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Procrastination is one of the major obstacles to success because it not only often puts us under a great deal of stress, it messes with our work-life balance. Thus, also affecting the quality of work we produce. Likewise, it can even mean we never achieve our greatest potential because we are constantly playing “catch up” instead of getting ahead.

If you are one who procrastinates, you know how it is to feel that deadline looming and know you are behind. It can cause you, your co-workers and bosses – even your loved ones – a lot of unhealthy worry and grief. Also important to note, procrastination can prevent you from taking action on ideas, strategies, and plans that could result in great success, “If only…”.

However, the good news is that it’s not really all that hard to stop procrastinating if you put your mind to it. You just need the right strategies to get rid of this obstacle to success.

Here are some helpful tips to stop procrastinating now and start kicking butt and taking names. {H4}

Use To-Do-Lists

Whether you choose to create and manage your to-do-lists using technology, or with pen to paper, this should be your first step to ending procrastination. For a while, you should do the next day’s to-do-list the night before. Include EVERYTHING you know you need to do.

Tackle the stuff that normally makes you procrastinate, first…

The actual list is the easy part. Next, you must go back and add prioritize each item. Put those items you would normally procrastinate on, at the top of the list. Also, be specific on the time it will take you to do each item and WHEN you will do it.

When you first start using to-do-lists, be very strict with yourself. For example, if you generally procrastinate on a daily report, make yourself do it before the other items on your list. Furthermore, check items off as you finish them. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and keeps you on task.

Break down the big tasks

If you have items on your to-do-list that are larger or more time consuming, break them down into smaller pieces on your daily lists. To get there, create a separate list for the overall project. Next, on this separate list, outline all the steps or tasks that need to be done. Then, add those as appropriate to your daily lists.

To learn to stop procrastinating, begin by starting to do “bite size” tasks as they come up

If there is something that comes across your desk – or comes up in your home – that can be done in just a few minutes, don’t put it on the list. Just do it. Do it right when it comes up and don’t add it to your list. When you force yourself to do these types of tasks as they arise, your list doesn’t grow and you feel a sense of accomplishment, instead of despairing over a list that just keeps growing and growing.

Use the Pomodoro Technique

One strategy to stop procrastinating – the Pomodoro Technique – involves using short burst of activity interrupted by a short break. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Organize your work space and get rid of anything that is distracting

If you need to spend less time looking for some elusive piece of paper or file, you can get more done. Similarly, if you have the right tools and materials within reach, that saves time – increasing productivity – too. It’s as simple as that.  Furthermore, if you get distracted by Facebook, twitter, or online shopping when you are supposed to be working (and this is often a procrastination method), there are apps and web services that allow you to block these sites from yourself as you desire.

Realize everything doesn’t have to always be perfect…

Often, we procrastinate because we are scared of the enormity of the project. Or we are trying to “get everything right”. Perfectionism is actually a major hindrance to productivity and can be a huge roadblock to getting things done. Sometimes we just have to let go of perfect to move forward and then circle back around to “polish” later. Otherwise, we may find ourselves rooted in place, never getting anywhere at all.



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