As a blogger who wants to become a professional blogger, I need to learn how to stop procrastinating. As I sit here contemplating this post, I realise I have been procrastinating all morning. It is now nearly 1pm on a Sunday afternoon and I have been doing everything else but typing on my mac.
I have made coffee.
I have checked Facebook four times
I have read every email thoroughly (something I never do).
I have unsubscribed to emails.
I have happily had a screaming match with child no.2
I have made another coffee.
I have stood in the pantry, searching for something tasty to eat even though I am not hungry.
So now that I have exhausted every avenue of filling in my time with crap (time I complain that I NEVER have enough of), I am finally writing a post about how to stop procrastinating.
- Remove all temptations or distractions. This is important when you begin working. Have a coffee or tea already made before you sit down and realise you are thirsty. Turn emails off so you do not get notifications. Shut Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or any other social media down to eliminate the temptation of just checking for that next like or follow.
- Create an awesome to-do list. This one works well with me as I am definitely a list girl. I love the feeling of ticking things off my list and watching the tasks finally disappear. I can be a little OCD about this as I love starting with a huge list, writing things that could possibly be listed as one task instead of three but my satisfaction of ticking three things off as opposed to one thing is more important to my mental health.
- Begin with the most difficult task first. This may sound a little weird but it works for me. You know the feeling you get when you wake up in the morning and you a dreading something on your list. Instead of thinking about it all day, worrying about how to handle the situation, I get straight into this difficult task. Then I can spend the rest of the day knowing that I have challenged myself by achieving a difficult goal.
- Concentrate on how you feel when you have finished. Before getting into a hard days work, sometimes overwhelming emotions of what lay ahead takes over. However, sit for a few minutes, close your eyes and think about how you will feel when the day ends and you have completed a good days work.
- Reward yourself. This is my favourite part of working hard – work hard / play hard. Sometimes treating yourself along the way works best too. If I write one blog post without leaving my chair, I will have another coffee. If I write 3 posts in the afternoon, I will head out and take the dog for a walk or perhaps have a glass of wine at the end of the day. Little treats along the way can make a daunting task not so daunting anymore.
- Ask for help. I am not very good at this one but I know it is important so I have included it. It is OK to admit you have taken on a little too much and even if you worked solidly for the next 48 hours, you will still be behind. Delegating tasks to other people can ease the pressure and often will allow you to produce better quality work.
- Finally, make your intentions public. Let the world know what you are up to so there is no way to waste time not achieving your goal. This is a great way to stop procrastinating as you can no longer make excuses for not getting things done. Big Brother is watching.
Well that wasn’t as hard as I thought. Once I stopped procrastinating and actually started writing, it wasn’t worth wasting so much time over.
How do you stop procrastinating?