Aren’t you tired of wasting time instead of being successful?
One big step you can take to boost your productivity is getting rid of procrastination. How much time did you already waste cleaning your apartment instead of doing a task? I know I wasted a lot. But my apartment looked very clean and good afterward 😉
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr
The big parts of procrastination are perfectionism and having big expectations of yourself.
It is harder to start taking action then. Because you lose yourself in details, unnecessary details. Your desk and flat don’t have to look perfect to start working.
You need to start!
This is the best way to overcome procrastination: as soon as you start you get motivated and continue working.
Procrastinating is a problem in your mind. You are not lazy!
Some things keep you from starting:
- The task looks too hard
- The task looks too big
- You don’t want to fail
- You don’t want to do the task
- You have too high expectations of the result
Those are thoughts in your mind.
Figure out what is keeping you from starting, and then change it and make it easier to start.
Remember: you are not lazy! There is something blocking your motivation to do it, and we will get into the big ones now:
The Task Looks Too Big
If the tasks look too big, break them into small tasks, as small as possible.
Break it down so small that you can get one thing done today.
If you want to get in shape for your summer body, it sounds like a big and exhausting task. Break it into smaller parts.
Start with eating one sweet less today. Or plan your meals for the next few days. Look for some small part you can do every day.
You don’t have to start running immediately after you decide to lose weight. Instead, find your sports clothes and shoes first and prepare them for the run. The next step is to put them on and go for a walk before work.
What helps me to move more is to go to a few bus stops further away instead of taking the first one. If you are taking the car, don’t use the nearest parking spot instead park a little further away and walk the rest.
What’s important is that you improve every day continuously. At some point, you will go running and burn those calories without procrastination.
It doesn’t look big anymore.
Make the Task as Fun as Possible
Greg McKeown wrote in his book “Effortless” that he got his children to help clean the dishes after dinner by making it fun:
They will play music from Disney movies, and they will do a Disney singing and dancing party. They could not be any happier at doing the dishes.
If he can make washing the dishes fun, you can make everything fun!
For example, I don’t like to cook. But sometimes I have to cook to feed myself and my boyfriend. While cooking I put in an interesting audiobook, podcast, or some dance music. Now I don’t want to stop cooking, because I want to listen more.
If you want to move more by walking, and you think it’s boring: put on your headphones and listen to your favorite songs or podcasts.
Trust me you don’t want to stop then!
“Having fun is not a diversion from a successful life; it is the pathway to it.”
— Martha Beck
The Fear of Failure
“Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.”
— Zig Ziglar
If you don’t start because you doubt yourself, then you have negative thoughts buried in your subconscious.
This negative mindset is hard to get rid of, and you are not alone. We are programmed to fear failure because we don’t want to lose, we don’t want bad grades, and we don’t want to disappoint someone,…
I learned that failure is a good thing. You learn the most from those experiences. You know now what doesn’t work or doesn’t fit you. You risked something and you will be more self-confident afterward.
Doubts are thoughts in your brain.
Do you know what helps you overcome your doubts? Start doing!
Nobody is a genius in the beginning.
Everyone makes mistakes. Even the president of the United States. He also once had his first day at the job. Everyone starts small. Everyone starts with doubts.
- Successful people did it anyway!
- Successful people failed a lot!
- Successful people learned a lot from those failures!
- Successful people grew with each mistake and every success!
You grow with every task, every success, and every failure!
Start small. Start with small risks where you cannot get much wrong. Your self-confidence will grow for more challenging tasks.
Show yourself that you will be ok if you risk something and you will improve with every challenge.
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
— Elbert Hubbard
You Have Too High Expectations
Perfectionism is killing dreams and success. Are you a perfectionist?
This can keep you from starting, improving, and becoming successful.
Everyone is gonna be bad at the beginning. We usually are not talented to figure out everything on the first day. Not even talented people are perfect from the beginning.
- They work hard to become successful.
- They work hard on improving every day.
- They are failing every day
Don’t have high expectations of learning something new and being perfect in a short period of time. You won’t and you will be disappointed.
Actually not having expectations is the best way to start anything. A new skill. A new business. A new relationship.
Don’t have any expectations. Then you won’t be disappointed and you will have fun growing and exploring.
From My Life
I’m also struggling with procrastination. Music helps me. I love dance music (even dancing). It gets me into the flow state fast. It makes everything fun.
Writing down my goals, then figuring out the next small steps helps me to find the path and know what needs to be done next. The task needs to be small enough to be done fast.
“Procrastination has been called a thief — the thief of time. I wish it were no worse than a thief. It is a murderer; and that which it kills is not time merely, but the immortal soul.”
William Nevins in “Practical Thoughts” (1835)
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