Everyone can delay activities which are not that pleasant. Still, levels differ: some people rarely allow themselves to delay a serious project or task, others are chronical procrastinators.
If talking about procrastinating, people don’t realize their potential and lose many possibilities for reaching success in their life and career. This problem had been discussed many times before, but it is so global that reminding people about it and its dangers from time to time is necessary.
What is Procrastination?
People procrastinate when they delay important activities that they need to do right away. This is usually done in order to devote their time to something more pleasant and comfortable.
According to some psychologists, procrastination appears when there is a significant time delay between one’s intention and real action.
How to Overcome Procrastination
Follow these steps:
1. Realize Yourself Procrastinating
If you’re honest with yourself, you probably know you procrastinate. Here is the list of facts that can help you make sure:
- You fill up your day with low-priority tasks;
- You read emails several times a day without writing answers or deciding what to do with letters. This means you do actions with no goals, which take your time and don’t get you closer to the target;
- You do small actions like making coffee or shopping before starting a high-priority task. Start working, and make coffee or go to the shop some hours later;
- You leave one task uncompleted during several days in a row;
- You regularly say “yes” to tasks that are not that important and even are not on your list;
- You wait for a “good mood” and “right time” to come. Remember that there will never be the perfect moment.
When you put away low-priority tasks, it is not about procrastination but prioritization. Then, if you delay an important task for some minutes in order to have a break, it is okay, too. But if couple hours passed and you haven’t started doing that task, then you procrastinate.
2. Find Out Why You Procrastinate
The reason may be in you or your task. For instance, you can’t start doing a task because you lack information or resources.
Yet mostly the reason is in human.
- The task looks unattractive. Underline the word “looks”: it doesn’t mean the task to actually be like that. Any task, even the most pleasant one, can seem to be unattractive just because you need to complete it whatever it takes. Choose the right mood for yourself: you’ll do that job anyway, but your procrastination will cause your latency and being irritated.
- A person is not organized. Organized people can resist their wishes because they know about priorities and create to-do lists. They understand how much time this or that task is going to take, and then divide it into smaller parts. Disorganized people feel that there is a lot of work to be done fast and at once, and they don’t even start it due to that.
- Numerous tasks. If you have to do many tasks during the day, you risk to do nothing. Still, remember the law: you only need to start.
- Perfectionism. It can be wondering, but perfectionists can procrastinate as well. They think about the job to be done perfectly, and then don’t start it because of being not confident in themselves.
- Low decision making skills. These are skills that can and must be developed. Take a habit to start a task once you need to do it. You’ll wonder there is nothing scary in it.
Procrastination is the deep habit and behavioral model. This means that, you can’t overcome it in one day. The irony: some people delay fighting their procrastination and find this paradox to be funny.
Any habit can be changed only if you have consciousness, persistence, motivation and discipline. When you’re motivated, you do it all well, but discipline helps you once you wake up in a bad mood.
How to Become More Motivated?
- Encourage yourself. It’s a simple but effective hint. Though, it will help you only at the start.
- Ask a friend or relative to control you. It works at the start as well.
- Imagine things that will happen if you fail the task.
- Think about how much your procrastination costs you. You can finish a task during the day, but you complete it in a week. How much money and growth possibilities have you lost? Now imagine how much funds you’ll lose if you behave like that during five years.
- Develop a skill: start the task not mentioning its size.
How to Become More Organized?
- Provide your to-do list. Many people know it is necessary, but still don’t provide it. They say they can remember their tasks perfectly. But the point is not the memory, but consciousness. A page of paper reminds you about your responsibilities, and thoughts can get changed hundreds of times per day.
- Use Eisenhower’s Matrix.
- Learn the art of time-management. It’s not that boring as it seems, it is a skill of living your full life.
- Remind yourself about your life goals and year-tasks every morning and evening.
- Focus on one task at a time.
How not to Get Stunned with Multiple Tasks?
- Divide a big task into small parts;
- Start from the task that is easy and fast to be completed, even if there is no logic in such decision. The completed task gives you energy.
How to Like an Unpleasant Task?
- Many procrastinators overestimate the level of task irritation. Give it a try. One washed cup can let you know that a mountain of dishes to clean is nothing scary.
- Think about what happens if the task won’t be completed. There can be lots of consequences. Think out as many of them as you can. Even the most absurd ones.
- Reward yourself with small pleasant things.
Even if you really don’t like the task but need to complete it, start doing it immediately. The more you think about it for nothing, the more you scare of it and the more it irritates you.