It is truly amazing the tasks that we can come up with to avoid doing what we should be doing. You hate balancing your books so much you’d rather alphabetize your movie collection, or you get caught up watching a TV movie you have seen a dozen times because it’s totally your favorite TV movie of the last decade. We all do it, but how can we stop ourselves from doing it.
Don’t say obviously because there’s more to it than the word itself. One of the biggest reasons for procrastination is that we are overwhelmed at the prospect of a long list of responsibilities. It’s difficult to complete a task when your mind is worrying about the rest of the list that needs to be done. So, dedicate yourself to just one thing at a time and complete it before you move on to the next thing.
- Not Tomorrow, Right Now
There’s no better way to procrastinate than by assuring yourself you’ll start tomorrow or the next day. Don’t fall into this trap, once you have decided you’re going to do something, and you are focused on one task – do it! If you know you have a lot to do in the morning avoid enjoying an alcoholic beverage, it’s more likely to leave you feeling slugging in the morning, thus unlikely to fulfill those duties you dedicated yourself to.
- The Power Hour
Any task seems less daunting when you know how much time it’s going to take. So, start arranging your time in chunks where you can dedicate yourself to total project work. Whether it’s gym time, a work project, or organizing the hall closet. You can also try the Pomodoro technique, which has you work in 25-minute blocks before taking a 5-minute break to walk around, and then a longer break after 4 blocks.
- Shave Your To Do List
There’s nothing wrong with having a to do list, but where the problems arise is when there are an impossible number of tasks on it. Learn how to prioritize your list by day and week so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed at the prospect of what you need to achieve. If it’s something that doesn’t need to be done, then remove it from your list entirely because it’s just adding stress to your life.
- Ditch Distractions
It’s difficult enough to force yourself to something you aren’t looking forward to, but when you’re surrounded by distractions, you’re giving yourself a low chance for success. Put your phone away, close your social media tabs, clear your mind, and dive in. While Podcasts are enjoyable to listen to, it’s difficult to focus on work and hear the content, so if you can’t stand quiet choose relaxing background music that won’t distract you.
Procrastination is usually a result of two things: distraction or a difficulty in getting started. They both stem from similar patterns, such as knowing you need to do something, feeling stressed out about it, and rationalizing the why of not doing it. It’s a never-ending cycle, however, because you can put it off but when it rolls around again the same thing will happen. It’s time to start clearing the decks and tackle tasks immediately. Therefore, the next time you have an important job to do and your brain starts suggesting different ways you can avoid it, resist! Don’t give in to checking your email or social media notifications, if you can resist that urge one time you can do it again and again and keep yourself on track.