5 Easy Tips To Stop Procrastinating
So you’re trying really hard to stop procrastinating with your work but are finding it really hard to find the motivation? You are not alone in feeling this way. I am the KING of procrastination. This is a very important topic and because its so important I will talk about it my 5 easy tips to stop procrastinating in a future blog post a couple weeks from now… Just kidding.
The neat thing about New Years resolutions in January is that resolutions and procrastination go hand in hand. You can literally procrastinate all year by saying “It’s OK, at New Years I’ll just make a resolution”, then when January comes you make the resolution and promptly procrastinate in actually doing it. In the past here is how I have procrastinated my resolution, “Yay, I’m going to eat healthy and get in shape! Oh hey babe…there’s still some chips and dip left…hmm. I can have this now and I’l start dieting tomorrow. I know I shouldn’t but (nom nom nom nom, yummm chips)” I suck, I did that every year and somehow kept thinking it would work. It’s so hopeless, but what am I doing wrong?
I’m doing it alone. I’m living in a fantasy world thinking only of my end goal (diet or don’t diet) and then filling myself with guilt. This is not exactly an awaken the inner fitness beast moment. What if we turned all of that around? Lets find support from other people, focus on reality, measure progress and drop the guilt.
Marshall Goldsmith, one of the worlds top executive coaches and behavior change has a great technique that you can use to both overcome procrastination and keep your New Years resolutions.
- First, you need a friend. Any friend will do, if you don’t have one then find one, that’s what social networking is all about! Choose someone you can trust and someone you can talk with daily.
- Next, each of you choose a bunch of goals you want to reach. These goals can be work related goals such as “fill out my expense report on time”, personal goals such as “lose twenty pounds”, or organizational goals such as “file all my bills”. Choose anywhere from one to twenty goals.
- For each goal figure out a way to measure whether your actually doing the work it takes to meet that goal. For expense reports, the measure might be how many expense reports did you fill out on a given day. For losing weight the measure might be how many snacks did you have during the day. A measurement has to be a numeric measure or a yes/no question like “Did you file at least one bill today?”. Make sure that your measuring the actions you need to take to reach the goal and not the goal itself. So for loosing weight don’t use a measure like “How much do I weigh?” , instead use a measure like “How many snacks did I have? How many calories did I consume? How many times did I exercise ?” to track your goal.
- Now set up a daily meeting with your friend (no longer than 5 minutes). Have your friend ask you for each of your measures, answer honestly and then switch and you ask your friend for their measures. All you do is ask for the measure with a supportive attitude, there should be no criticism or judgement, only support and encouragement. The goal of this is to make each of you accountable to someone else. If you find it helps, you can also write down your answers and track your progress.
- A sample session might go like this:
- Me: “My goals are to complete this blog post on 5 Easy Tips To Stop Procrastinating, learn to be more grateful and stop complaining”.
- Friend: “How much time did you spend working on your blog post today?”.
- Me: “Forty five minutes”.
- Friend: “How many times today did you feel gratitude for something going well in your life?”.
- Me: “Four”.
- Friend: “How many times did you complain to yourself or other people today?”.
- Me: “Twenty”.
- A sample session might go like this:
The above exercise really forces you to track your progress. You’ll find out where your sticking to your goals and where your efforts are falling off. You can always ask your friend for help, but that’s optional. Your smart and giving the right measurements your brain will automatically help you to change. What makes this work is having accountability from someone who also offers unconditional positive support consistently. You should do this daily if you really want the benefit.
Since it’s New Years, start with your new years resolutions list (if you’ve already burned it out of disgust then rewrite it!). For each New Years resolution, choose your measurements and grab your friend and start reaching your goals. Make your meeting short, make them simple and steady and you’ll be successful.
In summary, the 5 Easy Tips to Stop Procrastinating are:
- Find a supportive friend.
- Write a lit of a bunch of goals you want to reach.
- Create specific measurable ways to track those goals
- Setup a brief 5 minute daily meeting with your friend to discuss your progress.
- Stop procrastinating and do steps 1-4 now!