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5 Tips for Overcoming Procrastination

By: Vicki ODell for CheapThriftyLiving
Updated March 01, 2018
5 Tricks To Beating Procrastination

It happens to everyone -- sometimes procrastination gets the best of us. It's an easy habit to get into, but it can be an expensive one. An analysis on Investopedia on the cost of procrastination shows just how much your procrastination habit can cost you.

In a different post that I wrote for CreativeIncomeBlog.com, I wrote that sometimes procrastination can be helpful. However, as I’m sure you know, procrastination has a dark side. People who procrastinate can miss out on going to a convention because they put off buying tickets, or pay a late fee because they didn’t write the check. They can miss important business deadlines, too.

Sometimes we procrastinate because we are stuck without a good idea, but more often it is because we are feeling intimidated, overwhelmed or just not up to the task.

1. Do one thing at a time.

Do ONE thing. It doesn’t have to be big, just do something. Pull out supplies for a project, start a mood board, pin some DIY ideas or gather all of the files you need for later. Start the process and the rest will follow.

2. Build a little momentum.

According to Newton’s first law, an object in motion stays in motion. If you get started and get that first task accomplished, the momentum will help carry you to the second and third task. Before you know it, your project will be completed!

3. Look at the tree right in front of you rather than the whole forest.

Look at the tree right in front of you rather than the whole forest. If you’ve spent hours looking at the whole big project and feeling like you’ll never complete it in time, narrow your focus. Start with the easiest task or the one that is more appealing to you. Just do one little step after another and before long you’ll have the whole project completed.

4. Reward yourself as you go.

Set small goals and reward yourself. Let’s say you’ve completed of the smaller tasks that seemed appealing to you and now all you have left are the bits you don’t like so much. Set a goal to get one of those things done and then reward yourself with something you enjoy, like a walk, some TV time or something else you enjoy. Just make sure not to spend the rest of the day on the fun stuff and get back to work.

5. Hold yourself accountable in a public way.

Hold yourself accountable in a public way. Post your goals online or on a white board where your co-workers or family will see it. Join a group of fellow creative business owners and check in with one another often.  Feeling like other people are watching your progress will keep you from procrastinating.

Everyone procrastinates occasionally – the key is not letting it become a habit.

What tricks and tips do you have to share to beat procrastination?

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I have a bad habit of procrastinating. (For instance: my huge midterm project is due next Tuesday, and I've done maybe 10 percent of it.) I always leave myself enough time to finish everything, but I'm always stressing about it. It's definitely not healthy! My main problem is that I reward myself with computer/phone/tv time and then I never get back to work...

I've been procrastinating with my taxes this year (there a little more complicated than usual this time around). I guess I'll have to give some of these tricks a try )

I've been TOTALLY procrastinating on my homework lately (I have 25 pages of writing due in 13 days and I haven't started yet). This article is a helpful reminder to just do one page at a time.

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