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Nov 22, 2016 11:43 AM EST

Quit Putting Things Off, End the Procrastination Doom Loop

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Think of the most productive people you know, ever wonder how they do so much despite all the distractions? According to Forbes, we share the same distractions with productive people. They just do one thing differently: they use a calculated approach to beating procrastination.

The procrastination doom loop simply refers to putting off doing something because you're not in the mood then realizing that too much time has passed and feeling guilty for wasting time and not finishing the job earlier.

In order to beat procrastination, you have understand its source. You'll be surprised to know that the source of procrastination are negative emotions. In order for you to escape the loop and beat procrastination, you need to take control of your emotions.

Here's a strategy to help you do it:

  1. Reflect and figure out why you're procrastinating. Whatever it is that's keeping you from doing anything might be telling you something. Invest in finding our why, it might be the most valuable step you take.

  2. Maintain your focus by removing obstacles and distractions when you work. Getting your focus back on the task is harder once your attention has been caught by something.

  3. Just get started. Don't overthink how to get it done or how it should be done. You can polish later on but for now, just do it.

  4. If it's too overwhelmingly distracting, break the project down on small actionable steps and work on them one by one. Each completed step will also encourage you to do more.

  5. Working in the right environment will help especially if you don't have laser-like focus and gets easily distracted. Turn off the TV, radio or phone, avoid crowded places, and when it's permissible, give yourself quiet time blocks.

  6. Celebrate small wins by checking them off your to-do list. It will make you feel better and when appropriate, treat yourself to some rewards to.

  7. Set realistic goals and don't be a perfectionist. A do-able to-do list will get you further than an ambitious one.

  8. Listen to what you tell yourself. Whenever you get that familiar feeling of putting a task off for later, ask yourself why and if you can't find a good reason for doing so, repeat this to yourself: "I will not procrastinate."

  9. Focus on the result and not what it would take to get it done.

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