How to Stop Procrastinating - 5 Actionable Tips
There's always tomorrow... Right?
That's what we all think when we don't accomplish something. Maybe we broke our diet, skipped doing homework, or maybe we didn't try at the gym.
Related - Ultimate Guide to Setting Fitness Goals
We tell ourselves that there's always "tomorrow." Therein lies our issue.
For a lot of us, pushing off something to the next day comes with good intentions... But they never get here.
People with fast-paced lives are common to be procrastinators. Chronic procrastinators tend to miss deadlines, have difficulty scheduling adequate time for tasks, and they have problems prioritizing.
We shouldn't look at this as a bad trait, but we need to be aware of it. It's common to buy a present for someone the day before you are going to give it to them. I mean, who doesn't wait until the last minute to do their taxes?
The thing about procrastination that I'm particularly interested in, is how much of a negative ripple effect it can have on your health.
Look, I'm learning this lesson the hard way - habitually putting off healthy tasks allow your unhealthy lifestyle to take over.
Getting healthy is more than eating salads and walking a little bit; there are clear steps you have to take every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
So if you're tired of putting off your goals until tomorrow, let's go over some ideas to help you smash procrastination for good.
How to Stop Procrastinating
#1 - Plan and Prioritize
Having an overwhelming list of things you need to accomplish is scary and really sucks to think about. I'm currently learning the lesson that if you don't prioritize things that you know need to get done, they never get done.
Sit down with your list and prioritize what you want to get done and in what order. Starting here will make the rest of this easier.
Identifying your priority tasks and placing them higher on your list gives you a clear step by step list of things you need to get done. Stick to one and do not move to another item until you can mark this task off of your list.
Becoming a morning exerciser has many benefits and starts your day off right. Those who prioritize this on their list know they need to wake up earlier to account for the workout and they do it. They don't say they will start Monday, and they make the choice to attack that goal.
Sit down and write your list out. Spend time focusing on what you want to accomplish in what order and attack it.
Don't make excuses why you can't find time to walk 15 minutes a day. Don't rationalize making a choice that does not support your goal.
#2 - Plan out Micro-Goals
If your goal is to lose 100 pounds, your first micro-goal could be to lose 10.
Creating time-bound milestones in lofty goals will lead to your success in achieving your goal. You get to celebrate wins more often and you have proof that you are quickly progressing towards your goal.
Once you start catching these wins, you are going to start anticipating and working harder to achieve more wins.
#3 - Use the 15-Minute Rule
If today just isn't your day, utilizing the 15-minute rule will help you avoid your exercise procrastination.
The goal is to promise yourself to workout for 15 minutes and if after that time you really aren't feeling it, call it a day.
#4 - Visualize Yourself Already Achieving Your Goal
Visualizing that you have already accomplished your goals makes the tasks that you need to do less stressful.
If you already feel as if you are your ideal weight, making healthy food choices and being more active will come naturally.
If you focus on your goal with intent, you will start to stop yourself from eating that donut; and it won't even taste that good.
#5 - Stop Labeling Yourself a Procrastinator
I'm a firm believer in you attract what you think. Calling yourself a procrastinator solidifies that character trait into your habits.
Changing how you think about yourself will start giving you the motivation and inspiration to achieve your goals.
Instead of being hard on yourself, use a narrative that doesn't involve judgment.
Wrapping It Up
Learn how to schedule and prioritize tasks. Do them daily, and make them a habit. Just like with accomplishing any goal, consistency is key.
While you can pick up a habit in 21 days, daily maintenance of these skills for at least 6-8 weeks will make them feel like natural behavior.
So start focusing on your goals and doing them. Don't wait until tomorrow, don't think about "how nice it will be when I finish it." Get up and make something happen.