Procrastination: it’s something a good number of us tend to do, no matter what the task. We know that putting something off doesn’t help us and it only makes things worse by adding stress to our lives, but knowing this only makes us procrastinate more.
How can you stop this vicious cycle, use your time more effectively, and get your tasks done sooner?
Here are 5 simple ways to get up and go and stop putting off things that must be done for the sake of bittersweet procrastination:
1. Determine why you delay working on your task. Is it a specific task that you’re putting off, or do you procrastinate everything on your plate? What is it about this task that stops you from doing it?
Let's get real.
Are you scared of failing? Do you fear that you’ll fall short of what’s expected of you?Are you just lazy? Are you resentful of whoever put this obligation upon you? Be honest with yourself and try to evaluate the situation and the task. By doing this, you can better understand what’s holding you back so you can complete the task more efficiently.
2. Make a plan. When you make a step-by-step plan, you are setting a specific schedule and timeline to complete the task.
Write this plan down on paper. Writing this list will help you better organize your thoughts and determine the small steps you need to take to accomplish your goals. Give yourself attainable tasks on a daily, weekly or hourly timetable, as it applies to your situation.
You are less likely to be overwhelmed when you’re faced with small, manageable steps.
3. Be Realistic. Be realistic about what you can achieve in your plan. Doing so makes each step clearly attainable and you’ll be less likely to put it off. Knowing your limits will make your goals seem easier and less of a mountain to climb.
4. Just Begin. It sounds simple enough, but few heed this simple tip. Most procrastinators find themselves prone to delaying the start of the task because it seems too overwhelming. Instead, they stress and worry during the final moments before it’s due.
No matter how large or insurmountable the task may seem, beginning with even a small action will build momentum. Simply beginning also tends to put the task into perspective and makes it seem more possible than ever.
5. Take Breaks. Taking scheduled breaks while working on your task refreshes your body and mind. If you go for a 10-minute walk or work on a Sudoku puzzle, you’ll feel re-energize and you’ll be in a better frame of mind to forge on.
Breaks, while refreshing, should be taken in moderation; you certainly don’t want to use breaks as an excuse to lapse back into procrastination.
Procrastinating is an ugly habit that many of us fall into. Luckily, this bad habit can be overcome and if you are prone to procrastination you can become more proactive and productive. Follow these 5 tips, practice them frequently, and with some time and patience you’ll find yourself getting more done, more often.