How to Stop Procrastinating – 10 Things You can do Today

It is very easy to postpone doing tasks. A large task is often daunting and we want to put it off till later. We also know that those tasks are very important to us so they become a constant cause of stress. They are the tasks that are most likely to bring success into our lives and are therefore very important for us to complete.

These 10 tips will help you make it easier to avoid procrastination.

1. Prepare thoroughly
It is always easier to begin when you know what to do first and when you know that you have everything you will need in order to do the task. It is also pretty easy to gather all the material so start there.

2. Plan every day in advance
If you spend time planning your day knowing what order you will do everything in it is easier to keep yourself accountable. It isn’t okay to skip a task because it is hard, it is the next thing on your list, it has to be done before you do the next task.

Read about using the ABCDE-Method to plan you days.

3. The 80/20 rule
20 percent of all the activities you do will contribute 80 percent of your results.
If you have a list of 10 items, 2 of those items will be more important than the other 8 put together.
Try to focus as much time as possible on those 20 percent so that you can get the most out of your time.

4. Consider the consequences
This is an extension of the 80/20 rule;
The better you are at predicting the consequences of your actions, the better you will be at deciding what actions you need to do and which will make a smaller difference for your future.

5. Take it one step at a time
Don’t bite off more than you can chew, you do not have to solve the entire problem now, take it one step at a time, one part at a time. Just decide to work on this little part before moving on to the next.

6. Indentify key constraints
Every goal will have a bottle neck, something that needs to be moved out of the way before you can really pick up speed.
By excelling at identifying these constraints and dealing with them accordingly you will increase the pace which you move towards your goals by a lot.

7. Put the pressure on yourself
Deadlines has proven power to increase efficiency, we work harder when we have a time constraint.
Put that constraint on yourself.

8. Maximize your personal powers
What he means is basically to take care of yourself, make sure to get enough sleep, rest, to spend enough time with your family and so on. Because if you do not you will start producing worse and worse results.

9. Motivate yourself into action
Be your own cheerleader, keep cheering yourself on and motivate yourself to produce great results.

10. Slice and dice tasks
This is an interesting tool, break up larger tasks into small pieces and just take one piece at a time or just vow to work 15 minutes on the task at hand.

You can read my post about the 15 minute method.

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Related posts:

  1. How to Stop Procrastinating – The 15 Minute Method
  2. Stop Procrastinating by Challenging Perfectionism
  3. Your To-do List Needs to be Shortened
  4. How to Become Efficient by Using the 80/20 Rule
  5. My Favorite Time Management Tip – Organizing by the Day
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4 Responses to How to Stop Procrastinating – 10 Things You can do Today

  1. Awesome post Daniel. I always give myself deadlines, and it has yet to fail me … and when it does, I have no one to blame but myself.

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Vitaly,

      Deadlines really are great. It makes it easier to focus when you have something to aim for, doesn’t it?

  2. A very good post Daniel. I just love the 80/20 rule. I find that my greatest procrastination challenge is getting started (first step) on new projects that really venture into the unknown. I now understand that it’s really important to just “pull the trigger” and take a step. Practically any step is better than being paralyzed by inaction. Adjustments can always be made in the future.
    Riley

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Riley,

      That is a very good point. Once you get going it is almost easier to continue then it is to stop.

      Have you tried the 15 minute method for starting?

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