Stop Procrastination: 3 Steps To Always Finish What You Start

Productivity

Completing what you start can give you an inner feeling of satisfaction and peace.

But, procrastination, a lack of energy and dwindling enthusiasm can easily derail any fervour-filled start to a project.

Here are 3 sure-fire techniques to help you finish what you start:

Managing Overwhelm

Overwhelm feels like an insurmountable edifice, a humongous wave of water that keeps you from forward motion. An endless to do list, a challenging project, a looming deadline can all cause you to feel overwhelmed and give up altogether. To ensure that you follow through anyway, write out clear goals or steps that will help you attain completion. Steps or goals do not have to be rigid; this will only magnify your overwhelm and drain your energy. Instead, a quick and simple step-by-step outline should serve as a mind-map to help you know what to do next.

Eliminating distractions can make you feel less ‘stretched out.’ When you have too many things vying for your attention, it is easy to lose the focus and the energy needed to pull through with a project. Breaking your tasks into smaller pieces can help to overcome procrastination and anxiety about finishing a task. For example, if you are writing a large report, take time to develop an outline of the structure the report should take. The basic idea is to come up with a guide that will help you keep the momentum. When you start writing the report, you can break down your writing sessions into 30-minute chunks, after which you can take a 10-minute break and then resume your writing.

Being Fully Aware Of The Inherent Challenges

A major reason why people lose zest halfway through a project is that the sweat equity required to bring it to completion is too demanding. It is important not to bite off more than you can chew. At the start of each project, take time to evaluate the amount of effort and time you will need. You should also be open to the number of challenges you are likely to experience and consider whether you have the resources to summon them. One approach that is proven to beat procrastination is to break down your project into three phases: Planning, Execution, and Finish.

Once again, create an outline of what is required to complete all three phases. The outline should also contain a time-line and the challenges that may emerge during execution. Once you have an outline, create time blocks solely dedicated to working on the project. For example, if a report must be completed in one month, how many days and hours in a week should you dedicate to writing the project? Planning your tasks this way gives you a clear sense of what exactly you need to do, and how much time you need to complete any task.

Give Up Rigid Project Management Plans

Developing a plan and key performance indicators may help you maintain momentum and accountability. However, over-planning, setting the yardstick too high or being ridiculous with performance indicators can greatly hamper your enthusiasm for following through. How about creating a simple plan that resonates with your working style, while still respecting the confines of the project? Sometimes, you might have the zest, time or resources to work on Step C of a project instead of Step A. Just because the plan sets out a linear approach that starts with Step A, B and progresses to C does not mean that you cannot be flexible enough to start with C, got to A and end with B. Flowing with your working style will lead to more progress, a lesser likelihood of burnout and sheer frustration.

To attain success with your ideas and projects, you must know how to fight it out to the end. With the right strategies, mindset and simplification of the tasks in hand you can achieve success, stop procrastination and get tasks completed.

Do you have any tips that have helped you stop procrastination? Post them in the comments box below!

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