This post was most recently updated on August 30th, 2023
[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own]
Finally. I say that. To myself.
Most people are guilty of procrastinating. It’s the thief of time, and we’ve all been there. I have a deadline tomorrow (or maybe even hours ahead), and I’m very comfortable lying on my bed watching YouTube. I continually put off the work until it’s midnight before it’s due. Then, panic.
What’s often harder than actually completing the task is figuring out how to stop procrastinating before you start. Whether it’s writing a blog post, cleaning the room, subtitling TV shows, scheduling social media posts, translating documents, or something as simple as running errands with my mom. Over time, I’ve learned to identify some principles about procrastination, why we do it, and how to overcome it.
There is always a day in a week when my to-do list continues to grow, and the tasks I need to do can become even more daunting—even more so when having two jobs. That’s why people start procrastinating in the first place—we’re overwhelmed by it and don’t know how to begin.
In today’s post, I will try to explain how we can stop procrastinating, with a lot of reading, trial and error, and constant improvement of systems and habits.
Find a job you truly love and enjoy doing
I’ve mentioned that you can turn your passion into a career and that’s a fact. We do what we enjoy, we make time for it, and we are free of distractions.
For instance, I love translating and sharing my life experiences through my blogs. I absolutely love the entire process—the writing, the researching, the brainstorming ideas, the SEOing, finding gorgeous stock images—all of it!
Not many people have the chance to do what they love. They ended up quitting, looking for a new job, quitting, and looking for a new job, all in a circle. Once you have the job you truly desire that showcases your passion, your system is ready to tackle an important task that you’ve been putting off for a while.
Use a planner (physical or digital)
I don’t know how many times you will read this. But I totally love planning everything! You can’t do any work if you don’t know what assignments need to be completed, right? I write every single thing on my planner – my job’s to-do list, appointment, deadline, blogging schedule, personal life, self-care routine, movie list, and more.
Invest in a planner or start using the calendar app on your phone. This makes it much easier to keep track of your personal schedule and important deadlines for your business.
Get the hard stuff done first
Do you know what’s kind of tough for me as a blogger? It’s the whole deal of cooking up some seriously top-notch content. And I’ll be real, sometimes that urge to procrastinate creeps in big time. If we’re talking time, it takes me at least a solid 4 to 5 hours to whip up a single 700-800-word article. My brain’s pretty much wiped by the end of it.
After being a translator for years, I got used to writing and reading in English. Writing a blog post these days actually feels kinda… fun. And you know what’s cool? Once I’m done, it’s like, bam, it’s in the bag! Oh, and here’s a little secret: tackling the tough stuff right out of the gate is the way to go. It’s like magic – everything that comes after feels smoother and quicker.
Get rid of distractions
If you tend to spend too much time on social media when you should writing a post studying or working, then shut your phone and turn off notifications from apps. It’s important to rid yourself of all distractions before you start working so you don’t get distracted halfway through your task.
Distractions could also be an external source, like annoying neighbors when you’re working from home like me. Try listening to melody to drown out their chatter. Alternatively, you can change your environment and head down to the local library (sadly I don’t have a good library here) or a coffee shop, where you can clear your mind and enjoy working on your task with free distraction.
Focus on your long-term goals
Back in early 2022, I was seriously feeling over Instagram, so I decided to give it a breather. You know how it goes – that whole idea of hitting 300 likes on an Instagram post is pretty darn tempting. All those likes don’t mean squat if there’s zero real engagement. And yeah, the truth stings a bit, no doubt about it.
In early May, I started posting again and sharing only what I enjoy. I also write every single day on my blog and work on creating quality content that will have people turning to my blog when the time comes. This routine helps me to make writing on this main blog becomes much easier over time.
What would you rather have?
10,000 followers who are following you just to boost your numbers and never engage with you? Or an authentic audience that genuinely engages with you and follows what you post?
Keep in mind that an authentic audience will take time to grow. But once you establish that, they will be your most loyal audience. And don’t take it for granted.
I can’t say that I’m totally immune from procrastination. But I start these few simple steps to stop procrastinating when I have an important task to do on a certain day. The truth is, that overcoming procrastination relies more on your daily routines than willpower. Try your best to do a bit of this every single day to stop procrastinating and you’d realize how you overcoming the procrastination habit within a few weeks.
Now I want to hear your tips on how do you stop procrastinating? Share your ideas below!