Procrastination is a common problem that affects many people.
Procrastination is the habit of delaying an important task, usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead. It is different from laziness, which is the unwillingness to act. It can lead to stress, frustration, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. But the good news is that procrastination is not a permanent state and it can be overcome. Procrastination can stem from various reasons like fear of failure, perfectionism, lack of motivation or even being overwhelmed. Identifying the root cause of why you procrastinate can help you address it more effectively.
Procrastination can restrict your potential and undermine your career. It can also disrupt teamwork, reduce morale, and even lead to depression and even job loss, in extreme cases.
Here are 10 habits that will help you to say good by to procrastination and to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding.
Recognize the reason why
You might be putting off a task because you’ve had to re-prioritize your workload. If you’re briefly delaying an important task for a genuinely good reason, then you aren’t necessarily procrastinating. However, if you start to put things off indefinitely, or switch focus because you want to avoid doing something, then you probably are.
Break down tasks
Focus on doing, not avoiding. Write down the tasks that you need to complete, and specify a time for doing them. This will help you to proactively tackle your work. Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. This will make the task feel less daunting and more manageable.
Make a list of all the tasks you need to do and prioritize them. This will enable you to quickly identify the activities that you should focus on, as well as the ones you can ignore.
Give yourself a deadline for completing a task. This will help you stay on track and motivated to finish. Setting yourself specific deadlines to complete tasks will keep you on track to achieve your goals, and will mean that you have no time for procrastination!
Identify the things that distract you and eliminate them. Turn off your e-mail and social media, and avoid sitting anywhere near a television while you work!
Use a timer
Set a timer for a specific amount of time and work on a task for that length of time. When we’re avoiding a task, it’s easy to forget to do it. We’re much more likely to do something when we’ve set aside a specific time to do it and have put it in our calendar with an alarm. Notice the little lies the brain tells us, such as, “I’ll do that in five minutes,” after an alarm goes off. Aim to complete the task right away; if you have to finish something else first, make sure you set another alarm so you’ll come back to it.
If you complete a difficult task on time, reward yourself with a treat, such as a slice of cake or a coffee from your favorite coffee shop. And make sure you notice how good it feels to finish things! This can help you stay motivated to continue working.
Taking regular breaks can help you stay fresh and focused. you enjoy. If you’re prone to delaying projects because you find them overwhelming, try breaking them down into more manageable chunks. Organize your projects into smaller tasks and focus on starting them, rather than on finishing them. Use this time to rest, stretch or do something
Being organized can help you feel in control and reduce stress. Keep your workspace clean and tidy, and use a planner to keep track of your tasks and deadlines.
Ask someone else to work with you
Ask a friend or colleague to help you get on board with something that you have been putting off for a while. The advantages are threefold.
First, when you have someone else by your side, you’ll be less likely to get bored. This means that you can’t make loneliness your shield.
Second, if someone else is willing to invest their time into what you need to accomplish, you’ll be obliged to complete the task as soon as you can.
Third, you’ll be more motivated to finish your task, even when the other person isn’t around.
This strategy is particularly helpful for instances when you are stressed about a task. Venting your feelings to someone can help you feel at ease.
If not addressed in time, procrastination can become an addiction. And once you suffer from it, it becomes very difficult to overcome. At very last, if you’re struggling with procrastination, don’t be afraid to seek help. A therapist or coach can help you identify the root cause and work on strategies to overcome it.