Procrastination is a habit. And Like any other habit, you can stop procrastination using these 7 simple methods. Most people have used the excuse of being able to work best under pressure as the reason for putting off tasks to the very last minute. Whatever your excuse may be, it is essential to realize that procrastination could be the habit that is hindering you from being productive and that learning how to overcome it is one of the most important skills you can ever learn.
Procrastination is simply the things we do instead of doing those that we should and want to do. It is habitual and a very deliberate process. A classic example of procrastination is hitting the snooze button in the morning. You may not know this, but procrastination exhausts us more than the tasks at hands. That being said, here are some of the strategies that will prove useful in overcoming the habit.
Before you can even stop procrastinating, you first need to be aware that you are doing it. This means that you need to be conscious of yourself in the act of procrastination. Most of the time, when we have tasks to do, we unknowingly put them off to do other irrelevant things. However, when we catch ourselves in the act, only then are we able to regain control and exercise our willpower to do the right thing. It doesn’t stop there, after you have become self-aware, go on ahead and find out why you are procrastinating. Is it because the task at hand is tedious, or is it because you don’t enjoy doing it? This will go a long way in helping you move forward.
As cliché as it may sound, prioritizing is one of the key strategies that you can employ to help you stop procrastination. As mentioned above, could be the reason you are putting off a particular task is that it is too tedious and you just don’t feel like doing it. However, when you prioritize on the most critical tasks first and those that need a huge chunk of your attention, only then will you be able to combat this habit. The best way to prioritize is by having a to-do list and a scheduled plan for your day. Ensure that your list is not too long as this will drain your energy even before your work on your tasks and if possible, try and break larger tasks into small manageable ones.
Have an Accountability Partner
Having someone who will help you manage your time and complete your tasks is a step to consider when wanting to stop procrastination. This is especially important if you are just beginning this journey. Your accountability partner will help you stay in tune with your schedule, which will, in the end, boost your productivity. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. The more you practice avoiding procrastination, the higher chances you have of unlearning the habit altogether.
More often than not, the reason we choose to delay doing what we are supposed to do is because of the distractionsaround us. To prevent procrastination, be sure to minimize your distractions. Choose to work in a more conducive environment or rather create a working environment that is devoid of potential distractions.
Set SMART goals
Setting goals is an excellent strategy to stop procrastination. Instead of postponing a task, set a goal on when you want to accomplish the task and the time you need for it to be done. By setting these goals and achieving them, you set your self up for greater efficiency, increased productivity and outstanding results. Ensure, therefore, that these goals are SMART (simple, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) and not as complicated. You can also go ahead and motivate yourself using rewards and incentives that will push you to act on these goals and tasks.
Forgive past procrastination
Chances are, the reason you have not stopped procrastinating is because you are still hung up on feelings of guilt and regret of the previous times you have procrastinated. Being a habit, you tend to procrastinate more each time you choose to procrastinate. Therefore, be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for the many times you did delay doing tasks and choose to act on the present tasks that need to be worked on. Choose to learn from your previous mistakes and make better decisions in the future.
Believe in yourself
It has been said time and again that not believing in ourselves is one of the main hindrances of living a fulfilled life. Same to procrastination. The reason people procrastinate is that they do not believe in their capability to achieve these tasks and therefore choose to put them off because they fear failure. If you fall in this category, try and learn that things don’t have to be perfect for them to be worth pursuing. Also, there is never a perfect time to take on a task or assignment.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that a habit only stops being a habit when you avoid practising them. The good news, therefore, is that procrastination just like any other habit can be unlearned by enforcing other new and healthy habits and strategies like those mentioned above.