Getting over procrastination takes action. Of course that’s easier said than done. Today I’m going to share with you a simple three-step process to avoid procrastination, that will help you get going and get more done than you ever thought possible.
Set a Goal
It starts with a goal. You need to know what you want to get done and what it will look like once it’s done. Without knowing where you want to end up, it’s hard to know what to do first and what other stuff you need to do to keep moving in the right direction.
So, what do we do instead? Anything other than the task in hand, as much as anything else, because we haven’t actually been able to determine what those tasks are yet!
Setting a goal is simply putting what you know you need to get done into words. You may have heard all the corporate stuff about setting SMART goals. I used to teach the principles back in the day, but you don’t need to get all formal and complicated. The principles really boil down to having a clear view of the end, knowing how you’ll know you’ve got there and a timescale to do it.
Here’s a simple goal most of us strive to achieve. We have to file our taxes by the end of January. You have the paperwork you need, you know where to go to fill out the required information online and when you need to have them completed. In other words, you have a well-defined goal when it comes to filing your tax return.
And yet, most of us procrastinate on this task (or is it just me?!). That’s why the other steps are just as important as the first.
Write It Down
So, let’s get you going by writing down a goal for something that you need to get done
It doesn’t matter what it is. The key is to write it down somewhere – on a bit of paper or on your phone, wherever makes most sense for you – the important bit being that you put it into writing.
This does two things. Firstly, it helps you to get clear on what your goal is. You have to work out the detail to be able to put it into writing, vague doesn’t work! Secondly, by writing it down you are giving yourself something to refer to as a reminder and a tool to use when you are tempted to procrastinate.
Now, we’re down to the important bit and often the hardest bit. It’s time to get started! This is often where we procrastinate but this time I want you to think about something you can do right now to move you in the right direction.
Ideally, list a few more ‘next steps’ so you have the beginnings of a task list and plan to reach your goal. Focus on these being baby steps – it’s much easier to get small tasks done. So, where you have a big daunting task, see if you can break it down into smaller tasks.
Before you do anything else, go and do the first task that you identified.
And then, each day, look at your goal and challenge yourself to take action with at least one small daily action. Before you know it you will have made serious progess and you will be beating that procrastination.