Procrastination is the act of delaying things or tasks for the last minute or postponing things just because someone doesn’t feel like doing it.
Procrastination has been linked to low self-esteem, irrational beliefs, a fear of failure, depression, and bad study habits, according to studies. Furthermore, procrastinators have been found to be more anxious and more likely to become sick closer to a deadline, which also leads to poor exam results.
If you are also struggling with putting off your work when you shouldn’t, then these tips are for you:
- Break down the tasks- Whatever task is lined up for you, you can chunk it into smaller pieces so that you can easily do it. For instance, if you have to reorganize your wardrobe, start with one section and focus on decluttering that one section. In this way, you will slowly and steadily organize your wardrobe in a much easier way.
- Eliminate distractions- When you keep turning your attention to what’s on TV or reading your friends’ Facebook status updates, it’s difficult to get some real work done. Set aside a time when you will turn off all distractions, such as music, television, and social media platforms, and dedicate the time to focusing entirely on the task at hand.
- Make a to-do list- Begin by making a to-do list of all the stuff you want to get done. If you have a deadline to reach, put a date next to each item if it is appropriate. To avoid falling into the cognitive trap of underestimating how long each project will take, estimate how long each job will take and then double that number.
- Take mini-breaks- It’s hard to complete a task when you have been continuously sitting for long hours without actually achieving anything. Our productivity automatically starts to decline which leads to burnout and then we procrastinate. So take short breaks after every 30-45 minutes to help reduce your feeling of procrastination and to be more energetic. One can also try the Pomodoro Technique which motivates you to take a break after every 25 minutes.
- Don’t complicate things- When you are having these procrastination thoughts inside your head, ask yourself, why these thoughts are coming inside your mind? And when you feel like giving up, force yourself to spend a few more minutes on the current task that you are doing. This would overcome the barrier of the feeling of procrastination and you can easily complete your task.
- Reward yourself- It is important to reward yourself for your efforts after you have completed a task (or even a small portion of a larger task). Enable yourself to participate in something fun and enjoyable, whether it’s going to a sporting event, playing a video game, watching your favorite TV show, or even just browsing photos on a social networking site.
- Be accountable- If possible, have someone to take charge of your work or assignments that you have to do. One of the most effective ways to avoid procrastination is to hold yourself accountable. If someone is holding you accountable, you’re much more likely to complete a task. Find someone to keep you accountable if you’re having trouble getting started on work.
Lastly, no external motivation will make you do your work unless you are motivated from inside to see your progress. Whatever it is that is holding you back from reaching your goals, know that only you have the power to change it!