If you didn’t procrastinate, you’d be one of the most powerful people in the world. You’d utilize your time effectively and get a lot of things done each day. Over time, that’s an incredibly powerful way to live.
Unfortunately, we all seem to have a villain inside that tries to thwart our plans at every turn. He makes every other activity seem so enjoyable and the thing we need to do so unenjoyable.
Procrastination can be an incredibly challenging obstacle to overcome.
Deal with your procrastination and beat the villain inside with these strategies:
1. Do the task immediately. The longer you think about doing something, the more reasons your mind will invent to keep you from doing it. Have you ever noticed how you get a great idea, but then you talk yourself out of doing it? It’s the same idea.
◦ Before you have a chance to think about it, just do it. The longer you linger, ponder, think, relax, or stall, the less likely you’ll be to do anything. You only have a few seconds to take action before your brain will start getting in your way. 1-2-3-GO!
2. Set a time limit. This can be especially helpful when tackling a big task. Rather than trying to do it all at once, tell yourself that you’ll work for an hour, or 30 minutes, or whatever works for you. Knowing that you have a set ending point can ease the challenge of getting started.
◦ Once you get busy, you might find that you just keep on working after the time has expired.
◦ Using a timer is also a great way to focus your attention. It’s interesting how much more you can accomplish when you’re racing against the clock.
3. Only do a tiny bit. Getting started is often the most difficult part. Make it so easy to get started that you can’t possibly fail. Need to write a history paper for school or a report for work? Tell yourself that you’re just going to do one paragraph. If that’s too hard, make it a single sentence.
◦ Again, after you get started, you might decide to keep on going. It’s amazing what a little momentum can do.
4. Start with the big items. We like to start the day with the easy things, the things that won’t take too much time. Unfortunately, the longer you put off doing the bigger stuff, the harder it is to get started on it.
◦ Avoid this situation by attacking those bigger, less pleasant tasks first thing in the morning. Save the easy stuff for later in the day. You’ll be able to have a more peaceful afternoon.
5. Figure out your primary distractions at the moment and do them later. Those distractions can be so appealing. Whether it’s texting your friend about the weekend or playing a few more games of Candy Crush, distractions are more enjoyable than doing what actually needs to be done.
◦ Use your distractions as rewards. Tell yourself you can do the thing you really want to do after you get a certain amount of work completed. You’ll get your work done and still have fun before the day is over.
How much do you procrastinate? How much does it impact your life? What could you accomplish if you could greatly reduce your procrastination?
There are many strategies for dealing with procrastination. The trick is to figure out which one works most effectively for you. Try the methods above and any other methods that appeal to you. Decide for yourself how to best manage your procrastination tendencies.