7 different ways to beat procrastination [examples]
Vision without action is like a bad dream while action without vision – a nightmare. But when vision and action are put together you get a force that can change your world.
We all know that without rolling up our sleeves nothing will get ever done.
Still, putting off this moment is such a challenge for most (including us). It could very well be the case when planning to start a new diet next Monday instead of today. Or perhaps when you make a promise to yourself to get a gym membership next month rather this week? It’s always a slippery slope type of behavior which is simply an attempt to avoid taking the real step forward.
It’s in our human nature to fall for this. Thankfully, there are quite a few tactics to turn things around. We’ve compiled for today a total of 7.
# 1: To realize it and then to admit it to yourself
Becoming aware of the issue is the very first thing you need to do.
We all have heard the grand plans people have. These might be a personal development project or a new business venture which they talk about and discuss with great excitement. And yet, all of this is just talk and no work has been or will be done.
Another case is when we spend too much time in the preliminary research, brainstorming, talking to experts, and whatnot. This may look as if we are trying to get well prepared while its true name is “analysis paralysis”.
We aren’t immune against it either
Niki has long resisted a tighter control over his finances. But then, years ago, he finally had to admit that things needed to change if he was to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. After all, his income was of pretty good size compared to the average for the country. At the time, he felt quite reluctant to limit somehow his spending because he thought that would lead to a change in his lifestyle.
It took him a while to change this mindset and do something about the issue.
First, he took courses to increase his financial literacy, read books and talked to some professionals in the field of personal finances.
How to find out if you are procrastinating
Results come out only from actions. At some point, you have to stop getting ready and dive in.
Don’t get us wrong, though. We are not saying that good preparation isn’t important. But it shouldn’t take too long. In our “GoalBuddy” system, we set up 90-day research goals for this purpose, especially for areas that are new to us and we have no clue how to approach.
It’s not hard at all to test if we are postponing. If you haven’t wrapped up your “getting ready” step in 3 months then it is simply an excuse.
And that brings us to the second approach.
# 2 To start small
This is as effective as straightforward.
It is best if you divide the big job into smaller and easier to complete intermediate objectives. And then you start taking care of these one by one.
But keep in mind: you don’t have to know in advance all the stages of a five-year plan. Just make the first small one. When it is a well-chosen, i.e. as a domino step, it will cascade into a whole series of many more.
For years, he has been using “Getting Things Done” software. It’s not a bad app but it is no longer supported and if it crashes Niki can’t get to the list of his tasks for the day. So, he decided to choose a new app.
But would he have the time to do the research and read all the reviews?
He decided to do something as easy and as quick as possible. He decided to just download a couple of apps without getting into their functionality. Of course, this first minimal effort was followed by clicking on the “quick start” and he ended up going through all of the functionality.
He knows from experience how much hassle a home renovation could be. The mere thought of it would give him a headache. So, he kicked it off with the simplest thing – he just called a contractor and made an appointment.
Things start rolling whenever you unlock the energy of the very first action of yours.
# 3 To tell the people around about your plan
In our book, we wrote about the importance of the social element and why it plays such a central role.
We would suggest the following. You openly declare in front of everybody (close friends and family, and why not on social media too) all that you want to do and how you are making it happen.
For many, including us, this is something uncomfortable but it could do miracles for you.
Sharing what you aim to achieve is a type of commitment that creates a potent momentum.
# 4 To find a Buddy
This is what we would call the “Mother of all Advice”.
It can’t be stress enough how important is to have a Goal Buddy next to you to share and discuss progress every single week.
You can still be a “slacker” even if you have one… but that would last only for a week.
This person will push you to find what happened, what was bothering you, and how to change it to reverse the downtrend.
If you still don’t have one, you can always look for someone just for a specific “topic”.
Examples for a “topical” Goal Buddy
Let’s say you are about to try out a healthier diet. Then you should find out who else might have the same objective. There are two traps to avoid here:
- Be careful not to get in a situation when you both drag each other down. That is, you both re-enforce your limiting beliefs, i.e. it’s a matter of metabolism and no amount of exercise would help.
- Try to stay away from giving unsolicited advice. One thing (let’s say fasting) may work great for you but won’t be good for somebody else.
At best, employing the “topical” approach will convince you in the effectiveness of sharing your progress with another person. Later and under different circumstances, you will begin expanding the scope until you begin employing this tactic in any given aspect of your life.
# 5 To find a community of likely minded people
The environment greatly influences and shapes our worldview. If we surround ourselves with people who are excited about the same ideas and have similar aspirations, achieving our aims becomes a breeze.
There are such groups for pretty much anything you may think of. Smaller or bigger, formal, and informal, such an environment allows us to always stay well informed, focused, and on top of things.
It’s a Viber group called “Running Buddies” that we set up during the Covid-19 lockdown. There are only four of us but because of it, we get regularly motivated to get outside for a jog in the park. We publish photos from our running trails, share daily times, miles covered, etc.
All this is as nearly inspiring as real group exercise when everyone tries not to fall behind.
# 6 To make it inevitable
If you are anything like us, aka someone responsible, then this could turn out to be great for you.
The intent here is to be forced into taking acting by making sure there is no going back, or so to speak “to burn all the bridges” by raising the stakes.
The Aula example
Before launching a new course in Aula.bg, Ivan tends to overdo the preparatory part. All the available info must be reviewed, no small details should be overlooked… All in all, he strives to give his maximum.
Eventually, he realized that without a deadline the whole process may take months. So, he decided to do something that will make the work on the course inevitable – he announces the start date. And then people begin signing up. That forces him to give an end to his preparation and thus meet this self-imposed deadline.
The example of physical exercise
If you feel like that you are still looking for excuses, you can do like Ivan. He calls a personal trainer and books him for 3 hours a week.
In doing so, you’ve made a specific commitment.
And then, it’s very much like a contract you gave your word to honor. You have no choice but to be at the gym ready to follow through.
# 7 To try out the “GoalBuddy” system
Do you want to stop being a slacker right now, today? Then sign up for the free email program on our site. For 7 consecutive days, you will receive one email, with the assistance of which you can push things forward for something you wanted to do for a long time.
We can guarantee that you will see results as soon as you start using our system.
Tell us how you are dealing with the problem
And how do you manage to successfully spring to action? How do you overcome the tendency to put things for later? Tell us in a comments section below and let’s support each other in killing this bad habit once and for all.