How to Beat Procrastination
How often do you browse Instagram pages, drink coffee, and watch TV instead of doing really important things? Well, don’t worry! To a greater or lesser degree, we all procrastinate.
Scientists say that procrastination arises from the inner desire to avoid negative emotions caused by routine tasks and their replacement with something that gives momentary pleasure. By postponing things we have to do, we feel a sense of guilt and shame that stimulate further inaction.
The good news is that we can beat procrastination. How? Let’s try to find out together:
#1 Determine the Reason for Procrastination
Try to understand why you postpone things for later. The reasons may be very different. Having found them, you’ll be able to track the progress of your thoughts and analyze your actions, adjusting them if necessary.
- The unwillingness to undertake a particular task is often associated with perfectionism. Some people so afraid that they could not do the job perfectly that prefer do not even try.
- Often we procrastinate because the task seems too boring. Yeah, spending time in social networks like these ones is much funnier and easier than coping with a challenging task.
- Another common reason is that we simply neglect the consequences of our actions, believing they won’t come soon.
#2 Break the Task into Parts and Make Action Plan
Very often, we cannot start working due to fear. If the task is so vast and incomprehensible that you’re completely paralyzed, split it into several sub-tasks. For example, if you need to write a paper or a long report, select the part that seems to be the simplest and start working on it. After you cope with at least one small problem, you’ll feel much more confident. You can even set a small reward for each completed stage of a big task!
An abstract problem always seems to be more difficult, so before start working on it, make a clear plan, in which state the sequence of actions and the instruments needed. It will help you to estimate the deadlines and find out missing details.
When you start moving from point to point, a task that seemed impossible will become more clear and specific. You will feel better and gradually delve into the process.
#3 Fight Boredom
Sometimes it is difficult to take up the job because it seems awfully boring. Well, try to entertain yourself. Listen to your favorite music or watch a movie. A personal background will contribute to your productivity; the main thing is to make sure that “entertainment” doesn’t distract you.
Another trick is to allocate a short period of time (15–30 minutes) for a rest. Such breaks will help you to relax and back to work even more inspired.
#4 Get Rid of External Stimuli
In opposite to #3, it happens that the background music and other stimuli interfere with the focus on work. Listen to your instincts: if you work more productive in the shadows – turn the lights down, if you need total silence – take earplugs or soundproof headphones.
Install a special application on the smartphone or browser to track how much time you spend on social networks. Realize the scale of the problem and begin to treat is as a serious! If you need to perform an important task without being distracted, it makes sense to disable all notifications and instant messengers. Many entrepreneurs have different accounts for businesses and entertainment.
#5 Adequately Estimate the Amount of Work
Sometimes, we postpone a task because it looks too easy and it seems that we will cope with it quickly. Unfortunately, often this impression is deceptive, and when the deadline is approaching, suddenly it turns out that we have too little time left. To avoid this, try to accurately determine the amount of work and its level of complexity. Add at least a few hours to the final value as the work may take a bit longer due to some inconsistencies and additional micro-tasks.
If the problem is too easy for you, think about how it relates to the main result of your work and what significance it has for the workflow and for your company/yourself as a whole. This will help to take even the most mediocre and lightweight challenge seriously. A simple example: collecting customer data is not the most exciting experience, but it greatly facilitates further mailing.
#6 Give Vent to Your Emotions
Procrastination can be overcome with the help of positive emotions. You can, for example, watch a motivating lecture or a movie. Aim for a successful outcome of the case and imagine how good you’ll feel when you finally complete the task.
Uncertainty prevents us from reaching our potential. But when we finally overcome this fear and get out of the comfort zone, the joy we feel pay off all the efforts.
When we put off some business, we always justify it with the idea that in future we’ll have more energy, be prepared better, etc. As a rule, the reality is more prosaic: we don’t find that power in that dreamed “future.”
Alas, there is no abstract “future” at all! Anyway, you’ll take the responsibility for all the things you did, do, and will do. When you realize it, you’re unlikely to be able to use the same excuses. So better think about how to organize your schedule and finally, find the time for things you really need!