Breaking the stronghold of procrastination. Setting yourself free of this bad habit.

Part II of BREAKING THE HABIT OF PROCRASTINATION SERIES

Breaking the stronghold of procrastination. With procrastinators, what usually happens is they go to great lengths to make sure their failures are ingrained in their mind. You want to do the opposite of this. If you're planning on breaking the stronghold of procrastination that means no more harping on what you let fall through the cracks!

From now on, you’re focused on what you did get done. Each and every day, you want to put an emphasis on your accomplishments. At first, you might have a haunting message in the back of your mind about what al you failed to get done.
But ignore it. Shine the spotlight of the tasks you were able to mark off of your to do list. The reason you want to do this is because it sets you up for ongoing success.

You’ll feed off of this positivity and want to experience more accolades, even if they are coming from you.

At the end of each day, look at your to do list and highlight the tasks you were able to finish. Bask in the positive feelings you get from knowing you were a go getter in those areas. Everything else can be done the next day.

What happens if you don’t see much that got done? Don't worry. This will build over time, as you get better with your planning and start adopting some action-based habits to replace the slacker ones.

So don’t get overwhelmed about it too much at first if you see very few items crossed off your list. Look at what you did complete, and then the next day, try to make that list one task longer.

Do this every day while you're breaking the stronghold of procrastination. Keep doing it until you max out your time and effort abilities. Start to take notice of how much gets accomplished due to outside factors. We know that procrastination isn’t a problem associated with time, since everyone has the same number of hours in a day.

But outside factors such as mood, health, and other commitments can impact your ability to pursue your goals in a timely manner. You want to know how much each external issue is affecting your productivity.

So if you have a day where only two items get marked off the list, take stock of everything else going on in your life. Where you under the weather? Did you have to run extra errands? Did something upset you?

When you know things like this, it can help you plan for them. On days when you know you have errands, you’ll plan for fewer tasks. On days when you’re freed up, you’ll add more to your plate.

When breaking the stronghold of procrastination, you have to learn to give yourself a little leeway. Cut yourself some slack.

We all like to think of ourselves as being able to fire on all cylinders when it comes to getting our work done, but the fact is, there’s more to getting things accomplished than fitting them into a 24-hour time block.

Every day of your life will be different. Some days you won’t feel up to par physically, or mentally. Some days your Internet might be spotty or you could have a family emergency or have to care for a sick child.

Some days, nothing actually goes wrong, but you need some time off to recuperate and be at your very best when you’re working on a particular project. These are all permissible reasons to take some time off.

Breaking the stronghold of procrastination requires time and patience.

The problem is when you start mindlessly roaming on things other than work and avoiding what you need to get done for no good reason. Everyone needs some time off, and you don’t always have to have a reason.

It’s okay to say, “I want to take this day off to relax.” But if you make it an ongoing habit, where you’re choosing to avoid your projects out of laziness, then it becomes a problem.

You can normalize time off for yourself. You can set up a schedule with built-in time for emergencies. For example, if you typically could have eight hours a day to work, you might only plan for six of them.

Having an extra two hours that are not earmarked for any projects allows you to have built in free time, which you might either use to relax or tend to other things – or, use to go after more tasks if you feel up to it.

Instead of allowing yourself to have some common sense leeway, most people overburden their schedule with way more than they can logically handle. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure.

Once you begin pinpointing some common causes for your procrastination, you’ll want to take steps to prevent them from interfering in your goals. For example, if you’re always exhausted, get to the root of why that keeps happening.

Is it your sleep schedule? Your nutrition? Is there an underlying health issue you’re not aware of? Take steps to fix the problem so that it’s not a constant saboteur in your life when it comes to accomplishing your goals.

If you have an issue where you’re emotionally drained by someone in your life, making you need time off, take steps to minimize that communication so that you’re freed up for success.

Breaking The Stronghold Of Procrastination With Daily Planning Techniques

So how should you plan your day when breaking the stronghold of procrastination, to ensure that you eliminate the procrastination problem? Start by writing down everything that has to get done, plus things you hope to get done if you have enough time.

With the items that must get done, choose the worst one – the one you dread the most – and put it at the top of your to do list. Usually, people have the most energy at the start of their day.

So allowing yourself to get this crossed off early means the rest of the day won’t be spent trying to avoid that task. It’s like ripping the Band-Aid off and getting the hard part over with.

Plan your day with distractions in mind. Give yourself scheduled mini breaks to recharge and refresh your mindset. Know exactly what you want to do during that time, and do it without judgment.

If you want to scan social media, do it without apology. But don’t give yourself free rein to spend hours on Instagram or Tik Tok. A 15-minute break should suffice when it’s in the middle of a work day.

If possible, plan the steps associated with the completion of the task so that you can move swiftly through each one without having to stop and think about what comes next. For example, if you’re writing a report, then you might have time for brainstorming and outlining, time for research, time for writing and time for editing.

Part of the planning process is being proactive. Take steps to minimize your overwhelm and clear your schedule for progress. If your schedule outside of work is cluttered, it might distract you from being able to work without worry.

Don’t make this a one time task. You need to continually be tightening up your life if you really plan on breaking the stronghold of procrastination. That means working on your mindset, your schedule, your timing and more.

Be on the lookout for strategies and tools that might help you with breaking the stronghold of procrastination. For example, you can lock yourself out of social networking sites with some tools, or use an egg timer to commit to working on a task for a set number of minutes.

For now, go ahead and forgive yourself for any previous procrastination you may have done. Beating yourself up about it won’t help you move forward. Simply increase your awareness and build the confidence you have in yourself to go from procrastinator to breaking the stronghold of procrastination as time goes on.

Read Part I: Breaking the Habit Of Procrastination


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