There are enough hours in the day; we just like to use up every single minute possible. We’ve all been there and know it too well – you have a looming deadline, yet you’ve suddenly got time to wash the cat.
Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something, and more often than not, something important. So here are four ways to combat that chronic desire to put things off.
Break It Down
Procrastination stems from overwhelm. Break your big items down into smaller tasks, and then set mini deadlines for each of those items (ie. an hour or a day away). This creates an urgency to act so that the rest of your schedule won’t be thrown out.
Focusing on one part at a time also simplifies the process and makes it more manageable. Having a To Do list of these tasks in a visible place will remind you what needs to be done, and help motivate you as you see items being ticked off.
Identify your pit stops and make them less accessible. Often we make it easy for ourselves to be distracted. Turn off your phone, put away your book and close your browser. Be aware of your actions and hide your temptations.
If you really can’t focus then give yourself a timed break. 10 minutes can help to get the procrastinating out of your system and leave you ready to work again with a clear head.
Having someone to monitor your progress is a great way to stay motivated. Just the thought of having to admit you’ve not completed your project can spur you on to keep taking action. And having a buddy is a two way street – you can help them stay on task too.
Surround yourself with people who trigger action. Immerse yourself in the writings of people who inspire you. Identify who and what motivates you to get things done and keep them close.
Just Do It
All of the above strategies are no good if you don’t take action. You can’t procrastinate your way to success. Get the hard stuff out of the way and give yourself a productivity boost.
Stop over-complicating things, and avoid ‘perfect’ thinking for quantity over quality. Perfect things only once everything else is done. Focus on the end goal and visualise the positives you’ll receive once your project is finished (eg. free time, money, a sense of achievement).
How do you kick the procrastination monster? Share your tips in the comments section!