How to Stop Procrastination

How to Stop Procrastination

Most people misinterpret procrastination for laziness since at the end of the day the task at hand to be completed may not be done at all in good time. There is however a very thin line when it comes to differentiating the two. Procrastination is an active process whereby you actually choose to do something else, often less important than the one at hand whereas laziness is inactivity of a person and unwillingness to do a particular task. Most people tend to ignore the important but unpleasant tasks in favor of other simpler and more enjoyable ones.

Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination – Association for Psychological Science – APS

How to Stop Procrastination

Procrastination is a harmful habit that could lead to the following:-

  1. Reduced productivity
  2. Guilt and anxiety over having not begun to work on the task sooner
  3. Missing out to achieve goals
  4. Demotivating a person which could eventually lead to depression then if it goes to extreme extents job loss

Listed below are some of the steps you should take towards stopping procrastinations

How to Stop Procrastinating: 30+ Helpful Tips | Fab How

How to Stop Procrastination

  1. Recognize that you are procrastinating

The first step to overcoming a bad habit is by identifying that it exists and that you have adopted it. Most people find themselves procrastinating by:-

  • Filling their days with low priority tasks
  • Leaving out items on their To Do lists for long periods of time despite the fact that they are important
  • Reading emails severally but don’t decide on what to do with them
  • Waiting to be in the right mood or waiting for the right time to accomplish the task at hand

As soon as you identify that you are procrastination in any one of the ways mentioned above, then you can get into solving this problem

How to Stop Procrastination

  1. Find out reasons as to why you are procrastinating

People mainly procrastinate due to poor organization, poor decision making (whereby they focus on doing the least important tasks over the important ones) and fear of success as they think it might get them swamped with more requests to do other tasks. Research also shows that perfectionists procrastinate due to fear of lacking enough skills to complete the task perfectly.

After identifying the reason as to why you procrastinate, then you can make use of anti-procrastination strategies to counter this harmful habit.

How to Stop Procrastination

  1. Adopt some of the anti-procrastination skills

As you adopt some of these skills into your daily lives, it is important to note that procrastination is a habit that would need time to break. Begin by forgiving yourself for the previous failures to achieve intended goals.

5 Ways to Stop the Procrastination Cycle for Leaders - Productive Leaders - Mary Kelly

How to Stop Procrastination

Some of these anti-procrastination skills are:-

  • Committing to your tasks. This will help you focus on doing the task presented to you other than avoiding it for whatever reason. You should also specify the time you intend to have completed it so as to give it a sense of agency.
  • Promise yourself rewards for completing the tasks in time. The rewards can be as small as treating yourself to a snack like a muffin just to make yourself feel good about being successful.
  • Ask someone to check up on you. This is the idea behind self-help groups. It has been known to help as the partner you choose to help you will provide motivation to you, which helps in triggering action. In case you don’t have a person to help you out, it is important to consider making use of online tools such as Procraster for self-monitoring purposes.
  • Act as you go whereby you are encouraged to tackle and complete tasks as they arise.
  • Rephrase internal dialog whereby it is more advisable to make use of phrases such as “I choose to” as they make you feel like you have better control over the task as compared to “I have to” or “I need to” which suggest obligation and may result in self-sabotage.

How to Stop Procrastination

For those that procrastinate due to disorganization,

  • Make use of a To Do list with set time bound goals to avoid conveniently forgetting to complete unpleasant tasks.
  • Make use of task and time management apps such as Trello and Toggl
  • Tackle the hardest tasks at peak time, the time when you are most efficient. This could be early in the morning, in the afternoon or late at night.
  • When handling multiple big projects, make use of scheduling and project planning techniques as discussed in Eisenhower’s urgent/ important principle.

 

For those who procrastinate because they feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand, it is important for you to consider breaking it down into smaller chunks, for instance if the task were writing a paper, you could decide to first do research, then writing before editing, for which you should focus more on starting than finishing. Also ensure you assign a deadline for each chunk of task you come up with.

How to Stop Procrastination

Tips to ensure that the anti-procrastination techniques work.

  1. Minimize all distractions when you begin working on the task by turning off the television, turning off notifications on your phone and laptop to avoid emails, avoid surfing blogs and forums, watching videos and accessing your social media. Also cut down on the number of coffee breaks you take in between your working sessions.
  2. Seek out persons that have already accomplishes a similar task as seeing living proof that it can be done makes it doable and triggers action
  3. Get tasks that seem less pleasant out of the way sooner, leaving the rest of the time to the much enjoyable ones
  4. Identify the deplorable consequences of avoiding to work on your tasks such as loss of jobs and reduced productivity rates.
  5. Focus on the meaning and relevance of the task. This might increase the value of the task in your eyes and make it more worthwhile.
  6. Change the environment where you are working from. It is important to know that an environment that once inspired you could lose its effect after a certain period of time. Also avoid working spaces that make you feel sleepy
  7. Hang around persons that can inspire you to take action such as go getters and hard workers. This is because the people around you influence your behavior.

 

How to Stop Procrastination

 

How to Stop Procrastination

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How to Stop Procrastination