5 top tips for overcoming procrastination

There are many reasons why we procrastinate – perfectionism, fear of failure and perceived difficulty being among them. Here are a few ideas to help you break the habit:

1. Break the task down into smaller, bitesize chunks. Promise yourself you’ll spend just five minutes working on the task – the chances are that when you come to the end of the time, you won’t want to stop. Schedule another five minutes for later in the day to attack another chunk and eventually you’ll generate enough momentum to keep yourself going.

2. Change your environment. If you’ve been stuck looking at the same four walls, go for a walk and get some fresh air. Try working in the local café for a couple of hours. Just a small change of scene can really stimulate your interest and brainpower.

3. Set yourself deadlines and reward yourself for achieving them. If you manage to get that tax return done by 10am, have a mini celebration and award yourself that caramel latte.

4. Recognise and eradicate the top three excuses you make to justify procrastination. Do you find you just have to read your emails, or go to a meeting or do some housework? Stop convincing yourself that these other tasks are more important, they’re not, they’re just not as nasty as the thing you’re supposed to be doing!

5. Just start! Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to motivate yourself on a task when you’ve already started it? Try it and see!