Procrastination is the One habit holding you back.

“Procrastination is a thief of both Time and Productivity.”

That line was the title of an article 27 years ago but still applies today. Break the habit of procrastination and adopt the following habits to gain control and increase productivity.

STOP!

DO NOT skim through this post or say you will read it later; you know what most likely will end up happening.

What is Procrastination?

Do you constantly put off tasks simply because you are not in the mood?

Or avoid doing a specific task by doing something that is of less importance?

Or do you spend long periods scrolling through social media platforms hoping to find the motivation you need to start doing what you know you should be doing?

All those scenarios are describing procrastination.

If you put it off​—postpone what you could or should do now—​then you procrastinate. In other words, you put off for tomorrow what you can do now, today.

12 Productivity Habits to Steal Back Your Time

Habits

1. Control Your Time

A wise man said, “The one who watches the wind will not sow seed, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap.”

In ancient times agriculture was crucial to the survival of families and a nation. So the writer of those profound words indicated that if one hesitated to sow or reap, seizing any excuse to avoid work, he and his family would suffer the consequences.

A person who holds back, waiting for a time to come when everything seems to him favorable, looking for excuses to avoid work will not achieve anything. Success will continue to allude such a person.

2. Maintain a positive attitude.

Based on the quote earlier, if a farmer focused only on the negative possibilities like the wind that could blow his seed or the rain that could oversaturate his crop, he would fail to take the necessary action.

Similarly, by focusing only on negative feelings, you can paralyze all efforts to improve yourself.

Focus on the positive will give you the little push you need to start a task and eventually create a snowball effect.

Starting a task is the hardest thing, but when started, it is easier to continue.

Don’t focus on the amount of work or the stress related to the task, look towards the feeling of accomplishment.

3. Display Gratitude- Appreciate the now

Focusing on what we have accomplished and what we have in life is a great way to help us remain motivated.

We often don’t display gratitude for what we have because we compare it with what others have.

Your success can not be measured by someone else’s.

Look around. What are three things you can say you are grateful for? Is it a mate who loves you? Strength to keep going? Is it a skill you have? Being able to breathe and live today is a gift we should never underappreciate.

Because we have another day to try again let us give it a go again today. Just start.

4. Plan Ahead- Have a productivity system

“The shrewd one ponders each step.” And “the plan of the diligent leads to success.”

The reality is that many decisions involve some uncertainties but life’s uncertainties should not make us indecisive.

Plan to succeed and you will. Make planning a habit.

To help develop this habit, developing a system is important.

Why not adopt the 3Ps Productivity System? (Pen to Paper, Prioritize and Production by Reflection) Read more.

5. Writing Things Down

Our beautifully designed brain helps us to come up with solutions to problems, express ourselves, and be creative but may fail us when we want to recall even important things.

It is ok if you forget.

That is why it’s important to write things down. Do not underestimate the power of writing it down.

Successful persons accept this fact and many have developed a system of planning. One step in their system would entail storing their ideas. notes and planned activities on schedules, calendars, and journals (even electronically).

Nothing can replace your brain but add to it but jotting things down.

When you write it down you know what your task to accomplish is. You are more likely to get it done.

6. Prioritize

Life has a way of keeping us distracted.

But a lot of the things we get distracted but are not adding to self-development.

Yes, entertainment has its place but is it taking the place of the More important things in our life?

Develop the habit of identifying the more important things in your life.

Steps to help Prioritize:

  • 1- write down all the things you do in a day or week.

Right everything down. Be honest, that is the only way it will work.

  • 2- After writing it all down. Then attach number 1, 2, or 3 to the task.

1 is to be used for the things you consider to be MOST important in your lives.

For me, that is any activity to do with my spirituality and family. The number 2 is to be attached to those things that are important as well but don’t take first priority. These things help support my number ones. For me that is work, developing my business, learning or developing skills, and then using the number 3 to label tasks that are needed to get done but can work around the MOST important tasks. These tasks to me are cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.

  • 3- Insert into your daily schedule the tasks you numbered 1. Insert the tasks you numbered 2 and then 3.

Everyone’s priorities will differ. But by the numbering system if any task is to be eliminated it should be a task you deem less important.

That way you will always at the end of the day get the more important things done.

7. Make Time for yourself

Without you, all your plans will be futile.

Take care of yourself. Make time to feed yourself mentally. Ponder on positive and up-building things, read and engage in activities that bring you true satisfaction and delight.

To get these things done in a busy schedule you must prioritize them. So when planning your weekly schedule, don’t forget your health is important.

When you are physically rested, mentally invigorated, and emotionally balanced you are most productive.

8. Accomplish ONE important task at a time.

The feeling of worthlessness comes from when we feel like we missed the mark or target.

Planning is important but ensure you are doing so realistically and within reason.

Having a colorful or packed schedule looks nice but when we do not hit all the targets it makes us feel demotivated.

Avoid this by placing ONE important task you numbered as a 1 (see point 4 Prioritize) in a day to accomplish. Plan around this task.

When you reflect at the end of the day and you have completed this ONE very important task that you set out to do, you truly feel very accomplished and it motivates you to get other things done.

9. Complete tasks- START and COMPLETE

Those tasks you scheduled when you start then get down.

Do not put it down and say later. A tip to help get those tasks you must get done completed. Set a Timer.

Honestly, assess how long the task will take to complete and round up the time. Give a 10 or 15mins margin to the time you allotted.

The simple element of attaching a timer to an activity also motivated you and add joy to tedious tasks.

10. Appreciate the Minutes in the Day (small things matter)

Utilizing the minutes in the day or the time in-between big tasks can easily accumulate in a successful day and week or a seriously unproductive one.

Even if it’s a few minutes to reply to messages when you are on a coffee break or tidying your work desk before or at the end of your work day goes a long way.

11. Be balanced- Ask and Accept Help

Some of us are naturally busy people because we love to be occupied with things to do. Accomplishing many tasks makes us feel accomplished and fulfilled.

So we fall prey to the trap, thinking we can do it all.

Something will suffer, and let us hope is not the most important thing in our lives, because nothing is worth it if we lose the thing or person most precious to us.

In that case, nothing is wrong with asking your mate, a family member, or a friend to help.

Even if it’s to babysit the kids for a few hours for you to get a little me-time. Or you have a project to complete and though you are skilled at it there must be a minute aspect of it someone could assist with. Perhaps it was chores that were being neglected.

Whatever it may be many successful women have come to appreciate the power of humility and asking and accepting help.

12. Consistency

All of the above will be useless if we are not consistent with them.

Just like a dripping stand-pipe can erode a concrete area over time, so can a consistent person erode the bad happen of procrastination.

Conclusion

The One habit that is holding back your productivity is procrastination. Don’t forget “Procrastination is a thief of both Time and Productivity.”

Break free by:

– Controlling your time

– Maintain a positive attitude

– Display gratitude

– Plan ahead

– Write things down

– Prioritize

– Make time for yourself

– Accomplish one task at a time

– Complete task

– Appreciate the minutes in the day

– Be balanced

– Consistency

Read the following article to assess what other habits may be holding you back: 10 Habits holding you back.