HOW TO STOP PROCRASTINATING AND FINISH ANYTHING YOU'VE BEEN PUTTING OFF
It’s hard to stop procrastinating, isn’t it? Well, it’s easy to understand why.
We all have so much on our plates already that it’s hard to find time or energy to do anything extra on top.
Putting things off might feel like a normal thing to you. Maybe you come up with so many amazing ideas that get you so excited, but their size or the amount of work involved pushes you away. That list of unfinished projects keeps growing with age meaning that low confidence starts to creep into your life.
But don’t worry, friend. This isn’t meant to be sad. There is a way (or two) that you can stop procrastinating and crush your unfinished projects with ease.
Now, just a side note - none of these tips will change the fact that you have to work for what you want. But it’ll make it easy to keep things going rather than abandoning them again and again. Read on for your tips to success.
P.S. Don’t forget to download this free checklist of 30 tools for bloggers to help you stop procrastinating and be more productive!
#1 | ADMIT YOU’VE BEEN NEGLECTING IT AND FORGIVE YOURSELF
If you’ve been hiding from the fact that you still haven’t finished that project, the first step is to admit it. Don’t shy away. Accept it and try to find some compassion for yourself.
It’s not like you abandoned your goal because you want to be drowning in your own guilt. The reason you put it off was probably because SOMETHING was off. Maybe you didn’t have time. Maybe you didn’t think you had the budget. Or maybe you haven’t been feeling well.
Whatever it is, it’s okay. Stop punishing yourself with bad thoughts or criticism.
#2 | FIND A REASON TO DO IT
If you can’t find an important reason WHY you want to finish what you’ve been putting off, well, you probably won’t. So you need to stop procrastinating and make a list of all the reasons why finishing this project would be great.
If you can’t find any plausible reason to do something boring or unpleasant, do it for the sake of comfort. It can be hard to relax and live a happy life when something is constantly buzzing in the back of your mind.
#3 | START WITH A PLAN
Having a plan is the best way to start doing something that needs a lot of time, work or effort. We all know it. But how do we actually make time to plan?
Creating a plan means you can take all the information out of your head so you can systemise and organise your action steps. Any project of any size can be done faster and more effectively when you’ve got a good plan.
So how do you create a plan that’s not complicated, yet informative enough to help you start a project and keep going? Here are the steps you need to take:
OVERVIEW YOUR PROJECT
Try to break your project down into a summary of what you need to do:
What is this project about?
Main milestones and tasks?
Do you need any resources to make it easier?
When is your deadline?
Spending some time to think through a project means you can eliminate unnecessary mistakes and you’ll stop procrastinating too.
BREAK DOWN THE TASKS
When you look at the end goal of your project, it may seem hard, intimidating or even scary. But it’s not so big when it’s crushed into little pieces.
Break all your big tasks down into smaller steps until they’re much more manageable for you. Let’s say you want to start a podcast. That’s a huge task in itself! So break it down. Does “recording an episode” still sound big? Break it down even further, narrow down as much as you need until it feels easy.
SET A BUDGET
This may not apply to you depending on what your project is. But if it does then decide how much you’re going to spend on the project and stay within that budget. Only add more if you really need to.
This one is super important, especially when it comes to helping you to stop procrastinating. Get every last thing checked off your to-do list when you finish it. Even if you decide not to write a plan (which I highly recommend that you do), I’d still list things you’ve done on a scrap of paper to help you keep track.
Sometimes people tend to underestimate their own work. But in reality, even the smallest thing (like getting out of bed in the morning), is already something to be proud of.
I set myself deadlines for everything to help hold me accountable. Deadlines are needed to keep you on track. You can always extend it if you feel like this deadline is making you neglect yourself or you’ve been putting off your self-care. Because if you burn out, none of your projects will matter anyway.
BRAINSTORM AND MAKE NOTES
I find it’s really useful to brainstorm extra ideas while I’m in the process of working on a project. You might find it helps you make the process faster, easier and even saves your precious time.
Take notes about everything and keep them with your plan. You’ll come across new pieces of information all the time so it’s best to write them down. Let your mind rest - anything written down is a weight off your thoughts.
#4 | ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT
Sometimes we take on too much, even though there is absolutely no reason to do everything alone. Too much work on one person is a straight road to burnout. So if you do find yourself getting tired or behind with your deadlines, look for a helping hand.
If there is no one around that you can ask to help you, you can always find help online. Whether it’s a supportive community of online friends with similar goals to you or a coach to help you find direction on your journey.
Save your time and energy, stop procrastinating and delegate. This is a decision you won’t regret.
#5 | ENJOY GRATIFICATION
This one is the most important on the list. And since you’ve already decided to do this thing, try your best to enjoy it. The best way you can do this is to celebrate every single small thing you’ve done on this project.
Of course, you can stay angry about the fact that you’ve got so much work to do. But constant negative self-talk will only slow down your progress.
If you find it hard to beat negative feelings or have a tendency to overthink things, I recommend journaling activities to help you feel better. If your mental health is better, you have the energy to do anything.
#6 | KEEP GOING
It’s possible that you’ll encounter some setbacks, especially if your goal is big and long-term. Just remember that nobody is perfect and many people have quit their dreams and projects even before the first step.
Is there anything you’ve been putting off for too long? What do you do to stop procrastinating and finish projects faster? Share in the comments below!