How to Stop Procrastination Without Procrastinating


Note: Reading this post is not procrastinating. Call it “productive” time-killing.

Here I go again.

Ranting about procrastination seems to be an old-fashioned way to declare that I lack self-discipline. It sucks to see how time flies while you’re left in the corner sulking in regrets. Mr. Procrastination is such a time-waster but what he usually brings is more than just unfinished projects and half-baked articles.

In my case, seeing stacks of incomplete tasks in my folder also hurts my ego.

As a freelance copywriter, I always remind myself that time is money so I can’t afford spending the whole day slacking off in the sofa. Yet, when my lazy side rears its ugly head, I just end up leaving everything behind for the sake of temporary pleasures.

At this point, the “one-hour” break I impose to myself suddenly extends into a lifetime of procrastinating. Yes, I have the freedom to do anything I want and set my own working hours but when temptation creeps in, my ideal job turns into a nightmare.

I hate to admit it but YES, I sometimes lack self-discipline. But will I stay this way? I guess not.

I’m a work in progress, not a LOSER.

Procrastination is an ordinary pet peeve especially if you’re a writing entrepreneur. And if you also manage a freelance business like me, I bet you can agree that getting out of the corporate rat-race doesn’t mean you can now spend your entire day enjoying movies and Facebook.

Procrastination can hurt both your business and sanity. If you lack self-control, chances are your health and relationships will be affected as well. Delaying work because “there’s always tomorrow” is a terrible strategy; after a while, you might find that you have tons of unfinished business ready to fill your weekends with misery.

So how should you beat procrastination and start building your “ideal self”? Believe me, it’s not an easy feat. But if you don’t act as the master of your habits, they will end up mastering you.

Here are bite-sized lessons I have learned from years of dealing with procrastination:

1. Keep the fire burning.

I’m the breadwinner in my family so slacking off means no food on our table. Although I get distracted sometimes, I always see to it that  I set my priorities straight. Fear of inadequacy and a crying bank account motivate me on a daily basis. But mind you, MONEY is not enough to keep you going.

If you run a business, remember that the success of your endeavor lies in your hands; you can’t afford to delay important tasks because doing so will put your team in the brink of failure. Find something to lift you up in your bed and inspire you to work day in and day out. Love what you do and you’ll enjoy your work without thinking about Mr. Procrastination  anymore.

2. Reward yourself.

Never forget to pamper yourself for a job well-done. Spending your entire day working without giving yourself a pat in the back will not only turn you into a dull baby; it will also drain yourself of the creative energy you need the next day. From a simple ice cream to movie-watching, any reward close to your heart is enough to make your hard work even more worthwhile.

3. Manage your time.

If it’s possible, make it a habit to wake up early and divide your working hours proportionately. Being an early bird will help you set aside an extra time for exercise and meditation. You need these to survive the entire day. Setting specific time, say four hours, for each of task will help you see clearly if you’re spending your day wisely or not. You can also use specific tools to ramp up your time management skills like Remember the Milk and Google Calendar.

4. Be patient with yourself.

Turning a bad habit into a good one really takes time and effort. And truth be told, you can still fail along the way no matter how determined you are to kick procrastination out of your life. Learn how to forgive yourself and move on. Keep trying and finding the right strategy that suits you. In time, you can discover that giving yourself a chance to fail will also open yourself to a wider door of opportunities.

Your Turn

Have you found the remedy for procrastination? How do you keep yourself productive and motivated?

I want to know your strategy so share your thoughts on the comment section below!

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