5 Ways to Stop “Starting” and Just “Start”

November 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Productivity, Professional N*Powerment

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We all do it. We put off our starting our exercise routine, organizing our closet, eating a healthier diet or fixing the zipper on our favorite pair of jeans; we continually delay finishing that project or starting something new with the phrase, “I’ll start tomorrow.” Yet, in the back of our minds, we know that if we put it off it won’t get done because it’s never tomorrow, it’s always today…. or never.

Procrastination is the thief that can literally stop us in our tracks and keep us from achieving our goals and we can do well to learn how to deal with it a bit better.

Here are 5 tips for dealing with this time waster:

 1.    Do it now

Hold your breath and jump right in! Putting things off until the last minute is a bad habit and like all habits is  hard to break. It feels like the normal thing to do and we simply continue along our path. To complete a task immediately may even feel strange or like a forced action.

Instead of wasting time or giving yourself the chance to think about all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it now, just “do it now.” Oftentimes, we start making excuses when we allow other thoughts or activities distract us. To avoid that from happening, get started on your task immediately! If there is something you can do towards your goal in under 5 minutes, do just that small amount. You’ll be 5 minutes closer to achieving your goal.

2.    Take baby steps

Sometimes we procrastinate because the task may be intimidating to us. Perhaps we have no possible idea where to start. In these cases, it is quite fine to take it one step at a time.

Say you’re  writing a paper and for the 5th time this week, you’ve turn on your laptop and looked at the blank screen. Or you’ve just remembered you need to do some more research before you begin…you’re still not ready.

The thing is… You ARE ready.

You simply need to break down the project into smaller pieces and tackle each part separately. Make each task an individual project and after completion of each one, celebrate and acknowledge your achievement. Soon you’ll be finished and have no idea why you were putting it off in the first place! Remember, a little bit a day, goes a long way.

3.    Envision the completed project

Once you are aware that you are in fact procrastinating, creating a vision of you achieving your goal is extremely helpful. When you create a vision you write in the present tense…as if you have already achieved your goal or if you are in the process of completing it. You can experience the satisfaction of fulfillment before actually finishing the project. This may encourage you to get going or to keep going.

In creating a vision and focusing on it daily, the universal laws state that things, people, processes will begin to occur in your life that will allow you to attract that vision.

 4.    Forget it

Why force the issue? If you have been ‘dragging your feet’ on something for a very long time, it may all be for the best. Something, somewhere is trying to tell you something. That something is your intuition and it is usually right! Think about something that you have been putting off again and again and again. What are the reasons that you need to complete this task in the first place? Does someone want you to do this? What is THEIR agenda? What are YOUR reasons for this lengthy delay?

I find it amazing that 99% of the time I put off doing something, I am thankful that I did because it turns out to be something that I didn’t really want to do in the first place. That or it was something that someone else wanted me to do or something I thought I “should” do. I’ve realized that I usually don’t put off (for too long) doing things that I really want to do or even simply have to do.

 5.    Assemble your cabinet

Do you put off tasks because you feel that they are too big and complex for you to handle alone? Or because you need assistance? Be honest with yourself. Ask for help! There are many resources out there that can provide you with all you need to carry out your job.

Gather a group of friends or join a mastermind group for support. You don’t have to do it all by yourself.

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These are 5 simple ways to help get our butts in gear to stop “starting” and actually just “start” working on our goals. What are some of your tried and true tips for dealing with procrastination? Share them in the comment box below.

Comments

One Response to “5 Ways to Stop “Starting” and Just “Start””
  1. Shirley says:

    I told my students this yesterday. “Never put off for tomorrow that which you can do today.