Every day spent procrastinating is another day spent worrying about that thing.Tweet
We think we are going to relax today by procrastinating tasks to tomorrow. But are we? Most of the time there is this silent guilt that keeps on nagging us.
Nevertheless, we do procrastinate a lot.
Well there are some reasons why most of the people procrastinate
- The task will be boring or tiring or both
- The task is huge and will take up lot of time
- I don’t have time to do this today
- I’m not in the mood
- What if it doesn’t turn up to be perfect?
- I won’t feel good doing this!!!
- Ding! The phone distracted me. (In general any distraction)
These are the most common reasons why people procrastinate. Now let’s see how to stop procrastination.
Strategies for procrastination
The task will be boring or tiring or both
I don’t know how most of the important tasks are boring. But the thing is we have to do it. On such occasions I do it in smaller chunks. Let’s say the task I don’t want to do right now is write blog post (Happens!). I’d split it into the whole day like this:
Morning: Write rough draft
Afternoon: Write a fair draft
Evening: Check grammar and other possible errors
Night: Design a Pinterest graphic
Tada! Blog post ready!!
Of course in between these I do easier tasks.
The task is huge and will take up lot of time
This is almost similar to the first solution. If the task is huge break it down into smaller chunks. In your to do list you should write (not type) like this
- The task
- Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
- Part 4
Do the first part with undivided attention and then take a break. If the first part took about 30 mins to finish take a five to ten minutes break. You are NOT allowed to use your phone or computer in the breaks or do any other task until the task is done. Continue the same process for the other parts.
I don’t have time to do this today
The solution is to eliminate. Eliminate the possibility of the problem itself.
Let Me Tell You A Story.
Once a company conducted training session for it’s managers and a productivity guru was invited to train them. The guru gave the managers a glass jar, a packet of sand, fist sized stones, small pebbles . He asked them to fill the jar with everything. The only condition was that everything should go inside the jar, nothing should be out. While a few managed to do this, the others couldn’t achieve it.
The guru smiled at them and then explained. “Those who managed to fill the jar had a small pattern. They first dropped the big stones, then the pebbles and finally the sand. When the huge ones occupy the space the smaller ones manage to fit in the gaps left by the big stones and hence there is room for everything”
Story time over!
Tasks too work somewhat in the same basis. When you do the small tasks first. You tend to do them in a relaxed manner with elaborate breaks and hence consuming up maximum of the time. And in the end we won’t have time for the huge ones and push it to tomorrow.
Instead do the huger and harder tasks first in the day. At the end there’ll be only a handful of small tasks which we can finish super quick.
Related post: How to prioritize tasks?
I’m not in the mood
Well, this would be a no brainer. If you are not in the mood create the mood. Go to YouTube and watch motivating videos about procrastination. Hear podcasts or read about procrastination. When we especially read or hear or watch about procrastination our brain gets convinced we are doing something wrong and urges you to get to work.
What if it doesn’t turn up to be perfect?
Stop being a perfectionist. Instead aim on completing the task. Now, I don’t say do it half hearted but if you are a perfectionist you’ll get what I say. Don’t think too much about the smaller details. For instance, if you are cooking.
Don’t worry if you couldn’t garnish. That doesn’t matter unless you are in a competition or something. Focus on things that matter.
I won’t feel good doing this!
If you are not going to feel good but have to do it, make sure you feel good at the end of the task. Give rewards to yourself. If you hate to workout but you have to them tell yourself “If you finish the workout successfully, you can watch Netflix” or something like this.
You can also go a step ahead and arrange everything. Laptop, comfy bedsheets, water bottle, a cup of popcorn (they are great post workout snack too!) You’ll be more motivated to finish the task as soon as possible.
Ding! The phone distracted me. (In general any distraction)
Distraction. The last but not the least (in fact the most) important problem of procrastination is distraction. Whatever
distracts you, not just cellphone, laptops and other devices but also books (Book lovers! I’ve caught you 😉). If something is going to distract you that shouldn’t be within your eye sight until you finish the task.
If you can, avoid these in breaks between tasks also, as there are high possiblilty you’ll procrastinate the remaining of the task.
- Spread the task throughout the day
- Do the tasks in small chunks with regular breaks
- Complete harder tasks first
- Motivate yourself
- Don’t be a perfectionist
- Reward yourself
- Avoid distractions
Why do you procrastinate? Let me know in the comments below!
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