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5 practical ways to overcome procrastination today

Do you suffer from procrastination? Is it mild or acute? News flash! you are not alone. Procrastination affects a lot of people globally. Some people have referred to it as “a thief of all time”.  It hurts productivity, hurts relationships and may also lead to stress.

Procrastination is a barrier to success. Good time management practices, beating laziness, having an accountability partner and following your passion can help you overcome procrastination.

The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, and productivity. You can be, too.”– Norman Vincent Peale

Procrastination is the act of postponing an already planned task. At the beginning of the year, we all write beautiful resolutions. But come to the end of the year, you will realize that you did not achieve your target as per your list. Reason being, you kept delaying or postponing the tasks until the end of the year.

Procrastination is the act of giving priority to less important tasks over the more important ones.

How to overcome procrastination

There is no definite solution for overcoming procrastination.  Different people have used different methods to overcome this problem. Can we fight this ‘elephant’ called procrastination?

procrastination is a big barrier to success.

procrastination is a big barrier to success


#1. Beat laziness

If you are lazy you will always have a pile-up of pending or unfinished work.  A lazy person will never meet deadlines.  These results in frustrations to you and your team or your dependents. Teamwork can be derailed by a lazy team member. A student who does not submit projects and assignments in time is bound to fail.  An employee who never completes his duties in time can lose their job. Lazy employees are more likely to derail operations at their places of work since they never meet deadlines. Laziness walks hand in hand with procrastination.

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#2. Have a time plan

An organized person will keep a time plan for the year, month and day.  You can motivate yourself to meet these deadlines by rewarding yourself upon completion of the set targets. You can also make it painful by deciding to pay some money to a friend or charity if you fail to meet the deadline.

Time management is a very broad topic, but with commitment and a good plan, you can achieve set targets and beyond. Time management involves:

(a) Setting a realistic time plan with achievable goals.  In the time plan, you can choose to start with the tasks that are not so pleasant and end with the pleasant ones. You can also focus on tasks depending on the urgency. Start with the most urgent and end with the least urgent tasks.

(b) Identify and avoid time wasters. For example, watching TV or playing online games can waste a lot of time. A good time plan allows for rest between tasks.  Rest is important, but you can only take it after working or accomplishing a given task. Taking rest before working amounts to laziness.

deliberate measures can be used to kill procrastination.

deliberate measures can be used to kill procrastination.

You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.

— Benjamin Franklin

#3. Follow your passion.

If you are doing something that you are not passionate about, you are likely to keep pushing it forward.  This leads to time and energy wastage. The wasted time may sum up to a few years and before you know, it would have been too late to change anything.  Identify your passion and follow it.  Doing something that you love energizes you since the struggles and hurdles are manageable.

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#4. Keep an accountability partner

An accountability partner (AP) is a close confidant who helps you to keep a commitment. Your AP should keep you on your toes in terms of helping you meet your goals.  This is a sure way to fight procrastination as you will be answerable to someone else.  As you walk with your accountability partner, they will spot your weaknesses and assist you to make improvements or iron them out. If you walk with an AP, you will most likely take action so as not to disappoint them.

#5. Remember there is a future

Procrastination can prevent you from planning for your future.  At the age of 20, you might think that you are too young to save for your retirement.  Once your mind registers that, the idea of saving will not be a priority. You will keep pushing it forward until it is too late.

My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”– Charles Dickens

Finally, it is possible to fight procrastination. It could be the reason that you have not achieved any major milestone in your life. It may be the reason that you do not have a dream job.  It may also be the reason that your body is unfit because you keep procrastinating on going to the gym. Fighting procrastination must be deliberate and it should be accompanied by a clear plan.  You cannot be all that you are meant to be if you keep postponing crucial matters in your life.

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Stop researching on how to overcome procrastination, but instead take action now.  It is possible and it will definitely change your life for the better.


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