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Is there something that you should be doing right now, but you are not? We are almost sure there is. Everyone puts things off now and again. But doing this too often and to a degree where it can have severe repercussions on your daily life should be a cause of worry. Procrastinating regularly and seeking diversions is a sign of a person's lack of self-control.
Procrastination is also a lot like lying to oneself. You tell yourself that you will do it eventually, or you convince yourself that there is still time and there are better and more important things to do. But quite often, procrastinators know deep down that they should be getting to their tasks.
However, saying "Just Do It" does not help. This is not unusual; procrastination has its roots in the habits we develop over time. For example, you might have developed a habit of cramming things at the last minute. You might have even noticed (or convinced yourself) that you perform best with a bit of time pressure. In this way, procrastination might just be the way you manage your tasks. However, it can have serious effects on your daily life if you are not mindful of the downward spiral you might be taking. Procrastination can take you to a point where you are paralyzed by your thoughts, and the only option for you would be to abandon any important task altogether. This will have adverse effects on your personal, social, and professional life.
This article will discuss a few tips to help you combat procrastination and perform at your most optimum level.
5 Tips to Beat Procrastination!
Understand your ProcrastinationProcrastination is fueled by several thoughts and behaviors, but at its core, we postpone our activities because we don't think we'll enjoy them. Doing the things that we do not enjoy will only cause us more misery. Therefore, most of the time, what we are avoiding is not the task itself but our overlaid meaning of the task. If we attribute that particular task to low levels of enjoyment, then we are further driven away from doing it. Understand why you really want to avoid or delay any given task, and you'll be better at evaluating how it fits into your list of priorities.
Set a Detailed TimelineMany studies within the work setting have advocated that setting timelines for tasks helps people perform better. If there is an open deadline, other priorities, even if they are less critical, take over. Furthermore, some managers suggest adopting timelines with some mid-work check-ins to get people to finish their work on time. You can also try this for your personal tasks. Try breaking large jobs into achievable chunks. This way, you can know how much work is done and how much is left. Doing this will also break down the need for the monumental effort you need to make to get the work done in one go.
To add to this, make sure you reward yourself for sticking to a routine and give yourself a little reward for reaching each milestone.
Need some help? Check out our post on how to create SMART goals!
Take Away DistractionsDo you get caught up in the world of the internet and lose sight of time? Do you remember something you had to buy and then spend the next hour looking for a good deal on the internet? Well, we do not blame you. But we can suggest that setting time aside for these kinds of activities will inspire you to stick to your work. Identify the types of things that distract you. It could be a Facebook notification on your phone. If that is the case, switch your phone's Wi-Fi off when you plan to work. Is it something that pops up in the news? Make a habit of catching up on the news during your morning or afternoon coffee. By limiting these distractions, you allow yourself to be self-aware about what you do with your time.
Make the Mundane FunSome tasks, no matter what you do, will be mundane. There is no way of making the task fun. But you know what? You can make the act of finishing it fun. Decide that you will reward yourself for meeting the challenge of completing said task within a time frame. This is the act of making something mundane a personal challenge. Soon enough, it will feel like a game, and your mind will be on the prize you will enjoy and not the task you dread.
Build Competence and ConfidenceWe mentioned already that the reasons for procrastination can be different for each person. Sometimes, we procrastinate on a particular task because we lack the confidence to do it. It might be a little above our level of performance. Or it could be something that we do not entirely understand how to do. If you procrastinate about such tasks, the time pressure when you approach the deadline will leave you paralyzed. On the contrary, the earlier you tackle this challenge, the more time you must do it.
Some jobs are naturally complex, and you do not have to feel bad about feeling challenged to do it. In such a case, allow yourself more time to do the task by starting early. If it helps, you can seek help from someone to do it. In some cases, you might even have to learn something new to do it. But the sooner you identify that a particular task is challenging, the more time you can allocate it.
Procrastination can be counterproductive to your work-life balance. Of course, sometimes, you may be overburdened and exhausted. At those times, allow yourself to rest without worrying about the job. Designate a time for the task and stick to the routine. We hope this article helps you tackle procrastination, and remember, the sooner you start, the sooner you finish.
Let us know in the comments below - What helps you fight procrastination?