Almost all of us procrastinate! Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes waiting just until before a deadline is extremely motivating. And at times procrastination is even obligatory—a way to put off a dreaded job until we feel more enthusiastic or prepared to do it. When we procrastinate, we throw away our free time and put off significant tasks we should be doing till it’s too late. But sooner or later, chronic procrastination affects our mood and state of mind by generating anxiety, panic, or added pressure. And when it’s actually too late, panic sets in and we wish we had started much earlier. The chronic procrastinator we know have spent years of their life entwined in this cycle.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with a little escape now and then. And, in truth, procrastinating isn’t actually a grave issue until it starts to affect your performance at work. If you start feeling anxious or stressed, or your behaviour starts to make others feel worried because you’re not making any headway, then it’s time to take action! The good news is, anybody can crawl out of the quicksand of procrastination and revel in increased efficiency, less stress, better professional relationships and a restored repute at work as a “go-getter.”
Identify the problem:
It’s normal to get overwhelmed by the magnitude and range of some tasks. If you’re avoiding doing a certain project because you think it is massive, use a different methodology. In reality, the job might not be as overwhelming as it seems; you just have to get started to figure out! To start with, break the job into smaller and more manageable tasks. You might find it useful to create an action plan with time based goals. Writing down the exact task you’ve been putting off helps you stay focused. At times shrinking a job is about quality rather than quantity.
Name your emotions:
As per psychologists procrastination is an emotional reaction. What’s actually preventing you from plunging into this task? Maybe it’s fear that stopping you from learning the new bells and whistles that come with the job. Or maybe it’s anger for having to do something you dislike or resent? Or is it sadness, because you feel ill-suited or inadequate for the job? Dig down deep to find out the feelings behind why you have been dragging your heels.
Let go of those emotions:
A lot of people don’t realize that emotion is simply a kind of energy. Curbed emotions and energy must get released, like letting steam out of a pressure cooker. If you’re depressed, talk to a friend and cry if required. If you’re irritated, try stamping around the room and shake your fists. Believe it or not, letting go of these emotions will not only release the locked energy but will also make you feel instantly “free.”
Implement Anti-Procrastination Tactics:
Before you even realise, procrastination becomes a habit – a deep-seated pattern of behaviour. This means that you can’t just overcome it overnight. But you can most definitely stop it if you persistently adopt approaches which increase your chances of beating it. Some guidelines work better for some people while others need a different approach to beat this “peril”! To begin with, you can refer to some of these tips:
- Promise yourself some rewards: For instance, promise yourself a piece of brownie at lunch if you complete a certain assignment. And ensure that you notice how great it feels to complete things!
- Ask somebody to check on you. Peer pressure always works! This is the norm behind dieting and other support groups and it is largely renowned as an extremely successful approach.
- Remind yourself of the not so pleasant consequences of NOT finishing the task.
- Appreciate the win. Finishing a frightening job is quite filling. Remind yourself that you’ll feel extremely good when the task is over once and for all. Accomplishing what you have been avoiding will make your work life easier. You’ll feel more enthusiastic.
Stop making things over- complicated:
Are you looking for a perfect time to do something? And do you think it is not the best time because of some insane reasons? Leave that thought because there never will be a perfect time! And if you keep waiting for one, you’re never going to achieve anything. Perfectionism is one of the leading triggers for procrastination.
Remove distractions if any:
Sometimes you procrastinate due to distractions! Whether it’s a co-worker or even a website like Facebook. So if you have a job that needs to be finished, why not remove yourself from any distractions and work in a quiet area? If it’s Facebook that’s disturbing you why not turn off the internet on your device. Physically eliminating these distractions can help diminish procrastination radically.
Several procrastinators overrate the unpleasantness of a job. So first give it a shot! You might find that it’s not as bad as you believed! So though it might feel impossible at first, you have it in you to finish everything that you have to each single day. All you need is fresh perspective, slight prodding, and a thorough action plan and before you realise you’ll be well on your way to terminating the procrastination cycle once and for all.