Don’t wait: 3 steps to stop procrastination so you can get things done
It’s noon already.
Your to-do list is still full. Instead of working on getting things done, you sit there. Mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed while on your fourth episode during your Netflix binge, you have yet to get up.
There’s a house to clean or a project calling your name. Maybe you have a paper you should be working on for school. So you tell yourself, after the next episode, after I take my nap, or in just ten more minutes.
Another excuse with nothing accomplished.
You have goals. You know the steps to make your next step a reality, but you’ve allowed procrastination to take up residence in your life. It’s there whether we realize it or not. Putting off doing difficult things may seem easier at the moment, but it comes at a hefty cost. We can experience guilt and increased stress knowing we have more work to complete. In addition to these negative emotions, procrastination can even lead to a poor reputation with our family, friends, and coworkers because we are continually inconsistent.
When we accept procrastination as our normal, we devalue our time, gifts, and purpose. Inaction becomes a way of life.
Fortunately, we all can choose to move forward at any time. Moving past procrastination is easier to do when you decide to take these three steps.
Choose excellence over perfectionism
Perfectionism creates the idea that every environment, every page, every word must be just right. If we continue waiting until the perfect “time” to tackle our tasks, for the perfect “look” before we submit the project, or the perfect “space” before we start the business, we have allowed perfect to prevent us from moving forward. We start just to stop just to start all over again completing NOTHING.
That’s why we must learn the difference between working with excellence rather than working to make everything perfect. Perfection says everything has to be just right. Excellence says I will do my best. Perfectionism says I cannot make mistakes. Excellence says I will take ownership of my mistakes and learn from them.Perfectionism defines who we are by what we do. Excellence says who I am defines how I work. Click To Tweet
Working in excellence provides the freedom to move forward, try new things and embrace growth.
Write things down
Using calendars and making lists can help with tackling those activities we want to avoid. Even though procrastination can stem from perfectionism, it can also happen because we have too much to remember and we have stretched ourselves too thin. Using a calendar helps to identify how we are using our time. When you get up? When do you have time to work on the project? When can you work on starting your new business? Where are you spending most of your time? Is it running the kids back and forth to activities? A calendar can help to identify if you are overextending yourself. You may see that Monday is overflowing with work and family commitments leaving little time for rest or self-care. Once you determine your obligations, you can make decisions on how you can effectively use your time and plan efficiently.
Do the hard things
Yes, I know this is not what you want to hear. I get it. Putting off the challenging aspects of our day is easy to do. When managing your bills stresses you out, you might want just to wait to do them. You have a big paper that is going to take up most of your day, why not wait to do it after you have a little fun? We all have creative reasons why the project can wait, why we don’t need to make the call, or even why we should have a difficult conversation later.
When we choose to tackle the hard thing, we are no longer bound to the fear.
Most people avoid doing the hard things because of fear, most importantly fear of failure.
I don’t like managing money. I’m not good at it, so I put off handling the bills.
I have never been good at writing, so I will write my paper later.
I don’t want to hurt her feelings or be misunderstood, so I will put off having the conversation.
Don’t allow fear to keep you from moving forward. Instead, pray! Allow the Holy Spirit guide you and seek help. If you struggle with writing, get a tutor or ask your professor for help. If you don’t do well managing money, find someone who can provide financial coaching. Just move!
What will you do today to stop procrastination and get things DONE?
The perfectionist vs excellence is right on time. I thank God for this post. I think this is exactly what I have been struggling with. I have truly been stressed about things not being how I want them but been putting off fixing them and I think this is why.
Mamie L. PackLacole
I am so glad the Holy Spirit was able to minister to you through these words. Don’t put off what God is calling you to do. Move forward!!!
I agree with Lacole. I needed this message today!
Mamie L. PackFaith Ladson
So glad you enjoyed it lady!
I am so grateful that you shared the importance of not stifling your progress by focusing on perfection. Perfection undermines us in so many ways. Sometimes it even stops us from even getting started in the first place, because it can make us feel like we shouldn’t even try.The pressure of perfection is not kind, it doesn’t cheer us on and it never truly leads us forward. In my opinion it’s the true enemy success. And I am so grateful that your lovely post shared such an incredibly important message! Thank you for sharing <3
This was helpful. Thank you for writing this post. I have been reading self help books lately, they resonate with your post.
Mamie L. Packaparna_097
Oh, that is great. Any particular books you are reading?
aparna_097Mamie L. Pack
Want to finish my review pile, then I’ll start reading
This was really helpful. Doing the hard things first and getting them out of the way definitely works for me.
Mamie L. PackAbby
Great inspirational post. I think the best tip and one im personally challenged by is to get the hard things done and out of the way first! That way its easier to do the rest.
Mamie L. PackHuda
Those hard tasks are challenging for sure. But when you knock it out everything is simply after that.
I really appreciate the Perfection Vs. Excellence chart!!! I always do the easy things first so that I can see more things checked off the lists and then it encourages me to keep going. I should try tackling the hard thing first one day and see how it goes! Thanks for a great post!
Mamie L. PackShirley Nozawa
Tackling the hard thing is not as popular but it is worth trying. You are more likely to complete it first when your mind and energy is fresh.
Great advice! Thanks for sharing!
I think you are inside my brain. I am intentionally making lists and setting daily goals. This has been life changing!
Mamie L. Packthehabibihouse
Love it! Intentional is one of my go-to words.
Lorena y Lennox
I love the idea of excellence over perfectionism. I struggle with this a lot. Also, writing things down is my lifesaver to remember all those little things that I will forget about. Great post!
Procrastination destroys productivity and happiness. These are good tips to help people stop procrastinating right now.
Mamie L. PackJaneane Davis
Thanks Janeane! Procrastination gets in the way of our success for sure.
Great tips! I never thought about the difference between ‘perfection’ and ‘excellence’ as I think I always assumed they were of the same meaning. The differences between the two are key. A positive mindset is everything and can change so much about your day!
Mamie L. PackKristen
Your mindset does impact our attitude toward how we can stop procrastination. Thanks for stopping by Kristen.
I am tired of procrastinating. I really need some motivation to push myself everyday to do more and more. Your tips are amazing and I am trying to set my priorities
I love writing lists! I really love what you say about excellence vs perfectionism! I will definitely need to keep this on the forefront of my mind for awhile until I can stick to that mindset! Thank you so much!
The “do hard things” one, is so true. Not managing your finances properly because you don’t know how will only make it worse. Speaking from experience lol!
Hi, Mamie! Thanks for sharing this post! As for me, it’s better to have a messy action than no action at all! And then just keep improving over time. And I agree with you that you can never go wrong in handling things in an excellent way!
Mamie L. PackSheryl Mendoza
Love that “messy” action Sheryl!
It is so important to learn these skills especially when dealing with the assignments from Christ. Thanks for reminding me of the importance of getting things done in a timely manner.
These are sure helpful tips. Thanks for sharing.
Mamie L. PackKristie Okafor
Thanks for stopping by!
Hey, Mamie, I really appreciate your graphics and tweet blocks. I used one to tweet to Capture Books. But, more deeply, this is a word for my moment. I like your advice to right things down and to do the hard things and to do them with an excellent process, not perfectionism.
Mamie L. Packyourprotagonist
Doing the hard thing first can open up more time and mental space.
Such a great post, Mamie. I imagine we all need help with procrastination. I know I need it at times – and perfectionism is my hang up, I believe. Thank you. I pinned one of your pins though I am just a brand new pinterest person – but nevertheless wanted to share it.
Mamie L. PackPam Morrison
Thanks for sharing Pam! I appreciate it.
Your posts always leave the reader armed with truth and practical help. Very well written Mamie! Thank you …
Mamie L. PackDonna Miller
Thank you for your encouragement Donna!
I love that reminder to choose excellence over perfectionism. I know l am guilty of trying to choose perfection. When it should always be excellence!
This is such a great post! You are spot on about why we procrastinate. Loved the suggested steps to stop procrastination! And I really liked how you explained the difference between perfectionism and excellence! Making lists usually frees me to be able to move forward. When I make a list, I then have a plan. Thank you for this!
That first paragraph described me yesterday! LOL! Great post, I am going to share it with someone I know who would benefit from it!
I love this sentence from your post. “Perfectionism defines who we are by what we do. Excellence says who I am defines how I work.” So often we try to define ourselves by the great job we did rather than doing a great job because of who we are.
Such sensible and practical tips! Thank you so much for this.
I’m a procrastinator, so your tips are very helpful. “Perfection says everything has to be just right. Excellence says I will do my best. Perfectionism says I cannot make mistakes. Excellence says I will take ownership of my mistakes and learn from them.” Perfectly stated. No pun intended.
This is so helpful and the kick in the pants I need right now =). I’m definitely relating to the putting things off seems easier but causes more stress comment as well!
Mamie L. Packkariminter
Yay! Glad to hear that.