We all procrastinate. Sometimes it’s just hard to get started, but as soon as we do get started, and we finish it, we say to ourselves, “well, that wasn’t too bad”.
Most of the tasks we procrastinate on only seem big and scary at first. We often mistake, that, in order to start working on a task or project, we must first feel in the mood or feel motivated beforehand. But we definitely don’t have to! If we always waited for that feeling to come, it could take weeks, months or even never! We can still take action even if we don’t feel like doing it, or are totally unmotivated.
When we feel negative thoughts and emotions towards a task or action, instead of letting it control our behavior or inaction, just get started on the task as soon as possible. Because once you spark that first step towards taking action, once you just get started, the ball will keep rolling, and things will finally start happening!
7 Ways to Get Started
1. Be Prepared
Preparation for everything in life will make your life easier. If you want to start going to the gym every day, it would be easier if your bags are already packed, your workout clothes are already picked out, or you’re already sleeping in workout clothes.
If you want to work on a project first thing tomorrow morning, collect all the information you need for the project, leave it out the night before, make it easily accessible.
If you know there is something you will procrastinate on, prepare for it first!
2. Start at the Beginning
Sometimes a task will look very overwhelming as a whole. A way to make it look easier and feel less threatening is to break each project down into small tasks and figure out the first step that needs to get done. Do the first thing that needs to be done, stick with it till it’s done and you’ll be one step closer to getting it done!
3. Get Relaxed
Sometimes you need to calm yourself before you can do a daunting task. Set up a work zone – make it comfortable and relaxing. Make some tea, listen to calming music, meditate, etc before starting a hard task.
4. Make it Fun
Sometimes you need energy and to pump yourself up before starting a task. Use some pumped up music and dance around to get you going. Sing, skip and hop to make the task more fun!
5. Eliminate Distractions
If you are easily distracted by your work environment, consider different options.
- Go to a library,
- Head to a coffee shop,
- Use noise-reducing headphones,
- Write down thoughts that are distracting,
- Let others know you are busy,
- Go to a conference room.
6. Beware of Multitasking
When you multitask you lose focus easily. When you have a task to get done, try to do it one at a time. Only have on your desk the task you are working on or only have one program or one tab on your computer open.
7. Just start
When I really don’t feel like writing a blog post because I’m comfortable laying in bed or watching tv, I simply sit in front of my computer and all of a sudden I’m churning out words. Sometimes sitting in front of my computer doesn’t always work so then I’d have to open up a word document and start typing gibberish until an idea comes up. But either way, just getting up and getting started is the only way to get things done.
The pain is in the anticipation, not in the actual doing of the dreaded task. If we want to relieve tension and negative emotions, we don’t need to avoid a task… we need to get started on the task. Once we’ve overcome the initial resistance – the negative thoughts and emotions generated by our mind –, we realize it’s not nearly as bad as we thought. Oftentimes, its’ actually quite fun and enjoyable
NJ LIFE HACKS
So if you feel like procrastinating, I hope these 7 ways to get started and stop procrastinating will help you to get started on that task now!