We all have them, those big projects that need to be completed. They stay there on our wish list or to-do list. I really must tackle the garden, there is so much clutter in the garage that you can’t get the car in, I really must clean it out. Perhaps you’re one of the many people who have a book in them, If I don’t write that book I know I’ll regret it. Whatever the project, if you don’t learn how to overcome procrastination and get that project finished will eventually impact your ambitions and confidence.
Look at your current projects. Are there any that you’ve started but have stalled? Choose one of them and use the tips below will help you to overcome procrastination and get that project finished.
Overcome Procrastination and Get That Project Finished
- Break it down. Divide a massive project up into little pieces. Create intermediate deadlines and milestones where you can evaluate your progress. The process will look more manageable when you separate out each task and component.
- Start somewhere. Take a first step. You can begin with the easiest job or the top priority. Once you create some momentum, it will be easier to keep going.
- Identify your peak hours. If possible, work on challenging tasks when you are at your top capacity. If you’re a morning person, that could mean putting in a couple of hours before your day job. If you prefer evenings, ensure you stop before bedtime.
- Ask for help. We can accomplish more when we collaborate with others. Exchange services with a colleague so you both can cover the areas where you shine, and find support for where you need to grow.
- Minimize distractions. Make it easier to hunker down. Move away from the phone, snacks, and video games. Stay off the internet unless you need it for your work.
- Take a break. On the other hand, maybe you need some strategic time off. Stop thinking about your project for a day or two so you can view it with fresh eyes.
- Assess the costs. Increase your motivation by calculating how much it’s costing you to neglect a certain activity. Are you losing money or other things you value?
- Focus on rewards. Above all, think about how good it will feel to complete your project. Give yourself a treat or just bask in the sense of accomplishment.
How to Prevent a Project from Becoming Stuck
- Acknowledge your fears. It’s natural to feel apprehensive about any endeavor where you have a lot at stake. Facing your doubts will help you to deal with them. Give yourself credit for taking sensible risks instead of expecting perfection.
- Clarify the situation. Spend adequate time on the planning process so you’ll understand the scope of your project. That way you’ll be clear about where you’re headed and the resources you need.
- Be realistic. Set challenging but attainable goals. Set yourself up for success.
- Avoid burnout. If you’re feeling irritable and fatigued before you even start, you may need to step back temporarily. Take care of your health, reach out to your loved ones, and be gentle with yourself while you recharge. A delayed start can save time if you’re preparing for tomorrow.
- Check your schedule. How much is on your plate already? Be willing to scratch something else off your to do list if you need to free up time and resources for a major undertaking.
Adjusting your attitude and work methods can help you forge ahead with projects that used to linger around like the smell of burnt popcorn. Figure out what’s behind your procrastination, and devote your time and energy to your top priorities. You’ll soon be checking that sticky project off your list.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor