- Do the smallest amount possible to start the task, it’s the starting that’s the problem, once you get started you should find yourself on a role.
- Work out what it is you’re afraid of, do you think it’s a waste of your time, the work won’t be good enough, you won’t be happy with the result – then make peace with that, aim for progress, not perfection
- Look at the task in terms of smaller chunks, this helps with the overwhelm. You don’t need to plan everything out at once, just the next few steps. Take baby steps, focus on moving forward, not the speed that you’re progressing.
- Plan treats. For example, If I write 500 words I can go and throw some paint on some paper for half hour. I can read a chapter in my book, I can knit 10 more rows of my project. I can watch the latest youtube video from (insert your favourite you tuber here)
- Can I get someone else to do it for me? Handing over jobs that you don’t want to do to someone else isn’t lazy, it’s a good use of your time. Is it worth the stress and anxiety doing it yourself or would you be happier if you could pay someone else to do it? Sure you’ve got the skills to do it, but do you have the desire?
- Write a list of things that will happen if it’s not done
- Watch the TEDx talk by Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator and understand how your brain works and set yourself a deadline.
- Take notice of your frame of mind or mood and deal with that first, feeling down or depressed has an effect on our brains motivational centre. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything and you’re going to procrastinate forever, it just means that you need to deal with the feelings first. My favourite way to do this is to write in locked notepad. This way I can write uncensored without worrying about other people’s judgements and whether I’m hurting anyone’s feelings.
- Give yourself the treat first and wake up the pleasure centres in your brain to help motivate you to action. For example, sit down with a hot drink and watch half of your favourite tv programme. Once you’ve finished your task, you can watch the remaining half.
- Get accountable, find someone who will kick your arse for not getting your stuff done. I’ve personally found this a bit tricky, you need someone who will be brutally honest with you, call you out for not acting on your intentions and still be supportive when you need it.
- Understand the way your brain works better, a great book is the chimp paradox, the child-like illustrations (reminds me of something my husband would draw) should give you a giggle.
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