But I Don’t Want To __________ (fill in the blank): Tips for overcoming procrastination

 In Better Life, Goals

But I don’t wanna . . . clean the toilet, exercise, balance my checkbook, work on this project, etc. 

Do you have a task you’re trying to avoid? How can you overcome the hurdle of not wanting to do something? When we keep putting it off, it can hang like a dark cloud, casting a shadow on our day. I can always find something else that needs doing or a distraction that helps me delay tackling my to-do. But it’s always there, lurking in the back of my mind until I finally muster up the willpower to get it done. Here are some helpful tips I’ve learned:

  • Tell yourself you’ll just work on it for 5 minutes. Sometimes we just need to get started to get some momentum.
  • Reward yourself at different time points. Breaking it into smaller chunks makes it seem less daunting and having something to look forward to can help, too.
  • Tell someone else about your task and when you plan to do it. We don’t like to let people down.
  • Make it easier and more convenient. Make not doing it harder. Maybe it’s moving, getting rid of, or adding something so it’s easier (or more difficult) to do.
  • Focus on how you’ll feel once it’s done. Think of that feeling of accomplishment and pride or just relief that it’s done.
  • Find a way to get excited about it. How can you make it fun? Do you need to change your attitude or how about doing it with someone else? Can you add music?
  • Don’t spend time thinking about it. The longer you dread it, the harder it will seem.
  • Ask yourself why it’s important. Spending time reflecting on why it needs to be done can provide some motivation.

If you’re procrastinating about something you know you should do, pick a couple of these tips to try. You’ll feel better (and happier) once you finally get it done.

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