Procrastination wastes our precious time and steals our productivity. It’s something all of us are guilty of sometimes. According to psychologists, twenty percent of people can identify themselves as procrastinators. We all have tendencies to procrastinate to some degree, some are just worse than others. For instance, chronic procrastinators can’t seem to control it that they actively look for distractions and sabotage themselves.
Other procrastinators such as the thrill-seekers put off work because they seek the adrenaline rush of beating the deadline. The Avoiders procrastinate because of fear of failure and the decisional procrastinators can’t seem to make a final decision or do not make any decisions at all to absolve themselves of the responsibilities of the consequences.
Procrastinators do not realize the cost of this to their health, work, and social lives. If you are suffering from procrastination, here are some powerful hacks to overcome it.
1. Determine the source or the reason why you are procrastinating
The key to finding a solution to a problem is to identify the root cause of the problem so they can be addressed properly. Usually, there is something more than what you see on the surface. The underlying reason why people procrastinate is deeper and more complicated than just being plain lazy or irresponsible.
2. Lacking in abilities or skills deficit
Some people procrastinate simply because they do not know how to perform what is asked of them or lack the necessary skills to complete tasks. Others postpone doing tasks because they can’t admit to themselves they need help and having troubles asking for it for the fear of judgment. One example is in writing an academic paper. Most students procrastinate because they couldn’t put their thoughts into a paper. They tend to put it off instead of looking for ways they can accomplish their requirements. If you are one of them, end your suffering and seek help online.
3. Lack of interest and motivation
It is natural for people to postpone doing any task if it does not appeal to their interest. The best solution for this is to just remember why the task needs to be done anyway and the possible effects if you fail to do it. Other times the task still interests you but you just lack the motivation to even begin. It may be triggered by other factors in life that you have to address first or emotions you have to deal with.
4. Feeling overwhelmed
When you feel too overwhelmed by your current situation in life, it is quite normal to procrastinate. Switching from one task to another is difficult.
5. Fear of failure and fear of success
Fear of failure can paralyze people. They fear that they might do something poorly or not being able to do it at all that they cannot even begin. On the other hand, those who fear success procrastinate because they think more will be expected out of them if they succeeded to perform well.
6. Act of Rebellion
Rebels deliberately procrastinate without really understanding why they do it sometimes. It’s an unconscious reaction against people of power. A teenager at home may delay doing his/her chores just because his/her parents asked him/her to do them immediately.
These are just some examples of reasons why people procrastinate.
7. Refine your to-do list and rank your priorities accordingly.
At times, we tend to feel pressured just by merely looking at our to-do list, especially when we don’t feel enthusiastic about certain tasks. The more things listed down, the more people tend to procrastinate. One solution that could work is to be realistic about the things that you can and can’t do and keep your list short. Rank your tasks according to the level of priority so you’d know which one requires immediate action.
8. Breakdown big tasks into chunks
Refer to your list and breakdown big tasks into smaller tasks so you can accomplish them without overwhelming yourself too much that you put off other equally important tasks off.
9. Try to finish all the easy tasks first
When we think of a task as easy, we tend to postpone doing it that we sometimes end up not being able to do it at all. If you tell yourself “It’s fine. It’s easy, I’ll do it later” a lot of times, you are already procrastinating.
When you finish the easy tasks first, you can cross them out of your list and prepare for bigger ones. It can save you time, effort and in some cases, money.
10. Use productivity apps
It is amazing how we can utilize technology to our advantage. If you need a little nudge to keep yourself going, download apps that can help make everything a little easier. There are apps that can remind you of your task and there are some that can help keep your focus and away from distractions.
11. Take meaningful rests
Meaningful rest means not staying in work mode. Some people take breaks only to do other smaller tasks. Sometimes people procrastinate because they do not get enough rest. Their mind gets too tired that it wanders.
12. Reward yourself for your accomplishments
Sometimes all you need is a positive reinforcement. Reward yourself for every accomplishment and you will feel good and enthusiastic to accomplish more tasks.
13. Take proper care of yourself
When you neglect to take care of yourself, you will put off work because you either feel too tired or sick. You are tired because you didn’t get enough sleep or you feel sluggish because of the kind of food you eat, and then you get sick. Eat well, get enough sleep, exercise and you will feel better and productive.
Meditation can help you deal with stress by clearing your mind so you can regain your focus. Even great and successful people procrastinate, and use meditation to get them back to the game.
15. Mind over matter
Whatever your reason may be for putting off work or delaying tasks, you have to have a mantra that can immediately snap you out of your procrastination. Remind yourself that if you fail to do what you have to do, you will not be able to achieve your goals.
You are not born with chronic procrastination, it is something you have created you. The good news is that you can change your behavior. You can avoid unnecessary distraction and focus on what really matters.
About the Author:
Norman Arvidsson is a writer on trust my paper. He is also beginner-contributing blogger interested in such areas as self-improvement, inspiration, and productivity improvement.