7 Ways To Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is something almost everyone struggles with from time to time, and most of us have tried to combat procrastination in one way or another, but it doesn’t always work.

We all have tasks that we need to complete and goals we want to reach, but it can be quite a challenge to find the motivation to get started and finish. In this article, we share 7 ways to overcome procrastination to help you get things done once and for all!

7 Ways to overcome procrastination

If you tend to procrastinate, don’t worry, you’re in good company. Recent studies have shown that 20% of people consider themselves to be “chronic procrastinators,” and about 88% of those in the workforce procrastinate for at least one hour a day.

But we’ll discuss 7 ways to overcome procrastination, and because this is Clever Girl Finance, we’ll also point out how this can help you give your finances a boost.

Before we dive into those 7 ways to overcome procrastination, it’s helpful to understand a few ways procrastination can negatively impact your life. That way, you can have even more motivation to overcome it.

For starters, procrastination significantly hampers productivity. It can also result in missed opportunities, damaged relationships, emotional distress, and elevated stress levels.

Heard enough and ready to learn how to win with your time? Here are our top tips:

1. Break tasks into small chunks

The first of our 7 ways to overcome procrastination? Breaking your task into smaller chunks. One of the primary reasons we procrastinate may be because we feel overwhelmed by the size of a task.

A massive project can seem daunting and can lead to inaction. But breaking the task down into smaller, more manageable chunks can help you overcome this feeling.

To break down a task, start by identifying the key steps or milestones involved. Then, break each step down into smaller ones. Doing this can make the task more approachable and less daunting.

Smaller tasks are less overwhelming and help you get more done

Breaking tasks into smaller chunks has several benefits.

First, it makes the job feel less overwhelming, making it easier to get started. Second, it helps you make progress even when you have limited time.

Third, it helps you stay motivated by providing you with a sense of accomplishment as you complete each piece. Lastly, it can reduce stress and anxiety by making the task feel more achievable.

Achieving smaller money goals can help you win in the long run

Lots of financial goals require multiple steps before you reach the end. Sometimes, it can feel like you’ll never be able to achieve a goal, but by breaking it down into smaller bites, you’ll see that you can achieve it.

Let’s say you really want to find a new job with higher pay. Many people stop themselves from finding a new job because they don’t know where even to begin their search.

However, if you break the job hunt down into smaller tasks, it can look something like this, which is much more manageable:

1. Update your resume.

2. Draft a cover letter.

3. Reach out to your network – contact one person every weekday for two weeks.

4. Research types of jobs in your industry.

5. Start looking through new job postings for one hour every Monday afternoon.

6. Submit your resume to three jobs per week.

7. Prepare for interviews for two hours by looking up and rehearsing answers to common interview questions.

By breaking down this big financial goal of landing a higher-paying job into many smaller steps, you’ll be on your way to reaching it in no time!

2. Create deadlines

One of the 7 ways to overcome procrastination is to set deadlines for yourself. Setting a deadline makes a task feel urgent, which can help you stay focused and motivated.

To set deadlines, start by identifying the key milestones or tasks involved in the project. Then, assign a deadline to each task, and give yourself an adequate amount of time to complete each one.

Be sure to hold yourself accountable to your deadlines and reward yourself for meeting them.

Deadlines help you form good habits

Setting deadlines has several benefits.

First, it helps you to prioritize and manage your time more effectively. It also enables you to make progress toward your goals and objectives. Lastly, it provides a sense of structure and discipline, which can help you develop a good habits list and good routines, leading to more success.

Stopping procrastination by giving yourself time limits can earn you money

Do you ever find yourself dragging your feet on a task? Do you find it hard to get started? If so, your lack of deadlines might be getting in your way and hurting your finances, too.

Perhaps you’ve been talking about starting a side hustle for some time but haven’t taken action yet. If so, this tip might be just what you need.

Give yourself a deadline for starting your new venture, tell someone about it, and hold yourself to it like you would any other commitment. You’ll thank yourself later when your side hustle is finally up and running.

3. Use the “two-minute rule”!

The “two-minute rule” is a technique that can be very effective if you want to take your time back. The idea is simple: if something takes less than two minutes to do, do it right away.

This could be as easy as replying to an email or tidying up your desk. By completing these small tasks right away, you can build momentum and have a sense of accomplishment that can help motivate you to tackle bigger tasks.

The two-minute rule causes you to take action

Using the two-minute rule has several benefits. First, it forces you to take action instead of procrastinating. If you can do a task in two minutes or less, you have to do it!

It is also a great way to help you build momentum and create a sense of accomplishment. Once you get the ball rolling on getting things done and see how easy it can be, you’re more likely to keep it up.

Doing simple tasks that don’t take much time can save your finances

With the two-minute rule, you’ll never miss another credit card payment or bill again. Take two minutes – that’s seriously all the time it takes – to set up auto pay on all of your bills and learn how to automate your finances.

If auto-pay isn’t an option, the next time that bill comes your way, don’t open it and tell yourself you’ll pay it later. Instead, take two minutes to write a check or go online and make the payment.

4.Remove distractions

Distractions can be a huge barrier to productivity and can make it challenging to get started on a task. To overcome this, try removing any distractions from your environment.

This might mean learning how to spend less time on your phone or closing all social media tabs on your computer. You could also benefit from working in a quiet, distraction-free space, such as a library or a (quiet) coffee shop.

Focusing your attention saves you time

Removing distractions helps you focus your attention on the task at hand, leading to better productivity. It also helps you avoid wasting time on non-essential activities, clearing up your time and space for what is really important.

Fewer distractions can help you save more cash

Not only do distractions take away your time, but they can also take away your money, too. That’s because many of our common distractions involve following social media influencers or shopping online.

Start with deleting your shopping apps and unfollowing anyone who makes you spend unnecessarily. By learning how to stop shopping you’ll free up your time for what you really want to do and save yourself money.

5. Find your motivation

Sometimes, procrastination can stem from a lack of motivation or inspiration toward a task. Of these 7 ways to overcome procrastination, finding your motivation or learning to find your why behind completing a task might just be the most beneficial tip of all.

Your motivation could be as simple as impressing your boss at an upcoming meeting or as big as providing for your children. By focusing on your motivation, you will create a sense of purpose that can help inspire and motivate you to get started (and to finish).

Knowing your motivation helps you make progress

Finding your motivation helps you clarify your goals and priorities, giving you a clear direction to follow. It also helps you build a sense of purpose and fulfillment, making your task feel more meaningful.

Lastly, it enables you to develop a growth mindset or an abundance mindset, which encourages continuous improvement and progress.

Understanding your goals can help you to not spend on unimportant things

Trying to reach a big financial goal often takes a lot of sacrifices. It’s hard to give things up, like learning how to stop eating out or taking on a no new clothes challenge without being really clear about why you’re doing something. This can lead to big-time procrastination.

Let’s say you’re trying to save up for a big purchase. For example, you’re finding out how to save up for a house. If you list all of the reasons why you want to buy a house, it can really help motivate you when the going gets tough.

Maybe your “why” is to raise your children in a safe home, have a backyard to host parties, or just have a place to call your own. Whatever the reason, have one (or many), so you’ll have meaning behind the goal and will be less likely to procrastinate.

6. Practice mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is an underrated yet effective way to overcome procrastination. Mindfulness involves you being fully present in the moment, leaving behind judgment or distraction.

To practice mindfulness, try taking a few deep breaths before starting a task or engaging in a brief meditation or visualization exercise. Focus on your breath, and try to let go of any distracting thoughts or worries.

If you develop attitudes of mindfulness, you can create a sense of calm and focus that can help you to overcome procrastination and stay motivated.

Mindfulness helps you stay focused and get more done

Practicing mindfulness has so many benefits.

First, it helps you to stay present and focused on the task you’re doing, reducing the temptation to procrastinate. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, making it easier to stay motivated and productive.

Lastly, it can improve your overall sense of well-being, allowing you to feel more energized and engaged in your tasks.

Practicing mindfulness can decrease financial stress

Life can be stressful, and your finances are no exception. Hopefully, you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way financially (an emergency fund is key for this).

Even so, that doesn’t mean an unexpected financial emergency won’t cause you some anxiety. That’s why having a mindfulness practice in place before anything stressful happens can help you reduce your stress levels and manage the unexpected.

7. Celebrate your accomplishments!

Lastly, an effective way to combat procrastination is to reward yourself for your accomplishments. By setting up a system of rewards, you can create a positive association with completing tasks and motivate yourself to keep going.

A reward can be as simple as going out for a walk, listening to a favorite podcast, or indulging in a hobby you enjoy.

To set up a system of rewards, start by identifying specific milestones or even mini goals you want to achieve. Then, determine what kind of reward you will give yourself for each accomplishment.

It’s important to choose rewards that are enjoyable to you. Appreciating your accomplishments can transform a task from something you dread to something you look forward to.

Celebrating reinforces positive behavior

Celebrating your accomplishments gives you a sense of achievement and progress, boosting your confidence and self-esteem along the way. It also reinforces positive behavior and habits, making it easier to stay on track.

Take time to appreciate when you reach a money milestone

All of that hard work you’ve put in to pay for college, buy a Chanel handbag, fund your emergency savings account if you started with no savings, or stick to a monthly budget deserves some recognition!

Just as you would celebrate reaching other milestones, if you reach a financial milestone, you should celebrate, too!

The great part is, you don’t have to celebrate by spending more money or buying something expensive. There are plenty of ways to treat yourself that don’t involve spending much at all.

Take a friend to lunch, buy a new scarf, or simply toast to yourself with a glass of wine after a long week. Whatever it is, celebrate yourself and all of your accomplishments to keep the momentum going and keep procrastination at bay!

Expert tip

Beating procrastination can affect your finances and life in positive ways. By taking a balanced approach, such as setting deadlines and also celebrating wins, you can more easily stop procrastinating.

What is the easiest way to overcome procrastination?

Use the two-minute rule to quickly accomplish any small tasks that you need to do. Then you’ll feel more accomplished and have less on your mind.

How can you completely avoid procrastinating?

Have a clear goal and direction for your life. You can refer to this whenever you want to procrastinate with work, finances, a task at home, etc. Knowing how this task fits into the bigger picture of your life is very helpful.

The best strategy to stop all procrastinating?

Don’t forget to celebrate when you accomplish something. Then you’ll want to continue completing big tasks.

If you’ve enjoyed this article on combating procrastination, check out our other related articles!

Set yourself up for success with these 7 ways to overcome procrastination!

Ready to stop putting things off and improve your life and finances?

Try one of these 7 ways to overcome procrastination today. Or even try a few different ideas at once. There’s no better time than right now for starting a new life without procrastination that improves your career and finances and brings you more success in life.

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