We are all guilty of procrastination, and imagine how much more we could achieve if we stopped. It is easier said than done. With numerous distractions around us, procrastination seems inevitable. The only way to overcome it is to practice time management.
But, before we see what you can do to stop procrastinating as soon as possible, let’s explain what procrastination is.
What is Procrastination?
In simple words, procrastination can be defined as the postponing of important tasks. Instead of doing what they should do, people who procrastinate spend their time doing trivial activities. For example, instead of finishing the report for your work, you lose track of time scrolling down the Instagram feed.
Here is what you can do to overcome procrastination.
Find Out Which Tasks You Avoid Most Often
Procrastination is, to some point, avoiding discomfort. During a standard workday, you might not even be aware of your procrastination patterns. Therefore, try to identify which tasks you avoid the most. Are those online meetings, writing reports, doing calculations, or something else?
Once you discover the procrastination pattern, try to find a reason why you find those tasks uncomfortable. Some people are afraid that they will let other people down, so they procrastinate to avoid getting feedback. Others procrastinate because they find their tasks too boring. Some may feel like the tasks shouldn’t be part of their work.
Once you are aware of the patterns, you may come up with a solution. You may try to delegate, organize priorities differently or ask for help.
In some cases, these solutions might help you prevent procrastination in the first place.
Confront Your Procrastination
Do what makes you scary. It doesn’t get easier or simpler than that. For example, if you procrastinate because you don’t feel comfortable gathering up colleagues for a meeting, do that and do it despite your level of discomfort. You might discover that you can put up with more discomfort than you anticipated in the first place.
If it seems like too big of a step for you, take small steps. For example, call two colleagues at a time for a meeting. It will help you feel more productive, knowing that you have accomplished a small milestone.
Congratulations, you’ve done the first step toward overcoming procrastination. But, if you have been used to procrastination, you’ll easily slip out of your mood. You can start procrastinating again even in the middle of the tasks.
Therefore, come up with a set of solutions that will help build confidence and concentration. You can even divide tasks into small milestones and celebrate as you complete each one of them. Promise yourself a reward as an additional motivation to stay focused on important things.
Keep Distractions Minimal
Put your phone away. Don’t drink or snack while you do your task. If you have anxiety over deadlines, remove the watches and focus only on things you have to complete.
Don’t sit anywhere near the TV while you work and close the office door to prevent yourself from staring at other people passing through the hall.
Even if you slip into procrastination, don’t beat yourself for it. Also, forgive yourself for procrastination in the past. Self-love and care are the best motivation for success and the best tool.
During the process, tackle challenges as soon as they occur, and stay focused as long as possible. Over time, overcoming procrastination will come naturally to you, as you’ll discover how good you feel when you stop procrastinating.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and complete at least one task you’ve been avoiding!
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