Procrastination happens to many people for different reasons. It could be anything from being unsure about a task to feeling that you work best under pressure. There’s a lot of stress that comes along with procrastination and often times it doesn’t get you your best work. It’s easy to rationalize that there is time to get things done and put them off to another day, but doing so doesn’t allow for life to get in the way, and it often does. So, how do you stop procrastination?
1. Prioritize to Eliminate Procrastination
Often times we don’t realize just how much we have to get done until it is too late. Making a list is an easy way to lay out everything you need to do so that you can then prioritize it to stay on top of things. The way you prioritize it is up to you. You can prioritize by the amount of time it takes to complete, due date, importance, or anything else that makes sense. Having a plan is half the battle.
One reason that we often put things off is that we feel overwhelmed by the task. It’s helpful to break down tasks when possible. Set smaller goals or line out additional steps to get the result or completion needed. Your overall aspirations can be big while still keeping your steps brief and less involved. While splitting up a large task you may also want to set mini-due dates that lead up to the final deadline of the project.
3. Dedicate Time
Set up dedicated time to complete your work. Making sure that there is time for both work and play will help keep you from allowing the two to drift together. Commit to the time that you set. If you specify a time frame to work, use that time for work. The same goes for downtime, make sure that you set aside time for yourself and hobbies so that you are ready to work when it is time.
4. Start at the Bottom
Start with the task that you dread doing most. That may be the task that takes the most time, or it may be the task that you are stressing over the most. Taking that task off the table makes all the other tasks on your list seem more doable. You’ll feel better that it’s over and will be less likely to put off the rest.
5. Focus on the Goal
Always keep your eye on the prize. Remind yourself of the benefits of completing the task. If it is a work-related item, then you may be able to get ahead by completing work before a deadline. Think about your work performance and productivity. If it is a personal goal, envision your life after the goal has been met. Use visuals as a reminder if needed. Knowing what is in it for you and keeping your mind focused on the reward will help keep you motivated.
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