5 Ways To Avoid Procrastination

Do you ever have days when you’re totally in the flow and you can effortlessly get things done? But do you have days when you just can’t seem to focus and find yourself getting distracted easily?

Even the most disciplined or focused individuals get distracted which results in a loss of productivity and performance and can lead to frustration.

A common example of this is usually after we’ve had a positive or exciting experience. During the actual event itself, we are energised, motivated and totally involved with the present experience. However, after the event, there is a period where the “high” of the event still remains but pretty soon, that high fades away and things go back to normal.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

During that period of returning back to normal, it is very easy to get distracted and look for things to do that are not important at all. So how can we avoid getting distracted, beat procrastination and stay on track towards what we’d like to accomplish each day?

Here are five ways to avoid procrastination so that you can continuously move forward towards the things that are important to you.

  1. Become aware of the things that are distracting you. Often times there are common patterns or triggers that lead to procrastination. They could include feeling a certain way at a particular time of the day, having the itch to surf the internet or check your social media accounts, or even being tempted to watch television. Once you’re aware of these distractions, it would make a lot of sense to put things in place to prevent yourself from getting distracted. It’s about creating supportive environments around you. It could be as simple as only allowing yourself certain time periods during the day to check social media or surf the web or watch television.
  2. Be clear why the things you are doing are important to you. Connecting to your why is almost the starting point. If there is an emotional connection to the things you want to do or know you should be doing, then the chances are much higher that you’ll actually stay true to your why and fulfil the commitment you have made to yourself.
  3. Seek support if you find yourself lapsing in focus or concentration. Having supportive people around you can be such an empowering thing especially if these people can hold you accountable. If things are getting challenging or you’re struggling in any way, a quick phone call may be all you need to refocus and get back to doing what’s important. It is highly recommended to have an accountability partner to whom you commit to the things you are going to get done and you have a regular check-in and report your progress. Just doing this will eliminate most of the reasons why you procrastinate.
  4. Find little things that motivate you quickly. It could be doing something physical like going to a brisk walk or jog or doing some simple exercises in your home or office, or it could be listening or reading something inspirational and uplifting. It doesn’t have to be anything that requires a lot of time. Also, having a list of successes or accomplishments can be very motivating. When you read through your list of successes, there is a very high chance that you’ll be inspired and motivated to want to add to your list so won’t even have time to procrastinate.
  5. Visualise completing the task on hand. Once you’re able to see yourself completing what you’d like to do in your mind first, it becomes a lot easier to carry out the steps you need to. As every man-made thing is created twice, first in the mind then in the physical world, visualisation is such a powerful tool to be able to create results. If you have any hesitation about what you have to do, visualising yourself taking the necessary steps can be an easy way to get motivated again.

It is normal to have lapses in productivity however if it happens regularly, then you know there is something which you need to address. These are some simple ways you can use to get yourself motivated again and easily avoid getting distracted.

Question: What is one other way to avoid procrastination?

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  • Jane Ransom

    Thanks for tackling an all too common problem, Neel! Really appreciate your continued emphasis on the WHY. Thanks!

    • Neel Raman

      Thank you Jane! The WHY cannot be emphasised enough. Once we have that sorted, most other things seem to fall in place. Appreciate your comment.