The Easiest Guide To Overcome The Habit of Procrastination
If you know why you procrastinate, you can find how to overcome it.
Ever found yourself putting off important tasks, often?
The good news is: you are not alone as many people procrastinate to a certain extent.
The bad news is: if you do it over and over again, it might disrupt your career and your life.
The key to controlling this damaging habit is to identify when you start doing it and try to understand why you do it. It will take some time but taking active steps to manage your time would result in better outcomes.
Let’s start with the basics...
What exactly is procrastination?
Simply put, procrastination is putting off things that you should be focusing on, that too, now. Most of us procrastinate usually in favor of doing something that we are more comfortable with.
Procrastination occurs when “there’s a gap between intended behavior and enacted behavior,” meaning you intend to do something but do not act on it.
Now that you know what it is, time to learn how to overcome procrastination.
Follow these simple steps to recognize and then overcome procrastination
If you really wish to get rid of this destructive habit, you have to be honest with yourself. When you are honest with yourself you know when you are procrastinating.
Here are a few indicators that would help you identify:
- Waiting for the ‘right time’ to start.
- Sitting down to start on the important task, but the same instant getting up to grab a cup of coffee.
- Leaving an important item on your ‘To-do list’ for long.
- Re-reading emails but not starting to work on them.
- Finishing off the low-priority tasks first.
- Taking up unimportant tasks from others while delaying your own important tasks.
Finding out why you are procrastinating depends on either you or the task.
1. The task is unpleasant
It can be that the job you are supposed to do is unpleasant and you are ignoring it. The best way to work on unpleasant jobs is to finish them off as quickly as they are assigned so you can focus on the more enjoyable ones.
2. You are disorganized
Organized people tend to do things on a prioritized basis, identifying how important one task is from another and plan accordingly.
3. You feel overwhelmed
It can also be that you feel overwhelmed by a particular task. You may doubt you don’t have the particular skill set or resources to get the task done and that’s why we are delaying it. Whatever you do, the task isn’t going anywhere so better ask for help and get it done with.
4. Don’t know what to do
Another reason why you procrastinate could be because of your underdeveloped decision-making skills as you simply don’t know what to do about it.
Procrastination is a deep-rooted pattern of behavior. It won’t be that easy to break it. It becomes a habit and you can only overcome it when you persistently stop practicing it. It’s better to use as many approaches as possible so you can break this damaging habit. Remember: what works for you may not necessarily work for someone else.
(Try one approach. If it works, hurray! If it doesn’t, try another!)
1. If you find the task unpleasant
- Reward yourself on a task timely-completed.
- Ask someone to check on you.
- Find what happens if you don’t complete the task.
- Find out what it costs for your employer to get this task done and then realize how you are wasting their resources.
- Aim to finish off high-priority tasks first thing in the morning.
2. You are disorganized
- Keep a to-do list.
- Set some time-bound goals.
- Focus on one task at a time.
- Plan ahead and schedule your tasks.
- Break down the work into manageable steps.
3. Overwhelmed by the task
- Break the project into smaller manageable tasks.
- Start with smaller tasks first.
- Create an action plan.
- Do steps that you are comfortable with first.
4. If you don’t know what to do
- Maybe you are nervous about making the wrong choice.
- Follow effective decision-making techniques.
- Ask someone to help you with the task.
To conquer procrastination you need to spot that you are doing it, identify the cause of it, and take appropriate steps to overcome it. The longer you spend without procrastination the better chance you have of breaking the habit.