stop procrastinating

How to stop procrastinating

Putting things off can be a way of avoiding failure – but embracing a task can be easy with these simple steps

How to stop procrastinating

It's easy to get distracted, but then all of a sudden, your To-Do List seems even more daunting than before. Don't worry, with these simple steps, embracing productivity has never been easier:

Follow the 2-minute rule

Scale down your plans so they are more doable. For instance, 10 minutes of meditation becomes two minutes of closing your eyes. ‘Everyone can manage two minutes of something,’ says James Clear, who writes about habits and human potential. ‘It’s better to do less than you’d hoped than do nothing at all.’

Use visual cues

Visual reminders prompt us to take action, which is why we write ‘to do’ and shopping lists. They’re also a good way of plotting our progress (think
of a child with a sticker chart), which has a positive effect on our motivation. ‘Visual cues and measures of progress reinforce what we’re doing and give us a sense of immediate satisfaction,’ says James.

Create a Temptation Bundle

Combining things you should be doing with things you want to do (a ‘Temptation Bundle’) can work. ‘Only binge-watch that boxset when tackling the ironing pile, or only allow yourself a pedicure if you deal with emails at the same time,’ says James. You’re more likely to do something if it has enjoyment attached to it.

Enter into a commitment contract

‘If you know that you procrastinate by mindlessly playing games on your phone, delete the apps – or move them to somewhere less easy to access,’ says James. ‘Arranging to go to that exercise class with a friend also makes it harder to bail.’ Making yourself accountable can help overcome procrastination.

Getting started can take time, but once you do…

…you Open up possibilities

One small step can lead to you discovering a love for something (or someone) that changes your life path or career.

…you grow

Taking action helps us to grow as people. Adopting a new way of thinking, or learning something new, can bring beneficial changes.

…you banish boredom

We get bored if we’re not challenged. But often, it’s the things we’re least eager to do that bring new opportunities.

For more inspiration on productivity, make sure to read our monthly lifestyle features online or pick up a mag at your local Asda store.