Procrastination is avoiding a task that is required to be accomplished by a certain deadline. It is an intentional delay of starting or finishing a task even if you know it might lead to negative consequences. Well, most people have possibly put off a task at some point in their life. In psychology, people who procrastinate have a faulty sense of time, and most of them think that they will have more time to get something done than they actually do.
People who procrastinate are usually those trying to avoid distress. However, doing so can ironically cause them more distress in the long run. In fact, it can lead to stress, poor performance, and even health problems. It’s because procrastinators usually have less sleep and greater stressful regret compared to non-procrastinators.
If you are one of the people who try to avoid tasks that need to be accomplished immediately, and you want to beat that habit, no worries because we’re here to help you. Today, we are giving you tips for overcoming procrastination.
Most people who procrastinate do it because they catastrophize. Or to put it simply, they always make a huge deal out of something. For example, if they are given a task, they will say that it’s tough, boring, or painful to complete. For them, doing the task is always unbearable.
If you do the same, you need to think that boredom and working hard will not kill you or make you sick. Just think of the stress you will feel when you avoid tasks that you know you need to do. Therefore, to overcome procrastination, you need to always think that it might not be your favorite thing to do, but you can get through it. Stop saying it’s difficult or boring, especially if you haven’t even tried.
Focus on Why You Are Doing the Task
Procrastinators always focus more on short-term gains instead of focusing on long-term results. But if you want to overcome procrastination, you need to focus on the reason why you are doing a certain task. Think about the benefits of finishing it. For example, if you are cleaning your closet, think about how good it feels to open a closet that is decluttered. If you have been avoiding doing an exercise program, try to focus on how that program will help you gain more energy and self-esteem.
Get Out of Your Calendar
Procrastinators always say that they will get the task done when they have time. However, that excuse does not often work, and the task never gets done most of the time. Therefore, you need to set a schedule on when you are going to work on a specific task and block out that time. Do it just like how you would an important meeting. When the time comes that you need to start working on the task, you can also set a timer and focus on it for the entire time you allotted.
When making a schedule, keep in mind that you are also setting yourself up for success. If you are working on certain tasks that take much longer to finish, you can bake in some extra time and be realistic about when you think you can really finish it. You can also look for ways to make the task easy for yourself. For example, if you are looking into starting the exercise program that you have put off for months, you can schedule it during lunch or before dinner if you are not a morning person.
Divide a Task into Smaller and More Manageable Parts
If you are doing a task that seems overbearing, instead of procrastinating, why not try dividing it into smaller and more manageable parts? It is just like writing a book. It may take a long time, and you need to put a lot of effort into it. But to make it easier, you can create an outline, identify each chapter and the sections in the chapters, and then start writing one segment at a time. By doing this, you will feel less overwhelmed and more empowered to finish whatever task you have to do.
Stop Making Excuses
To overcome procrastination, you need to stop making excuses. Some people who procrastinate might say that they need to be in the mood to start doing the task. Or that they work better when under pressure. Well, yes, it’s indeed great to work when you are in the mood, but what if you never get in the mood? It means that you will never start and finish your project as well. Therefore, stop making excuses and start getting the task done.
Improve Your Environment
Your environment is another factor that can either help or hinder your productivity. Some examples of the things that can hinder your productivity and lead to procrastination are your email and messenger that keeps pinging, social media, and phone calls.
Therefore, during your schedule to work on a certain task, close your email and messenger and set your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode. As much as possible, do not let yourself get on the web until you finish the task. If you need to browse the internet for the task you are doing, you can just hold off any needed internet searches until the end of the task.
Give Yourself a Reward
If you are able to finish a certain task without procrastinating, then give yourself a reward. For example, after finishing your work, you can binge-watch your favorite series, check your social media, and treat yourself out for a nice lunch or dinner. You will realize that the common distractions to procrastinate can be helpful for you if you set them as your rewards after finishing what you schedule yourself to do.
Forgive Yourself and Accept the Past
If you are a procrastinator in the past, then you need to stop beating yourself up about it. Stop thinking that you should have started earlier because that will just make things worse. What you need to do is forgive yourself for being a procrastinator in the past.
Instead of being regretful, you can simply use your past procrastination to your advantage. Define what went into your avoidance, then address those obstacles in the present and future. For example, if it’s because of stress and fear, then ask yourself what steps you can take to feel more empowered and less stressed and fearful the next time.
Remember that when doing a task, you don’t need to always look at the whole of it. What’s important is that you are taking the first step and always doing something in order to finish it, instead of avoiding it completely. We hope that the tips we shared will help you overcome procrastination.