Would you love to be able to achieve a big goal, such as a meaningful career move, but have a tendency to procrastinate?

Procrastination is a big issue of many of my clients. They really, deeply want to move forward, but life and work seems to always get in the way, so they stay stuck.

If this sounds like you, keep reading, as I’ll share my 7 proven strategies to beat procrastination and get important stuff done.

 

Why do I get stuck?

The most common reason for procrastinating is overwhelm. Especially when dealing with a profound and huge task like ‘getting more fulfilment from my career’, the overwhelm tends to paralyse people so they stay stuck.

Also, because people often don’t know what their ‘passion’ is, or what they should do to find out, they feel like the task is too much to take on. The endless career options out there makes everything even more confusing.

The result, again, is procrastination.

 

So how do I get unstuck?

I’ll explain my 7 proven strategies you can use to ‘trick’ yourself to beat procrastination. All are strategies I use successfully myself and also teach my clients.

Some are bound to work better for you than others, so reflect on each, and trial out the ones that you feel most intrigued and excited about.

 

Strategy 1 – Self-Awareness & Mindfulness

Try to develop a habit of becoming mindful and aware of what happens in the moments you have the urge to procrastinate. Your answer will influence the strategy that will work best in that given situation.

Common reasons for procrastinating are:

  • Boredom/ unwillingness to do the task >> in which case try
    • Strategy 2 ‘Becoming clear on your Goal‘ or
    • Strategy 4 ‘The Pomodoro Technique‘
  • Don’t know where to start >> in which case try
    • Strategy 3 ‘Break down the task and make it manageable’
  • Procrastination being a bad habit >> in which case work on
    • Strategy 5: ‘Your Organisation & Planning skills’ or
    • Strategy 6 ‘Accountability’

 

These are just 3 examples to illustrate my point, that different reasons for procrastinating require different solutions.

Becoming more mindful in everyday life is an amazingly useful skill, which can help in countless situations where you feel you’re holding yourself back.

Accept that this is a process that takes time, and try to embrace the setbacks.

 




Strategy 2 – Become clear on (and possibly re-define) what success means to you

It can be really difficult to work towards a goal when you’re not quite clear about what a successful outcome looks like.

Maybe you have procrastinated for so long it’s time to re-define what success looks like to you today.

In this case, spend 5-10 min reflecting actively on these 3 questions:

  • Imagine you’re 90 years old, sitting in a rocking chair and looking back at your ideal life.
    • What are you proud to have achieved?
    • What added meaning to your life?
    • What did you do to stay true to yourself?

 

Strategy 3 – Break down the goal and make it manageable

This is one of the most helpful strategies to beat procrastination.

Your first step should be to break down your goal into bits that are manageable, and that you can tackle without breaking out in a sweat.

You don’t have to know all the steps needed to reach your goal, just focus on the first 2-3 steps.

This ‘planning phase’ is part of the process of achieving the goal, so tackle the planning first.

Then choose either the smallest or the most fun sounding task, to do next.

 

Strategy 4 – The Pomodoro Technique

This technique has stood the test of time, and works a treat when you have to tackle something that you’re just not in the mood for.

Set a timer on your phone for 25 min, and then focus all your attention on just working on that first task which you identified earlier in the planning phase.

The idea is to set the bar low.

25 min is manageable for most people, while still getting results you can be proud of.

Try it out!

 

Strategy 5 – Work on your Planning & Organisation Skills

Becoming better at planning your day and week is hugely beneficial in helping beat procrastination.

If you’d like to improve these skills, read my article My Top 15 Secrets to be more Productive and less Overwhelmed.

When you plan, you can prioritise the one thing that will make the biggest difference that day, and just focus on that.

Planning also allows you to schedule undesirable tasks for when you are more in the mood to do them. Overnight, the anticipation of having to do the dreaded task is able to sink into your mind, and you are much more geared towards taking action on the day.

Part of your planning should include removing potential distractions while you work.

So make a note to switch off your notifications and exit your emails to avoid temptations.

Lastly, when you have thoughts popping into your head reminding you of other stuff you have to do, note them down immediately, and regain focus. You can then batch complete these tasks later, and focus exclusively on producing your main work in the allotted 25 minutes.

 

Strategy 6 – Reward Yourself

This strategy is so overlooked – reward yourself for completing your milestones.

Even for a 25 min batch of work – go have that cup of coffee or slice of cake, or allow yourself 5 min checking emails or browsing on Instagram.

It’s important to incentivise and be kind to yourself when you achieve the small goals, if you want to keep up motivation in the long term.

 

Strategy 7 – Accountability

Having an accountability partner can be extremely valuable to keep yourself on track.

If you’re keen to learn more on accountability and acquiring healthy work habits, read my article How to Quit any bad Habit for good.

Working with a coach is a great option, or you could ask a friend if he or she has a similar goal they’d like to achieve alongside you.

Accountability makes people a lot more committed and driven to achieve a goal they set themselves, so definitely keep this in mind.

 

Conclusion

I hope you have found some inspiration and confidence that you too can beat procrastination and achieve some major life goals you might have been putting off for a while.

To re-cap, these are my 7 strategies to beat procrastination:

Strategy 1 – Self-awareness & Mindfulness

Strategy 2 – Become clear (and possibly re-define) what success means to you

Strategy 3 – Break down the goal and make it manageable

Strategy 4 – The Pomodoro Technique

Strategy 5 – Work on your Planning & Organisation skills

Strategy 6 – Reward Yourself

Strategy 7 – Accountability

 

PS: I’d love to her what strategy you’re going to try out this week?