Throughout the course of our academic and/or extracurricular activities, every individual comes to grips with the optimum obstacle to productivity: procrastination. Though one’s mind understands the importance of the tasks that need to get done as well as the consequences if said tasks are not completed, our minds still rebel against logic and attach to more self-indulgent activities, such as watching television or surfing the Internet. Once one falls into such desires, it is incredibly easy for one to be caught in a never-ending loop of anxiety, stress, and procrastination, with no accomplished work in sight.

While most accuse those who procrastinate as nothing more than mere bumbling, disorganized do-nothings, this is simply not the case. Often times, procrastinators are intelligent, hardworking individuals who are just unable to move beyond this giant hurtle in their life. Thus,

Procrastination is often fueled by perfectionism, fear of failure, and/or fear of success.

Nevertheless, there are ways in which you can overcome this habitual loop of negative energy. Establishing a set of rules that you must abide by when dealing with your productivity will allow you to understand that procrastination is a habit, not a conscious choice.

Below are nine steps you can use in order to overcome your procrastination:

1Pursue the hardest tasks first.

9 Steps to Defeat Procrastination

Such a strategy will allow your brain to think of these supposed “easier” tasks as a motivating award, thereby furthering your productivity.

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2Create to-do lists.

9 Steps to Defeat ProcrastinationThis will allow you to remain organized and prioritize what takes precedence over which activity. As well, creating lists will enable your mind to remain more goal-oriented, reinforcing the ideas of what needs to be done.

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3Remove any and all distractions.

9 Steps to Defeat Procrastination

One of the main triggers to procrastination is distractions; scapegoats of your work, such as your cellphone, your laptop, or your television. Turn off and/or remove these distractions from your work space in order to allow your mind to understand that you are to focus solely on the task that needs to be completed.

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4Get a good night’s sleep.

9 Steps to Defeat Procrastination

Without sleep, your brain will most likely not be able to allot the proper amount of energy to your given task that day. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is key to one’s work ethic.

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5Recognize why you’re procrastinating.

9 Steps to Defeat Procrastination

Though this may seem relatively obvious, keep in mind that our conscious minds work as the ultimate storytellers. A procrastinator’s mind often creates supposedly “reasonable” excuses to why tasks cannot be completed, which are often based in irrationality. Continue to ask yourself why you don’t want to do a particular activity in order to better understand your procrastination.

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6Remember why you’re doing it.

9 Steps to Defeat Procrastination

Never lose sight of the goals of your task as this often fuels procrastination to flare. Recall why this task is important and the consequences that lay if it is not completed.

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7Manage your anxiety.

9 Steps to Defeat Procrastination

Though bits of anxiety can motivate you to fulfill a task, excessive amounts can become paralyzing. Therefore, manage your fears and recognize when your anxiety is getting out of control.

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8Make a strategy for the day.

9 Steps to Defeat Procrastination

While organizing a list of activities is useful, creating a plan as to how you would like to approach the day creates a clearer game plan for your mind and is easier to follow.

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9Reward yourself.

9 Steps to Defeat Procrastination

When tasks are completed, don’t convince yourself that you must dive into another. Acquiring breaks and other rewards is not only mentally pleasing, but fuels our mind to work harder for the next given task.

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Remember that it is all a matter of the mind, and that any task can be accomplished with enough time, patience and dedication.