Procrastination… The act of putting something off that you could do now for a later date.
From chores in the home like doing the dishes or your laundry, to putting off sending an email that you know you need to send at work, procrastination comes in all forms.
Even though you can be fully aware that you are procrastinating, it can be very hard to overcome it and actually do the tasks that you know are being put off.
Here are a few tips to helping overcome these procrastination thoughts:
Do not over complicate your task
If you split your work down into smaller tasks, this immediately makes the overall task a lot more bearable.
With every smaller task you do, you can check them off and ultimately shrink the overall task.
To chunk your work like this will prevent tasks from feeling overbearing and so will make the whole task look much less overwhelming and consequently much more approachable to do.
Look at why you are doing this
It is often the case that the reason a person is procrastinating is as a result of thinking about the short term benefits of not doing something rather than the long term anxiety/stress that would build up each time the task is ignored.
In the end the task will have to be done, so it is best to think about the feeling you will experience after the task is completed. Doing this will help motivate you to actually get the job done in a timely manner. Whether this is just sending a difficult email and thinking about receiving the perfect reply or more simply having a freshly tidied room to relax in. It does not matter what the task, imagining the relief afterwards can push you to do it.
Plan your tasks
It is much easier to ignore the tasks at hand if you just plan to do them whenever you can squeeze it in.
If you actually set aside time in your calendar to do what you need to do then you are much more likely to complete them.
Allocate the time to it as though it was any other project that you need to do. Knowing that you now have a set time to get it done you cannot just wait for the right time to pop up, you have scheduled that perfect time already.
Set realistic goals
Look at what you have to do and in what time scale it needs to be done.
Figure out how long everything should take you to do and then add a little extra time onto that just in case something takes longer than expected. This way you will have enough time to finish if it is taking longer but if it does not take up this much time then you will have leftover time to relax or to start on something else.
Figure out these timings based on what works best for you. Maybe waking up an hour earlier to complete something would not be as realistic a goal for you as dedicating an hour in the evening to finish it.
Do what is right for you.
Stop making excuses
It is so easy to put off doing what you need to do because it does not look so appealing to do whatever the task is at the time.
Saying how you need to be in the right mood for doing certain tasks is not good. This is just making excuses to put off doing what you need to do.
It is often the case of never being in the right mood to do a chore, so just do it when it needs to be done. It is also usually the case that once you have started a task you will then be in the right mood and want to finish it in one go.
So ignoring your excuses is the most efficient way to finish what you need to do.
Create the perfect working environment
The setting you are in can be crucial to battling procrastination.
If you are bundled up in blankets on a comfortable sofa etc, you are likely not going to move any time soon, especially not to do something that you do not want to do.
Instead, make an environment that will alleviate your desire to do your task. If you are doing something for work then you will likely want to sit at a desk with little to no distractions around you, like having your favourite TV show on in the background.
Not only this but if you can help it, do not have your phone near you as it is so easy to pick it up and stop doing what you need to do.
No more perfectionism
Perfectionism is a quick route to procrastination. Putting something off or stopping doing something because it is not perfect is unproductive and futile.
This mentality makes a person believe that they need to do everything or nothing and often results in the latter.
One way around this is to strive for better, better than what you already have. This still gives you a sense of achievement but it is a much more attainable goal than perfect.