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Picture the scene; there is a job that needs to be done – and you are not getting round to it. Could procrastination be the cause? There is always a reason you aren’t settling, which means that you divert your energies to something else. Sometimes you need to legitimately hold off on a task, job, or project because something more pressing comes up – we aren’t talking about this. When you continually push it off, you may be struggling with procrastination. There are many reasons people procrastinate, from perfectionism to overwhelm, but defeating procrastination is possible with these nine tips:
Figure Out Why You Procrastinate
Understanding ‘the why’ behind your procrastination aids you in overcoming it. Some of the reasons you may put off completing a task include poor organisation, feeling overwhelmed, fear of failure, fear of success even, and perfectionism. Consider what is driving your procrastination so that you can defeat it
Write Out a To-Do List
You may feel overwhelmed at everything you need to get accomplished and that can lead to procrastination. You may have less to do than you initially thought. Writing everything down can help you gain a better scope of what you genuinely need to do. If you are electronic, use a system like Asana or Trello to assist. For some thoughts check out one of our other posts here.
Prioritise What You Need to Do
After listing everything out, prioritise what needs to be done and add how much time it will take next to the task. If there are deadlines, you should add those. The goal is to identify where to place your focus first. You may even find you have some you can put off or ignore.
Break Projects Down into Bite-Sized Tasks
When you have a large project in front of you, it may seem like a mountain. You move a mountain one pail of dirt at a time. It helps to break your project into smaller, more manageable tasks that you can quickly check off.
Do Away with Distractions
Completing tasks take twice as long when you are being pulled away. Turn off all notifications on your phone and computer. That includes social media notices and email. If you need background noise, find some soft music, but avoid turning on the television.
Take Care of the Hardest Job When You Are at Your Peak
Do you get more done in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Take advantage of your peak time of alertness to tackle those jobs you have been putting off. You will have more energy and can get invigorated by accomplishing.
Tie a Reward to an Accomplishment
Some people love rewards for getting things done. If you do, pick a task or project and set a reward for accomplishing it or getting so steps completed. You might indulge in a movie, playing a video game, or social media time.
Find an Accountability Partner
Knowing you have to answer to someone about your progress can be a great motivator. Look for someone who can encourage you when you get side-tracked, as well as give you firm reminders to get back on task.
Just Get Started
Getting started is often half the battle. Instead of just thinking about starting a project, set your timer for five minutes and work on it. Once the timer goes off, you are more likely to keep working, which means you are much closer to getting the job done than five minutes earlier.
Where can you start? Think about these small steps that you can take to tackle those projects and stop procrastination?
- Ask yourself why you procrastinate on some jobs but not on others. You can then work on alleviating the blockers and learn how to accomplish more.
- Take a piece of paper and brainstorm everything you need to do. Then, assess what you can do and what you can delegate. This frees up time for those items only you can handle.
- Decide on some different rewards you can give yourself, write them on slips of paper, and place them in a jar. You can have the extra fun of choosing a surprise reward once your task is complete.