewarded for it!