How do you finally beat procrastination?
Can you really, even stop procrastinating entirely?
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To beat procrastination I need my panic monster.
Have you heard of “the panic monster”?
You know the panic monster – who comes alive whenever we, procrastinators go very near to the end of our deadlines.
We plan a project to do little by little throughout a week or some days, then we procrastinate and we sit down at the eleventh hour and work furiously to finish in any way we can.
We are completely focused then, nobody can stop us from finishing that chapter or blog post or assignment.
It is just you and your panic monster.
we feel immense guilt and we curse ourselves in our mind.
Mind speaking: “you always do this. Why I did not start sooner. It should have been easy if I had done it in time. Oh! God why this happens to me all the time”
And let me tell you this – God has nothing to do with the situation here. It is I, we, and us who do this to ourselves. I procrastinate almost everything.
I know you’re wondering, so how do you beat procrastination?
How to Beat Procrastination According to the Experts
One day I was binge-watching TED talk videos.
Out of all things procrastinators do, I like to watch one or two or seven TED talk videos. There I met Tim Urban – Brilliant Guy who gave a presentation about procrastination.
As he described how procrastination mechanism worked, I was stunned.
I told myself, “Oh my god, that guy is right. I am literally procrastinating my whole life away.”
He also explained how our procrastination stays contained when there is a deadline to wake our panic monster.
But where there is no deadline for writing a blog post to publish, building our own business online, meeting with parents this holiday or taking care of our health, our habit of procrastination will cause more damage than we think.
Quoting from Tim Urban’s blog, on why procrastinators procrastinate, “avoid procrastination” is only good advice for fake procrastinator.”
We cannot just simply just avoid being procrastinator and procrastination is not a very bad thing. Well, sometimes.
As one other TED talk I saw, where Adam Grant held the talk.
There he explained- how there was a sweet spot between pre-crastinators (who does everything before time) and procrastinators (who waits for the deadline).
And in the sweet spot, the “original thinkers” lived. The original thinkers like Leonardo de Vinci, Martin Luther King Jr. (mentioned in the TED talk)
So I am trying to say that if you are a procrastinator do not curse yourself for being like that.
You can manage it and work around it to achieve whatever you want to achieve.
Now I will share how to beat procrastination in 4 steps to help you work around the habit of procrastination to actually get things done.
I am not an expert like Tim Urban or Adam Grant, but these 4 tips have worked for me.
#1. Never Write Your To-Do List on Your Phone
You are a procrastinator, so it is true that you will not do everything on the to-do list.
So why should you bother making a list? If you want to make a list – Do not write them in your laptop or put it in your smartphone apps. If you are a procrastinator you will surely forget to open those things to see what needs to be done that day.
Instead, write them on a paper and post it up.
It does not have to pretty like Pinterest.
Hang it someplace that you will definitely see them. Like in your bedroom, bathroom, on doors or in the front wall of your reading desk. Wall calendar works best for me.
👉🏽RELATED POST: How to Crush Your To-Do List
To beat procrastination from winning and taking your success way from you this will be your first step.
So go back to the old times and use paper and pen (if you know where they are – another sarcasm).
#2. Focus on Mini Goals
If thinking about the future makes your brain hurt, then don’t. Beat procrastination by setting only one goal at a time.
Have a one-goal like, “I am going to write a guest blog post for It’s All You Boo.” Then walk backward and see what you can do today to go slightly closer to your goal.
Make a goal for one week then break it up into bite-size goals.
Instead of writing “finish blog post today” on your to-do list, write mini-goals like, “research the title” in the morning and schedule “find three main keywords for the post” in the evening. Do not stress yourself out!
Because the more you stress yourself, the more your procrastination psychology will hit you back and turn your attention to YOUTUBE (more sarcasm for you, I’m clearly on fire today).
So what I am saying is that, if you tend to lose focus very often then work around it.
To beat procrastination make a list of “detailed bite-size chores or works” that needs to be done.
But remember one more thing if you do not have a goal in life as a whole then you will be missing a lot of things in life.
Make one big goal and then break it up into tiny pieces.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 6 Simple Secrets to Setting Achievable Goals
#3. Get a Productivity Buddy
Do you ever set big goals that you really want to achieve, but you’re afraid that your procrastination will get in your way?
You can beat procrastination by getting a productivity buddy aka involve your partner, friend or parent if you have to. Anyone who will help you! Even better if you live together so they can call you out when you’re being lazy or slacking. “Hey mom, I really need you to help me get this done.”
Yes, that’s right, you don’t have to do it on your own. A productivity buddy can help you beat your procrastination.
Let’s say you have a difficult project due and you’re worried you can’t actually get it done in time, tell your productivity buddy. It might be hard to open up and admit you need help to beat your procrastination but tell them anyway.
“Hey Productivity Buddy, I have a big project due this Tuesday.”
Just by telling them, you just wrote it in stone – you’ve set your deadline for yourself. Other than the fact that they will never forget to remind you of your deadline if they catch you being lazy or NOT being productive. It will be hard for you to forget about it.
So to avoid those unacceptable moments with your productivity buddy reminding you to stop procrastinating, you will start working on it.
So moral of the story is that you need a partner in just about any big thing you are worried and passionate about. Involve the people who are around you in setting your goal. Not only do they want to know about your goals, but they want to help.
With them by your side, you will be much likely to achieve your goal and beat procrastination.
#4. Create Your Own Panic Monster
You heard me right, create your own panic monster so that you can beat procrastination.
Let me explain, how it works.
I started a new blog and I need to gain experience guest posting so that I can pitch to big niche authoritative blogs to accept me to write for them. So when I saw some opportunities in a Facebook Blogger Group, I quickly replied to them saying, “I will mail you my post ideas in an hour.”
Notice that I mentioned a time. I did not do this for the blog owner, but I did this for myself.
So that in my mind I created my own panic monster. Sure, nothing would happen to me if I had not emailed the blog’s owner. But, one other thing I do not like is breaking a promise.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Be More Productive and Stop Being Lazy
So, I quickly emailed my ideas to the owner without procrastinating binge watching Youtube or the latest episode of Supernatural.
Another funny thing to note. I emailed Nadalie aka the fantastic owner of this blog saying that I will submit my post in three days. But I submitted the post on the 4th day.
Now, hey before starting to judging me, I want to explain. I had a good reason. One of my cats was sick and I had to take care of her. It is true, that these things happen.
How You Can Actually Beat Procrastination
You might not succeed all the time but at the end of the day you will see, you have done some work and are making progress to tame your procrastination.
And with lots of practice and good intentions, you will not need to involve your productivity buddy anymore. “Sorry mom, I can do this on my own now!”
If you remember anything, please DO NOT ever curse yourself for being a procrastinator.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Take Action When You Can’t Get Started
But embrace it, as science proves, procrastinators are likely to be more creative than the people who do everything by the book. You are your person.
The Printable Slay Your Goals Guide
In ten steps learn how to actually achieve your goals, including staying focused to beat procrastination. Learn how to set mini goals, crush your to-dos, get motivated and more.
Make your person work hard and also have a little fun on the side.
You need to start to move things around because if you keep falling in the trap of procrastination, you will be more likely to become a poor decision maker and a person who thinks less of his or herself.
You do not have to work 24/7 to make good things happen to you. You just need one focus and some daily mini goals to achieve them.
Do not make promises you cannot keep. And fulfill those promises you have promised.
If you want to take something from this post, take this, I wanted to overcome my habit of procrastination, that is why I am taking steps to walk past this.
You can too. Not right away but you will soon.