Feeling Stuck? 3 Steps to Getting Unstuck

Why we procrastinate and what we can do about it.

You have a deadline looming.

However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

I’m guilty of it. Even when I don’t want to do it, it creeps up. Now time passes. Ten minutes turns into 30 minutes. Thirty minutes turns into hours, and before we know it, the task we set out to do doesn’t get done. Now we’re stressed out because there’s another unfinished task on our to-do list. Bummer!

Why Do We Procrastinate

We know there’s a looming deadline but still we wait and create senseless angst knowing it won’t end well. We get so caught up in the cycle of procrastination that we almost forget how to effectively tackle hard tasks.

Whenever procrastination begins stalking you, here are three tips for nipping procrastination in the bud and taking back control over your daily life.

  1. Follow the two-minute rule. “If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now,” according to James Clear. Since incorporating the “two-minute” rule into my workflow, I’m much more productive. It’s surprising how many things we put off that we could get done in two minutes or less.
  2. Break your goal into smaller tasks. Part of the reason we procrastinate is because we feel overwhelmed. The task before us seems daunting and therefore we succumb to paralysis by analysis. Try breaking the task down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you’re still procrastinating on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “I got this so I might as well finish.”
  3. Go somewhere that inspires you. It’s a fact: Your environment impacts your inspiration and productivity. My home office is where I write sermons, plan our church’s strategy, write my blog and social media content. It’s distraction-free and has all of my resources within arm’s reach. When I need a dose of creativity, I go to one of my many satellite offices—Starbucks. I don’t know why, but my best ideas come away from my home office.

Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your environment. One thing to note is that an environment that made us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. Switch it up if you need to!

Do you struggle with procrastination? How do you deal with it? #RealTalk

Clarence Stowers, Jr.
As pastor at Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago, I am passionate about helping people connect life’s dots so they can live abundantly. I have more than 20 years of leadership experience as a lead pastor and executive director of a Christian school, and have been in full-time ministry for 23 years. The greatest times for me are with my wife Shauntai and my two sons, Myles and Joshua, and my baby girl Lauren.