We all have dreams and ideas about our perfect future and our Better Selves. It’s time to stop procrastinating, set goals and turn them into reality.
If something is holding you back from building your dream right now, you should identify the problem first. Check out 5 main reasons for procrastinating first and find out how to deal with them. But if you’re ready to take action, let’s begin.
How to stop procrastinating in 5 steps:
- Take a break to put your thoughts together and clarify goals and ways to reach them
- Split all the work that had to be done into milestones with specific deadlines
- Eliminate or at least minimize distractions
- Stop overcomplicating things
- Find an inspiration or a role model to look up to
It is as simple as that! Let’s dig deeper into these 5 steps to stop procrastinating to understand why we need to take them and how to do it.
1st step to stop procrastinating. Take a break to clarify goals and ways to reach them.
Sometimes people delay doing the work because they don’t have a clear idea of what they want to accomplish, and as a result, they don’t know how to do it. For example, you want to start a new business, maybe you even know in what area, but that’s it. Well, before starting anything new, it’s essential to find the specific idea that you want to accomplish and to clarify what the end goal is.
So if you have in mind a blurry thought like “I want to earn money from home,” you should first turn it to something more particular, like “My dream is to develop travel websites and sell them.” As you can see, the second idea is concrete. It describes the exact work – developing the websites, particular niche – travel, and the end goal – sell.
But it’s not always easy to identify this exact target to aim for. Sometimes we are just so overwhelmed with everything that’s going on in our lives that we don’t have an opportunity to organize our thoughts and to see a solution. As a result, either we can’t find any decent idea at all, or the opposite – we have too many of them, and they mix, creating a big mess in our head.
Does it look like the situation you are in? Well, then you have to take a break. Just a few days off or even weeks (if it’s possible) would be a great help. Find a nice and quiet place to think and organize your thoughts. Try to write them down and define the pros and cons. Choose the winner.
But what if you took a break and you can’t find any idea? Change the environment. You can get inspiration walking by the busy streets of a big city or staying in a secluded cabin deep in the woods, whatever works for you. Another solution would be to look for help. Ask successful people you know to join you for the brainstorm. Sometimes a second opinion might help.
After you finally decide what you want to achieve, you can learn how to do it. Your research will be much easier with a specific goal in mind. So start looking for information, ask questions and get answers. But don’t turn the learning process into another excuse for procrastination. You can’t know everything, some things you won’t even need and some you can explore down the road. So cover the basics and take action.
2nd step – split all the work that had to be done into milestones with specific deadlines.
At this point, you already should have all the information that you need to start planning. So now it’s time to set specific goals and deadlines to achieve them.
You can set profits that you want to gain into milestones. For example, “I want to earn $10000 within the next three months”. Also, you can split tasks that have to be done into specific timelines. In that case, your milestones would look like this: “Attract 1000 new clients till the end of the month”, “create ten new projects this week,” etc.
But always set reasonable goals. You can aim a little higher than you think you can get at this point. It will motivate and push you forward. But don’t set unrealistic expectations. If you won’t be able to meet them, it causes frustration and disappointment.
Fair deadlines and clear expectations will help you stay focused on your dream and stop procrastinating. It’s a good idea to put your plan in writing and keep it always somewhere in your eyesight as a motivation. But always start working for results way ahead of the deadline you’ve set.
Reward yourself after achieving a specific goal. Setting a little vacation as a prize after finishing a task could stop procrastinating at the beginning. It’s much more pleasant to relax after a job is done than rest with the weight of unfinished tasks on your shoulders.
3rd step – eliminate or at least minimize distractions.
There are a lot of things around us that we would rather do instead of working: chat with friends over dinner; check social media; watch favourite films, or just rest. All this “want to” constantly winning over “have to do.” And that’s the problem.
Of course, there should be a place for pleasure in our life. But you should define the borders and know when it’s time to stop procrastinating and start working.
It is up to you to choose and decide which one of your “wants” is more important – to achieve success or spend time on pleasures. And if you make a weighted decision to pursue your dream, you have to minimize distractions as much as possible and stop avoiding the hard work.
Quite often, you have to give up your free time, entertainment, and even some sleep hours to succeed. So, remember you can fulfil your dreams, but only if you are willing to work hard and give up on some things.
4th step – stop overcomplicating things.
Are you an idealist? Do you pay too much attention to details and work hard on every little thing to make it perfect? If so, that’s your strength, and that’s your weakness.
Spending a tremendous amount of precious time on every insignificant detail will slow your process. Constantly putting all your efforts into numerous small things won’t get you much closer to your end goal. Details matter, but don’t overcomplicate and stop delaying important work. Don’t put on yourself a massive weight of unnecessary tasks because you might burn out and give up at some point.
Try to simplify things and do the essential parts of the job first. And then, if you’ll have some extra time, you can spend it to polish your project and all things that do not matter that much but could improve a bit the quality of product or experience of the customers, users, your team etc.
Last step to stop procrastinating – find an inspiration or a role model to look up to.
A successful project that you might take as an example or a person who already has done the same thing you want to achieve could be a great motivation. So, every time you are about to delay your project keep in mind this existing example of success and think that it wouldn’t be possible with constant procrastinating. If you want to gain the same results, you should act right now.
You can also use this role model to learn and find some helpful tips for achieving your desired results. Someone with experience could also prevent you from making common mistakes of the beginner.
And just by surrounding yourself with successful people would help your cause a lot. Because when your inner circle it’s a representation of accomplishments, strength and wellbeing, you will be much better motivated to stick to your plan and make your dream come true.
Hopefully, these 5 steps to stop procrastinating will be helpful for you. But there’s one extra – JUST DO IT!