Many of us know that creeping sense of dread and shame when we’ve been avoiding a task for too long and the d-day is fast approaching. It’s not just that the task is not done, but that you feel as if it’s your fault.
Delaying, putting off things, and facing them only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating it all over again. It’s a bad habit that causes unnecessary stress and prevents us from being successful in life.
Don’t let procrastination ruin your life. Here are steps to overcome procrastination.
Simplify The Task
You can think of as tackling procrastination on the smallest level first. It takes little effort to maintain a minimum routine in life. Eg getting the mail sorted every day. Once you get into the habit of doing that, there will never be a huge stack of mail waiting for you to sort through at the exact moment when something else needs your attention.
Break Your Work Into Little Steps
One of the reasons why procrastination comes up is because we find the work too overwhelming. Break it down into little parts then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further.
Identify the 4 Pillars of Procrastination
According to an academic study titled ‘The Nature of Procrastination’, there appear to be 4 pillars of procrastination (Low task value, Personality, Expectation and Goal failure) that influence the population at large.
Identifying which pillar is stopping you from doing a certain task may be helpful in overcoming the initial barrier in getting started. After all, research on the Zeigarnik Effect shows us that getting started really is the toughest part!
Disengage Your Procrastination ‘Tools’
If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate. Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email contact list. Get rid of the distractions around you. I know some people go out of the way and delete/deactivate their Facebook accounts.
Make A Friend
Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.
Last modified: September 7, 2018