Did you always wait till the night before the submission date to do your assignments in college? It is not a big deal. College life has a way of protecting lazy bums. But, are you still in the habit of procrastinating? Have you been struggling in your work life and social life because of this habit that you cannot leave behind?
Procrastinating paying bills and buying grocery can make your life difficult. It can also irritate the people around you. Getting rid of this habit is essential for your life as an adult. But, it is easier said than done. Laziness isn't the main reason behind procrastination. Psychologists say that people who procrastinate have a faulty sense of time. Their mind thinks that they will have more time to finish tasks than they do in reality.
However, no matter how many reasons you find behind your habit of procrastinating, getting rid of it is in your best interest. Some tips will be helpful in this difficult journey. Here are 11 tips to overcome procrastination and lead a productive life.
Realising and admitting that you have a problem is the beginning of a productive lifestyle. Have a conversation with yourself. Think of all the times you procrastinated a task and ended up in trouble. It is important to know that procrastination brings stress with it. The short period of time in which you are rushing through the task, you will go through anxiety and stress which isn’t doing any favours to your physical and mental health. You have to accept that you need to change.
The conversation with yourself isn’t over. Once you accept that you have a problem, the next step is to convince yourself that you need change. Unless you have clearly defined reasons to go through the trouble of changing an old habit, you will be back to square one when you face challenges or simply feel lazy. Think about how procrastination is affecting your present. Is it keeping you from the promotion you deserve? Is it affecting your health? The answers will motivate you are about to give up.
‘Today’ is the perfect time for you. If you are going to kill a habit, you better do it today, especially when that habit is procrastination. You should start fighting it today and right away. The same rule applies every time you feel like delaying a task without substantial reason. Keep reminding yourself that ‘I will do it later’ is a trick that your mind has been playing on you for a long time.
Also Read: 10 Tips To Develop A Better Morning Routine
It is only natural that you would want to quit in between the task. It is a temptation hard to resist. But, this hurdle is not hard to overcome. You can break down the task into smaller chunks before beginning. If you are going to make dinner, break it into prepping the ingredients, cooking it, and washing the dishes. Doing them all together will make it look like a mammoth task, and you might not be enthusiastic about it.
Do not think about washing the dishes while you are cutting the vegetables. This will make the task look like a never-ending one, and you may feel indifferent before you are halfway through. Take one step at a time to beat procrastination. If you are planning on cleaning the bookshelves, break the task into several parts. Start with the upper rows and take a break after the first three rows. This method will help you to complete the entire task.
A schedule will help you to stay on track by holding you accountable and helping you to remember. A physical calendar put up on an easily visible spot is way better than a digital one. But, if you prefer a digital calendar, pair it with reminders. Now, all you have to do is mark your calendar every time you make a plan and stick to it.
Motivating yourself is an important factor when you are trying to get things done. If you have a habit of seeking rescue in social media when you are procrastinating, make sure you keep the phone away. If you absolutely hate cleaning the house, play your favourite music in the house while cleaning. The trick is not to allow yourself to be bored. If you are enjoying the music and having fun, you might even be able to complete the entire task at one stretch.
You can take your time to break the habit of procrastinating. But, the same rule doesn’t work well with individual tasks. You are more likely to finish the task if you do it fast. It will give you fewer opportunities to get bored or find an excuse not to do it. If you are going to study a chapter, break it down to individual topics and allot each topic reasonable time. Try to finish each topic within the allotted time. You will not be wasting any time this way and be more productive.
You will always have a reason to procrastinate. Sometimes you find it boring or too complicated. People often delay starting thinking that it needs more time, hence it is better not to start now. It could also be as simple as not being in the mood. However, you need to consider all of these as excuses. Every time you want to procrastinate, ask yourself if you have a valid reason. If the answer is ‘no’, get on with the task without thinking twice.
Be kind and pamper yourself for achieving what you couldn’t before. When you finish a task, treat yourself with something that you like. Don’t expect that you will be successful at every single step. Be forgiving to yourself. Reinforcements are the key to building a habit. But, be careful while choosing the reinforcement. It better not be candies or junk food.
If none of the tricks in the book works, get a partner to help you in the process. You will be accountable to your partner. And they can also push you to stay on track. Be sure to choose someone you are comfortable with as the ride may not be smooth throughout.