- Don’t rely on motivation. Motivation is fleeting—it comes and goes. While it is advantageous to be motivated, the folks who get things done are those who find a way to work at whatever they are interested in, even when they don’t really feel like doing it.
- Banish your inner perfectionist. Remember that many things in your life need not be done perfectly—they’re to be just done … taken to a little bit better shape than before at each baby step. Whatever you need to work on just needs to be an outline, first attempt, rough copy, version 0. It needn’t be perfect.
- Picture the future self when you’ve achieved your goals. Figure out the finish line you are aiming at. Visualize what “done” looks like—a sense of achievement? Fame? Getting your co-worker off your back?
- Confront your fears. Figure out the underlying cause for procrastination. If it’s fear or if you’re failing overwhelmed, challenge the worst-case scenario by asking yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Perhaps you may discover that you’re procrastinating over something that isn’t that important.
- Trick yourself into getting started. Say, “I’m not really going to work on this now. I’ll just open the report and make some notes for two minutes.” Beginning a task builds momentum, and seemingly-difficult tasks tend to get easier once you get working on them.
Bonus: Stop trying too hard to overpower yourself into action. Sometimes, getting those other, less-important tasks done first could motivate you.