Do you find yourself scrolling aimlessly through e-mails and social media at the very thought of having to accomplish something productive on your laptop? Maybe you frequently decide that minor tasks at work can wait until after lunch, and then ‘forget’ about them until they all pile up. Perhaps you do your procrastination ‘productively’ by filling your time with another task that also needs to be completed. There are endless ways to procrastinate! You may even be procrastinating this very moment by reading this article.
Unfortunately, there are even more reasons people engage in procrastination than there are ways to do it! People often blame procrastination on laziness, but the habit typically stems from a deeper root cause. You may procrastinate because you are unsure of how to complete the task at hand. You may also procrastinate because you have a fear of failure. Perhaps you are simply in the habit of doing a certain thing every day and cannot concentrate on anything else until you do it. Maybe you simply do not have the necessary materials on hand to complete the task. Whatever the reason, you must do a bit of soul searching and pinpoint the true cause of your procrastination before you can ever truly wipe it out.
Don’t be discouraged, though! There are a few helpful tips that can help you minimize your procrastination problem until you can stop it at the source:
- Make your tasks ‘bite sized’. Break your tasks up into the simplest steps possible. You’ll be so encouraged by how quickly you’re moving forward that it will be hard to stop your momentum. Try rewarding yourself with tiny treats- like MnM’s- after each step for a little extra motivation.
- Take tip number one just a little farther by setting deadlines for each of your ‘bite-sized’ steps. If you have several, frequent deadlines you’ll be much more likely to complete your work at a steady pace. If you’ve got one far-off deadline, it’s much easier to procrastinate.
- Reevaluate your goals and, accordingly, your plans. It can be tough to stay focused if you’re working towards a goal you don’t care about!
- Spend time with a master motivator. This can be almost anyone, so long as they are along the lines of a “Type A” personality. When we see the accomplishments of others, we feel more motivated to make accomplishments of our own!
- Put your least favorite and biggest tasks as the top of your To Do list. If you get them out of the way earlier on, your other tasks will seem like a breeze by comparison. Not to mention, you might actually find yourself enjoying some free time at the end of the day!
Remember, these tips might be somewhat effective in eliminating your procrastination problem, but they may not end it for good! If your procrastination is caused by a certain distraction- like an interrupting family member- you’ll need to find a private space to complete your work. If you procrastinate because your current task does not align with your current goals in life, you might want to find a task that does! Whatever you decide to do, just remember that procrastination is a problem that CAN be solved. You CAN live a more satisfying, more productive life. All it takes is a little guidance, initiative, and motivation.