How to Stop Procrastinating if you Have a Creative Mind
12 Strategies Included
Dear struggling friend:
Let’s face it, if you are reading this, you probably have a lot of ideas in your mind.
But, Do you know how to stop procrastinating on what you know you need to get done? Procrastination steals your time, focus & makes you avoid responsibility.
Procrastination is something that I still struggle with. The difference is that I’ve become better at this due to dealing with chronic procrastination and over extending deadlines in the past, I’ve learned pretty good strategies to finish my degrees, to have a balanced life, and to manage to start my own business. But every time I face a new habit, a new assignment, or a change of seasons (with different amount of responsibilities) it takes me months or even a year to not procrastinate.
I’ve been given a little bit more to do this season, had to say no to a lot, so maybe I can give you 12 key strategies that will help:
1. Drink your Favorite Drink
My favorite drinks right now are coffee, and water (infused with some mint leaves and freshly squeezed lemon juice). By the way, Mint is a natural stimulant, which means that it will help you focus.
How about you, would you like to try drinking your favorite drink (preferably non-alcoholic) while trying to focus?
Side Note: If you are a chronic procrastinator, doing #1 on repeat won’t work. So continue reading!
2. Knowing Your Why
Knowing your why is important if you are someone who likes to know the reason behind everything before you do it.
To view my blog post on this topic, click here: Know Your Why
3. Remove Distractions
If your excuse is “I don’t have time to work on that.” Ask yourself how long you have been struggling to start that one thing that can change your life drastically? Also look at your schedule, is there anything you can remove so that you focus on what you need to get done?
I had to cancel many opportunities to attend Bible study meetings, and conferences, so that I could have time to work and pay for tuition, in addition to studying.
4. Unclutter your Work Space
Focus on what is in front of you. Or go somewhere where you have less clutter in front of you. If you have to get writing done and you are struggling, try to get this one app. It’s called Cold Turkey and it’s free.
5. Become Aware of How much Free Time You Have
Have you noticed how much free time you are wasting lately? Stop thinking about how to do something, or thinking you can do it later. If you are in a season where you have a lot more time in your hands, this is your time to do everything that is not easy for you to do.
Because later on, when you start having a lot more added to your plate, it will be harder to get those not-so-exciting tasks done. I’m talking about filing, organizing, decluttering, donating, putting items on sale, getting your receipts ready for tax season, saving money, learning about budgeting, learning everything you can about a skill that can bring you profit, etc.
You have my permission to add these items to your “To Do List” by the way.
6. Use a timer
Choose a cooking timer or the Pomodoro technique, and set it up for 10 to 15 minutes to get some tasks done. Take 5-minute breaks (or more if your Pomodoro timer is set for more time) in between if it’s wise or continues your job. Many people struggle with starting, but once you start, it’s easier. If 15 minutes is not working, just do 5 minutes. If 5 minutes is not working, put your timer for 2 minutes, I’m confident that should work. Sometimes, once you start, you will go over the time you set your timer. You can also use a kitchen timer or stopwatch on your phone or watch.
7. Get an accountability partner
Get an accountability partner in whatever you find hard to focus and start doing by yourself. It’s best if your accountability partner is doing something similar to what you are trying to do. It’s also encouraged if your accountability shares similarities with you.
One example is when your co-worker or colleague is working on similar goals as you. Don’t wait, challenge each other by staying accountable to each other in your goals, or simply start by asking him or her, “How much work (sales) did you do today/this month?”
Another example, if you share similar spiritual beliefs, so that he or she could both pray and hold you accountable. In my opinion, relying on God is powerful.
8. Are you Avoiding Responsibility?
Am I avoiding Responsibility by engaging in another activity or by browsing the internet instead of focusing on what I need to get done?
9. Group Related Action Items and Take Action
If it’s a big project like wedding planning, designing your website, or baby shower planning, or starting your own business, etc. You have to get a notebook or To Do List app, and write down your different projects, and then schedule in your calendar a day to do 1 action item.
Group related action items into the same day or the same weekend to get them all done.
10. Hire a Coach
If you can’t do the above on your own, or with an accountability partner, I encourage you to hire a coach to help you stop procrastination and to focus! I’m accepting new clients everyday. Hire Liliana here.
11. Take Action right after an already Attained Habit
You can do this by scheduling and planning to work on a new habit right after a habit that you already do without much thinking. Notice how much motivation you have right after you are done with an already attained habit, that’s the right time to start building a new habit.
12. Work your Planning Muscle by writing Tasks and Deadlines
The first thing to do to work on tasks and deadlines is to choose a planning system depending on your lifestyle and learning style. Once you decide whether you want to plan by using pen and paper (or planner), a phone app, or any other electronic calendar (like Google Calendar) or To Do List, it’s time to write or type every task that you have and assign reasonable deadlines.
When it comes to assigning deadlines, it’s easiest to do this when you notice at what times of the day you are more likely to have motivation and more energy.
Once planning your To Do List starts getting easier, it’s important to start scheduling entire days and weeks in advance. A coach can help you do that more strategically.
Here is a Testimonial from someone that needed to make the most of their schedule:
“I looked for a coach who could help me improve my productivity, and chose Liliana because in her description it said she is good with creative minds. Well, I am, always distracted with good ideas, and everything that crosses my path every day. She guided me in a few weeks making a new schedule, especially a week schedule that ended up a two-weekly schedule. In the schedule lays my needs, my tasks, and it became something that gave me back time, hobbies, and doing my work in a different way. I’m very content, surprised and happy about how Liliana worked with me so far.” Geert
Now, let’s focus on what matters to you. Would love to read your comments in the space below!