When procrastination becomes a habit, it can hold us back from success, and from achieving great things in life. So why do we procrastinate?

It could be a fear of failure. Perhaps we are not confident enough about the knowledge or skills we have to pull off a new project. We think we don’t have what it takes to get into that career path we’ve been dreaming of.

It could be due to our perfectionism. We put things off because we don’t want to be disappointed if they don’t turn out perfectly. So, we just delay those ambitious tasks until “better times.” Does that sound like you?

We also delay doing things because we know we can ‘wing it’. We’ve been mastering the art of cramming, and doing stuff at the last minute has become our normal. We claim that we work better and more productively during crunch time when the pressure is high.

Sometimes, we simply procrastinate because we just don’t want to do it. It’s not interesting enough for us, like a household chore, so we just push it to the bottom of our to-do list.

Don’t Let It Hold You Back, Just Do It

Procrastination can lead to bad habits and negatively affect us emotionally and physically. It is linked to anxiety and stress, which can also manifest in our impacted physical health, and, of course, it can hold us back from being successful in any or every aspect of our life.

The good news though is that it can be overcome. Just like every habit, it is not too late to break free from procrastination and make real changes to get the results you want in life. Here’s how.

Find Your WHY

Determine what you really want in life. What makes life worthwhile, or would? What are your goals? What is your vision? Keeping your eyes on these will drive you to get things done and move forward.

Set a target time for when you want to achieve your goals. Do you want to become a millionaire at the age of 30? Retire at the age of 50? Be specific about it. Soon is not a time. A goal without a deadline can be put off indefinitely, so you could fall back to procrastinating again.

Create Your Action Plan

Once you identify the things that you want to do in life or the results that want to achieve to feel successful and fulfilled, lay out your action plan. You now have the direction you want to take. List down smaller, intermediate goals that will help you come closer to your goals and prioritize them.

Your action plan should help you go through even the most daunting tasks, instead of putting them off until you feel you are ready. With a clear plan, you can take baby steps and still make significant progress. Feeling overwhelmed can also make you procrastinate, so being organized and doing smaller tasks help you avoid that.

Just Do It Now

Understand what tasks you are putting off and why. Doing so will give you some insight into where you need to motivate yourself to get it done, and to do it now. We all face tasks that we don’t really want to do but we have to because they are necessary for whatever reason.

The trick is getting started, once you have started inertia is on your side. You can jumpstart your productivity by accomplishing even the simplest task on your to-dos, like making your bed or washing the dishes.

Most often, it is not about the amount of time it will take to do a task. It is about getting started at all. When you begin the habit of taking action right away, it can become second nature.

Your life is happening right now, so the best time to act is now. It is about being brave to take risks and face failures, getting things done than making them perfect, and taking small steps to reach your goals in life and be successful.