It’s 2 hours before your deadline. You had 1 week and you still haven’t started your work
What happened? Did you lose track of time? No. the obvious answer is you procrastinated.
You had a lot of time but instead of spending it on your work, you spent it on less important tasks like social media, taking breaks, playing video games.
Yeah everyone one of us has gone through this a thousand times no matter what age limit you are in.
So here we will talk about what is procrastination and how can you overcome it.
What is procrastination?
Procrastination is the habit of delaying an important task, usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead.
It is different from laziness, which is the unwillingness to act.
Procrastination can lead to missing deadlines and some cases wastage of time like wasting hours on social media
How to stop procrastination right now?
Temptation Building or Immediate Rewards.
Late rewards for work lead to procrastination.
For example, You won’t see the change in your muscles just because you exercised for a week. It is a long-term process you have to do it every day for months to see that change. But you are procrastinating because even after days of practice you aren’t even seeing the results as the results are in the long term.
So what you can do here is bring some sort of small rewards every day into your life when doing a task you don’t like.
For example: Like allowing yourself to watch TV or looking at social media after finishing the task.
This method can be put in another way called temptation bundling.
The strategy suggests that you bundle a behavior that is good for you in the long run with a behavior that feels good in the short run.
The basic format is: Only do [THING YOU LOVE] while doing [THING YOU PROCRASTINATE ON].
Here are a few common examples of temptation bundling:
- Only listen to audiobooks or podcasts you love while exercising.
- Only get a pedicure while processing overdue work emails.
- Only watch your favorite show while ironing or doing household chores.
If you cant focus on your podcasts because you are too focused on working out. Then reward yourself with 30 minutes favorite podcast after exercise.
Make the Consequences of Procrastination More Immediate
If you are not attending the football team practice for next week it’s okay nothing will happen in the short term. But After months of keeping up this behavior is when you find that you have been kicked out of the team or your performance has gone down.
You can solve this by making an immediate consequence for every time you procrastinate like forming a pact where you give $20 to your friend or family every time you procrastinate.
There are many ways to force yourself to pay the costs of procrastination sooner rather than later. Create your consequences but make sure the consequence is tough.
You cant focus on your task when your phone keeps ringing notifications or the television playing your favorite tv show. That’s why you have to make changes in your environment.
Do your work at a peaceful and healthy place, where you feel more energized and distraction is less.
There are times when you’re doing your work and you might feel like going and playing a game or taking a small break, keeping a distraction-free environment and keeping yourself focused can help you prevent that.
Many people find focusing on their work for some time impossible.
Here is an article on how to stay focused while doing your work.
Staying motivated can reduce your procrastination. Sometimes your motivation falls after 2 days and you start procrastinating again.
There are many ways to motivate yourself.
One simple way is: Think about the consequences you will have to face in the long term. Then start deconstructing your fear, think about who you want to be in life, and find the only way to become that and do it.
They are simple steps and on hearing it you might think as cheap but those are powerful.
Overcoming procrastination is about controlling your mind.
Read more on staying motivated https://jamesclear.com/motivation.
Important tasks first thing in the morning
You are more energized and productive at the beginning or the start of your day than at the latter. So after completing your basic morning rituals do the toughest thing on your list(The things that you might procrastinate because of hate or overload work).
On going towards the end of the day your energy levels keeps going down, so do the hard stuff in the beginning so you can stay fully focused on lower priority tasks even at the end of the day since they don’t require complex work.
If morning is not when your energy levels are on the rise. Then do it whenever you feel like you are more energized. The important thing here is to tackle your harder tasks at your peak time.
Make the tasks more achievable
Making the tasks impossible will only just make you procrastinate more. So what you can do is make these tasks achievable by not putting too much pressure on yourself.
For example: Instead of pushing yourselves to take 100 pushups a day start with 30 pushups or less whatever you are comfortable with. Then as the day goes increase your number of pushups and overcome your limits.
If you keep pushing yourselves from the start you would find it challenging to reach your goal and you will start procrastinating.
Another example is: If you want to become a reader start by reading 2 pages per day rather than trying to finish the whole book in 2 days. Then slowly buildup the number of pages per day as you go on.
Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past.
It’s okay if you have procrastinated do not worry yourself by keep thinking about them. It will only waste your time more and makes you procrastinate again.
Learn to forgive yourself. Accept the things you have done and move on.
Overthinking such things will only lead to negative thoughts.
Still, keeps overthinking? Read this post on How to reduce overthinking.
Do not try to multi-task. People think multitasking can make you do more work in less time but in reality, it is the opposite for human beings in most cases.
Trying to do multiple things at a time would be too much load on you This won’t allow you to focus properly on a single thing. You will start getting bored or would find it harder to do the tasks, making you procrastinate.
On the other hand, single-tasking helps you to give your complete focus on one thing. This will save time and leave you with less pressure.
You can try multitasking but only on less effort and focus required tasks.
Get a Grip and Just Do It
You are just procrastinating or maybe lazy enough to do some things. The problem is you gave up before even trying it.
Try to calm yourself down, take a few breaths and just get a grip and just do it.
At least try doing it, maybe when you are doing it you will feel more interested and keep up with your work. or you might sometimes leave at halfway line. But still Doing something is always better than doing nothing.
1 pushup a day is always better than no pushups at all.
Set yourself time-bound goals.
Give deadlines to your tasks. Make sure the deadline given is short as possible. Longer deadlines will make you procrastinate, you will wait till the end of the deadline to complete your task.
Shorter deadlines make you complete your tasks immediately without procrastination.
To make sure your efforts work, right a deadline or mark it on your calendar or wherever you can see them. Seeing your goal or task every day gives you an eagerness to complete your goals.
Overcoming procrastination is a key to achieving your goals. You can also use task and time management apps to keep yourself on track without procrastinating.
Once you get a habit of doing all the tasks without procrastinating, you will be able to do more and gain more. You can check out the link on How to develop habits.