About a week ago, I was doing a radio interview and was asked, “how can I stop procrastination?” Unfortunately, I was given about 20 seconds to respond, which didn’t really allow me enough time to expand on this answer, so I ‘d like to do that here.
If you have a problem with procrastination, you are not alone. If I don’t keep myself in check, that is exactly what happens to me. Procrastination is something that most people struggle with. That’s a fact of life. In order to kill procrastination, we need to take action. But how do you do that?
1) Follow a specific routine
In order to get more out of my day, I like to structure my weeks so that I can follow a specific routine which allows me to complete the tasks that I have in front of me. You can start that by making a list of things you have to do for the day.
By doing this, you begin to recognize exactly how much you have on your plate so that you can prioritize. Then, you want to look at your day to find out if you have what I call, “empty spaces.”
Empty spaces are those times in which we are just sitting around without purpose — surfing the Internet or wasting time talking on the phone. The goal is to fill those empty spaces with all the items you wrote down on your list. Determine your empty spaces and start filling them up with the things that you have to do for that day. Again, structure your days and weeks so you have a blueprint to follow efficiently. Find out what you have to do, prioritize those things, make a list, and then find and fill the empty spaces in your schedule.
2) Build a support network
Another important way to beat procrastination is to find someone who can keep you honest about your to-do list — a professional, like a life coach, or anyone who can keep you on course. This will give you the support and encouragement you need to complete whatever is on your plate.
Have a network of these people who can support you — whether it’s a parent, a sister, a friend or spouse — anyone who can touch base with you on what you’ve done for the day or week. Knowing someone is out there to inquire about you and support you will drive you to start crossing items off of that list.