Do you often find yourself procrastinating, especially over certain tasks? Perhaps there are some you are happy to complete, whereas others you leave until the last minute. That’s pretty normal for most people, but if it becomes a problem, where you just keep pushing the same tasks to the back continually, you need to stop and just get them done.
Procrastination is a trap. When you try to find something else to do to delay the important tasks, you mostly end up wasting time. The time you could have spent getting things done. There are many reasons why you may procrastinate, but putting off stuff until the last minute is painful, in more ways than one.
So when you find yourself procrastinating, stop and take action! Here are some techniques that will help you do just that.
Recognize When You Are Procrastinating
The first step toward solving your procrastination is to recognize when you are putting off things more than necessary. Do you delay starting or finishing a project until the last minute? Do you fill your to-do list with low-priority tasks? Do you stop in the middle of a high-priority task to do something else – something more fun? These are just a few signs that you are, so learn to recognize when you start to procrastinate. It will help you to understand what makes you procrastinate.
Break Down Your Projects Into Manageable Tasks
We’ve all heard that we need to break down our tasks to make them more manageable and to make them easier to finish. One of the reasons we procrastinate is because a task may be overwhelming, and we don’t think it can be finished immediately anyway.
If this is the reason you tend to delay doing a project, what you can do is break it down into smaller and more manageable tasks. You can create a schedule and set a deadline for each task. That way, you can feel that you are accomplishing something. The little milestones you make will motivate you to carry on until you finish the entire project.
Reward Yourself For A Job Well DONE, Immediately
If there was a reward at the end of everything you did, would you be likely to chase that reward? We think you would! Therefore, to help you stop procrastinating, reward yourself for the tasks that you do instead of putting them off.
For example, you may have a project you need to do, but you know it will take many days to complete. Sure, you could reward yourself on the smaller steps you can tick off, but you could give also give yourself a super reward at the full completion of the project. The one reward that makes you jump up and down with excitement!
However, sometimes the super reward you may be prepared to give yourself feels like it is too far off in the distant future, so it doesn’t motivate you enough to complete that project.
To prevent yourself from procrastinating, give yourself an immediate reward after reaching certain milestones when doing your project. That way, you have something to look forward to in the immediate future.
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Get An Accountability Partner
Often, we give in to our laziness or lack of self-control because there’s no one we need to answer to other than ourselves. As a result, we tend to put off a task until later when we feel like doing it.
To avoid that, you can get a buddy or a partner who will hold you accountable. Ask him or her to check up on you once in a while to make sure that you are working on your task. You should do the same for them too. Accountability will help you beat procrastination.
Change Your Workplace
Maybe it’s not your lack of self-control or motivation that’s keeping you from doing your task. Maybe it’s your environment. If you’re working at home, and you are often distracted, you can find it hard to concentrate, so you tend to stop working even in the middle of an important project. Consider changing your work environment to help you become more productive. You may consider a co-working space or set up a quiet room at home that you can use for work. Remove anything that can distract you, such as a television.
Just Get Started!
Sometimes the key to stopping procrastination is just to get to work. Don’t overcomplicate things. Turn off your Facebook app notifications, put away your mobile device, and anything else that can distract you easily and get started with your task. Tackle the task as soon as it comes instead of waiting for the “right timing” and “perfect moment.”
Procrastination has many negative effects, more than you may initially realize. It can cause unneeded and certainly unwanted stress. You’re also losing a lot of time that you could’ve spent completing your projects, or having guilt-free fun. Follow our tips above, and you’re well on your way to a more productive and fulfilled you.