Stress & Anxiety | Written by: Keely

10 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Stress Less

Let’s get right down to it – everyone (and we mean EVERYONE) procrastinates from time to time, though some of us are guilty of procrastinating a little bit more than most.

Some of the most well-adjusted, focused, experienced, and dedicated people on the planet can find it to be a real uphill battle to tackle projects from time to time, fighting the procrastination monkey just like the rest of us.

Once you come to the realization that you are anything but alone when it comes to procrastinating, getting help – and taking advantage of tips and tricks to conquer procrastination once and for all – becomes a lot easier.

We are going to break down 10 tips that will help you do exactly that, giving you the kind of inside information you need to streamline your day, to improve your time management, and to kick procrastination to the curb once and for all.

Let’s dive right in!

1. Your perfectionism is the monkey you need to cage

The overwhelming majority of people that are going to be dealing with procrastination on a regular basis are going to be guilty of perfectionism – focusing on every little detail of every single project to make sure that everything is picture-perfect, understanding that (in reality) that’s absolutely impossible to pull off.

The only way you’re going to be able to stop procrastinating and to stress out a lot less is to understand going into new projects that perfect is an impossibility, though striving for perfection is admirable.

2. Knockout small tasks to get to moment of rolling

Most people agree that the most difficult part of any project is simply getting things started, and that once you get into a bit of momentum under your belt it becomes almost effortless to keep rolling.

One of the most effective tools to beat back procrastination for good is to simply dive right into a project, accomplishing small tasks to get a little bit of momentum going. You’ll find that you’re able to really rock and roll when you do this.

3. How do you eat an elephant?

At the start of every single project you’re going to feel like you are trying to figure out the best approach to eat an elephant – the best approach to tackle what can feel like a gigantic and overwhelming undertaking.

But like everything else, eating and elephant becomes a lot easier when you break it down into its smallest components and take everything “one bite at a time”.

Really try to break down your big projects into smaller chunks, deadlines, and milestones, and everything will become a lot easier.

4. Pat yourself on the back when you accomplish things

The carrot and the stick approach to motivation becomes a lot more effective when you give yourself carrots for accomplishing goals that you have laid out for yourself.

As you move through your project, don’t be shy about rewarding yourself for accomplishing specific goals, for knocking out specific deadlines, and to keep your motivation high. If you set up a series of rewards that you’ll grant yourself when you accomplish different parts of your project, you’ll find it to be effortless to maintain your motivation, your enthusiasm, and your drive to succeed.

5. Start small, start simple, and stay focused

When you are staring at and oversized to do list there is a natural tendency to recoil from the entirety of that list – realizing that you’ll never be able to knock it all out in one swing.

Thankfully though, when you decide to forget all about “starting at the beginning” and instead focus on starting small, starting simple, and staying focused on easy tasks you’ll be able to unlock the kind of momentum you need to accomplish almost anything.

Procrastination is simply a state of mind. By focusing on easier things to tackle, you’ll be able to accomplish everything and anything you’ve ever wanted to – all by taking one step at a time.

6. … Of course, you could also choose to challenge yourself right off the bat

At the same time, some people find it to be almost a waste of time to tackle the small stuff first and are a lot more “juiced up” by tackling the more difficult parts of a project in the early goings-on.

If that’s your kind of style, and if you love nothing more than to clearly outline a challenge and then knock it out of the park, you’ll want to line up a couple of challenging aspects of the project and really dive right in with both feet. This kind of “jumping into the deep end” isn’t always well-suited to every task, every project, or every personality – but if that’s attractive to you, by all means go for it!

7. Maintain a positive attitude throughout

Cynicism and negativity is so easy these days, especially when you are confronted with challenges, obstacles, and barriers to your success. Thankfully though, cynicism and negativity is simply a state of mind, and when you decide to instead focus on the positives, the rewards that await your successful completion of these challenges, and how much better you’ll feel after you have this success under your belt, everything changes and procrastination becomes nothing more than a distant memory.

8. Get sucked into temptation (every once in a while)

Abstaining from every single temptation that you face while you’re trying to accomplish a specific project is going to be an absolute impossibility. Not only is it impractical to try and illuminate every and any distraction, but it’s also going to prove to be a tremendous focus killer and a real sap on your energy.

Don’t be afraid to give into a handful of temptations every now and again, wasting a little bit of time here and there – as long as you’re able to real yourself back in before it grabs a hold of you completely.

9. Maximize your energy and your focus

All of us feel energized, focused, and really ready to attack the day at different points in time, which is why you’re going to want to try and find your own “sweet spot” and really use it to push forward and accomplish the bulk of your work.

This isn’t always going to be effortless, but if you’re able to create a rather rigid structure and schedule that you stick to, you’ll be able to kick procrastination to the curb once and for all!

10. Get help when you need it

Lastly, don’t be shy about asking for help when you know that your back is really up against the wall. There are an infinite amount of resources out there for all of us to take advantage of, and you’d have to be at least it will be crazy not to do exactly that whenever it benefits you!

See our complete list of stress management techniques.

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