There are many reasons why you may put off completing important activities, mundane projects or necessary work. For those tasks without deadlines, you may tell yourself you’ll get around to it “one day,” knowing full well that day may never come. Whether it’s a lack of motivation, fear of failure, a busy schedule or simply dread for the task at hand, you’ll find a number of situations that tempt you to push it off. However, this usually leads to subpar work and an unnecessary amount of stress.

Discovering ways to avoid distractions and find gumption is easier said than done. However, getting work done sooner will likely yield better results, help you circumvent careless mistakes and result in more free time. If you’re a master procrastinator, it may take time to shake the habit, but the benefits you’ll uncover are well worth the extra effort.


Focus up

The most important component of overcoming procrastination is focus. With work, school, hobbies and life pulling us in different directions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Start by choosing one thing that you’ve procrastinated and make a commitment to complete the task this week.


Perform a "Five-Minute Miracle"

It’s not as hard as it sounds. The “Five-Minute Miracle” is a technique where you ask yourself, “What action can I take in five minutes today that gets me closer to my goal?” Once you’ve identified that small action, set a timer for five minutes and stay hyper-focused on the task until the timer dings. Research shows that once you start something, you’re more likely to finish it. But even if you don’t finish, small action is still action.


Build accountability

Enlist a support team or an accountability partner to keep you focused and on track. Set up a regular check-in time and be specific about ways they can help you. For instance, have a friend remind you  why you set about making these changes in the first place, and what completion of the goal will mean.


Get under the hood

It can be helpful to understand exactly why you’ve procrastinated a specific task. Are you afraid of something? Maybe you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Explore the reasons behind your avoidance and see what you discover. Identifying fears can help you realize the monsters you’re facing may not be as scary as you think.


Reward your progress

Set up a reward system to ensure you celebrate progress and small successes as you go along. Whether it’s a fun activity with friends or a treat for yourself, something that acknowledges your efforts can go a long way in increasing motivation.

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