Why does it seem so hard to kick procrastination to the curb for good? Beating procrastination is hard. We knuckle down, and things are great for a few days. But then we fall back into old habits or get frustrated with our lack of progress. Minor setbacks can be enough to derail us from working on what we wanted to get done in the first place.

Ready for some good news? One word dramatically improves your chances of success: Accountability. 

Measure Your Progress 

Start by measuring your progress. Be guided by data and not controlled by emotions.

Track your habits. A simple way is to use a journal or a box for each day of the week. Check off each thing you did that you said you were going to do. If you were going to go to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and you went, then keep a record of it.

In fact, make a list of the things you must do tomorrow, schedule them in a calendar, and keep track of what you actually do.

Do this daily until it becomes a habit or until the project is done. 

For larger projects, organize your goals into milestones. Record your progress toward reaching those milestones as you inch closer to your goals.

What gets measured gets done.

Make Weekly and Daily To-Do Lists 

Take time on the weekend to plan your week based on the major things you need or want to get done; schedule days and times in your calendar to do them.

If that seems overwhelming, make a to-do list the day before. Play around with how many items you put on that list. Too many items will overwhelm you, but challenge yourself to get more done.

Weekly and daily to-do lists keep you accountable because you can look back and see what you’re putting off. If you’ve been “slacking” on certain things, decide if they’re still important to you. If they are, prioritize them in your schedule by working on them before anything else.

Tell A Trusted Friend About Your Plans 

If you’re struggling to get something done, tell a trusted friend about it and ask them to hold you accountable.

Make sure it’s someone who is in your corner and supports you – someone who will hold you accountable in a supportive, encouraging manner.

Sometimes, this gives you the little nudge you need to get you to stop procrastinating and start following through more consistently.

Find An Accountability Buddy 

What’s the difference between asking someone to hold you accountable and finding an accountability partner?

An accountability buddy is someone else who’s also procrastinating. You agree to hold each other accountable. It could be as simple as checking in once in the morning to share what you’re committed to doing that day or following up in the evening to see if you followed through on your to-do list.

Knowing someone else is in the trenches with you is motivating and gives you courage.

Defeating procrastination doesn’t have to be so difficult. Remember, procrastination is a habit you can break one tiny action at a time. You have the power to conquer it and unlock your best life!

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