See you later, procrastinator…How to get things done in the here and now
It's Sunday morning and you are rushing through that daunting varsity assignment you should have started two weeks ago. Sounds familiar? You are likely a procrastinator.
Procrastination is the act of putting off work or delaying something that needs to be done. A lot of people fall into the habit of procrastinating, whether they are aware of it or not. While it may be soothing to learn that you’re not alone, procrastination can evoke strong feelings of despair and misery when the procrastinator is labelled as lazy or unproductive.
Below are some steps to help you shake the bad habit of procrastination.
Step 1: Admit it – you’re procrastinating
If you find yourself putting off work or moving your focus away from an important task without a good reason, then you’re definitely procrastinating. When you admit that you are procrastinating it will be easier to identify the reason behind your procrastination.
Perhaps you find the task tedious or difficult, whatever the reason. You can overcome procrastination by tackling the task in small bites.
Step 2: Avoid distractions
Using your laptop to listen to some music while you are working, could be a fun, productive way to get your work done. On the contrary, if you find yourself searching the web, texting or engaging in any other activity other than the task at hand, your procrastinating.
Optimising your environment by disconnecting is great way to mentally prepare yourself for the work ahead, simply turning your phone off or leaving it in another room, and sitting at a desk instead of in bed can go a long way in putting an end to procrastination.
Step 3: Set shorter deadlines
Breaking your task into smaller and manageable pieces of work will not only make starting the task easier, it will also help you to get the work done quicker. Set shorter deadlines for yourself to encourage getting some work done daily before the actual deadline.
We tend to procrastinate more when we feel we have a lot of time before the task is due, but if you set shorter deadlines, it will prevent this way of thinking.
Step 4: Reward yourself
Assign a reward to each completed task to make the work more pleasurable. A reward can be anything from a snack to a few minutes of checking on your social media.
The trick lies in using your distractions as contingencies that motivate you to finish your work.
Step 5: Believe in yourself
A lot of the time we fall into procrastination because of self-doubt and fear that we may not be able to get something done. It is never too late to turn things around, but leaving it up to the last minute will only set you back.
Believe in yourself and trust in your abilities, and always remember the famous quote: “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.
Procrastination does more harm than good. It can lead to anxiety, poor performance and sleep problems. So what are you waiting for? Apply the steps above and complete your most important tasks with confidence — and in good time.