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9 simple things that make you stop procrastinating

Have you ever postponed tasks because you simply don't want to deal with them? We all have and if you analyze it a bit, you will also come to the conclusion that you spend as much time worrying about and pushing things forward as it would take to actually do them. There is a simple way to solve this problem. Just do it! Yes, you heard it right. Pull yourself together and do it instead of whining about it.

Actually, to postpone things is merely a habit of making the wrong choices, like when you decide to take a nap instead of mowing the lawn or when you decide to watch TV instead of going to the gym. This is when you decide to chat on the phone instead of continue working with the project you're dealing with. Surely you recognize yourself?

You have five things (at least) that you haven't done and that gnaws on your conscience. Right? Now you'll get a few tips on how you can get rid of this evil.

To begin with - everything you do each day, strictly speaking, can be divided into two categories:
1. It's fun.
2. It's not fun.

Things that are fun to do will make you do them faster (often even faster than you need to) and things that are not so fun, you put aside while they silently make you feel uncomfortable, right? Admit it!

But there is a cure and here are a few tips on how you can stop procrastinating:

1. Do what you hate to do first
The first thing to do in the morning is to get started with the most boring task first. It's smart to do this for two reasons:
1. You don't have to think about it anymore and you'll have time to do all the more enjoyable things later.
2. Soon it's 5 pm and you tell yourself;”Damn, time flies ... Oh, well, I can always do it tomorrow instead.”

2. Create a contract
Find a co-worker as a partner and agree that you will call each other every morning and explain what your hardest task of the day is all about. Before the day is over, you must contact each other again and tell each other that the task is completed.

3. Consider the results
Instead of concentrating on how boring it is to do a certain thing - focus on how nice it will be when you are done.

4. Tell everyone about what you will do and when it should be done
The smart thing about telling others when you should be ready with a task is just the fact that you have given other people a promise that you want to keep.

5. Share and divide
Rather than engaging in the whole big super tedious task, break it down into smaller pieces and deal with one piece at a time.

6. Set a deadline for whatever you don't want to do
”I'll start with this task and it should be ready by noon and that's it”!

7. Get more information
Sometimes the unwillingness to do certain things stems from you lacking sufficient knowledge or information about what to do. It feels like a big complicated sourdough. Get information, ask. Get the help you need to get it done today.

8. Stop being a coward
Sometimes your procrastination stems from you being afraid of something. I know what it's like. You carry a super idea, but when you try to formulate it on paper, you suddenly become afraid that it will be less fantastic than you first envisioned and therefore you let it rest in your mind instead. Another reason could be that you are compelled to call anyone with bad  news or tell someone about a mistake you have done. Be hard on yourself. Just do it. Have you heard that before?

9. Give yourself credit
Imagine that you must call customers who don't even know that your business exists. Scary. If you turn it into a game where you get points for every call you make and when you reach a certain point you will get a reward, it'll be much easier. I'm an expert at giving myself points and rewards. My whole career is a hunt for points where hunting the toughest and hardest things gives me the credits I long for. The reward could be a trip with your motorcycle around noon, buying a fun thing or taking a quick trip to a lake with your fishing rod.

Do it now!

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
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