We all have to deal with procrastination at some point in life.
One way or another, every one of us has fallen prey to procrastination. We’ve all been its puppets, doing its bidding from time to time in our lives, and it’s quite sad.
You are probably familiar with the feeling of knowing you should get some work done but somehow not being able to, and so you fool around all the way up to the last minute when stress and pressure force you to finish the job done; or, in an even worst-case scenario, the job never gets done at all.
Procrastination, as it seems, is the act of deliberately putting off a task or activity, with the foremost intention of doing it on a latter-day. It’s an ineffective habit that results in unproductivity. It’s a time-waster. It makes you completely lose track of time.
While you procrastinate, you always have a reminder that you should be working somewhere in the back of your mind, and so you can’t be fully relaxed. What this means is that If you want to gain more time for yourself, then you’ve got to stop procrastinating.
If we aren’t “smarter” than procrastination, it’s a complete lose-lose situation. The job doesn’t get finished or is performed poorly.
One thing you should know is that having strong willpower can help you stop procrastinating. The flipside of it is if you don’t have enough willpower to resist procrastination, you’ll still end up putting off your task even when a slated “latter-day” of that task eventually comes.
And you know, our minds play tricks on us by helping us to come up with acceptable excuses on why we procrastinated. But the good news is this: procrastination is not as potent as you think it is, it can be overcome with the right steps.
Albeit, if your procrastination has already developed to a point where it’s already a habit, not to worry, you can still break free. All you have to do in getting rid of it is to take one step at a time, and you’ll eventually see yourself breaking free from its snare.
There are many tricks and tactics to help you stop procrastinating, and in this article, we will cover some proven suggestions on how to stop procrastinating once and for all.
1. PLAN OUT YOUR TIME
Planning is one of the keys to having a successful life. If you take out time to really plan the way you use your time, you most likely wouldn’t procrastinate, because you know how valuable time is.
Now, when I say, “Planning”, I actually mean “less thinking through; more writing out” because that’s what planning is. The probability of getting tasks done is higher when you write them out and state the specific time you want to do it, than when you don’t write them at all.
Let’s say, for instance, you planned on writing a school report by 3 pm. After writing it out, you then place it where you can easily see it, in order to serve as a reminder. Because you’ve written the task down, chances are you will eventually do it when the time comes. And somehow, your brain helps in the process by constantly reminding you of it, until you get it done.
Another form of planning is learning how to place specific times and deadlines for every of your task. Yes, you need to always set deadlines for the tasks you want to get done with, even if it doesn’t have a deadline of its own. Fixing deadlines will help you plan ahead on how you want to get your tasks done and help you stay focused on doing the tasks before the deadlines.
2. PRIORITIZE YOUR TASKS
Prioritizing simply means arranging and aligning your tasks in order of importance. In order to do this, create a list of all your tasks, then put them in order of importance, that is, from the most important, down to the least. However, it appears that Procrastinators are often faced with the challenge of doing the least important tasks in place of the most important ones.
You should note that in prioritization, the MIT (Most Important Tasks) need to be done first. Doing the MITs first, create a sense of relief and achievement for you. It also motivates you into doing the least important one thereafter. Or If you want, you can choose to delegate some of the least important tasks so you can focus on more MIT’s.
One thing that Prioritizing does is, it gives you a clearer picture of what to do and what not to do. It helps you stay focused and organized. And because the MITs are what are likely to be put off often, making them a priority will prevent you from procrastinating on them. By so doing other least important tasks becomes easier to do.
3. DEVELOP A “SENSE OF URGENCY”
Part of the reason why you don’t get tasks done quickly is that you feel there is still time, and that you can always do it later on. With that kind of mindset, the task will obviously be put off, constantly. Then as time goes by, you remain relaxed and apathetic towards the task, until it reaches its deadline. Thereafter, you start running helter-skelter, looking for how you can get it done quickly. This state of urgency that arises at the deadline of a task, is counterproductive.
However, the sense of urgency that you should align with is the one that comes from the onset of a task. In order words, don’t wait for the deadline to come first before you get the task done, do it from the very time it was assigned to you. Make it seem urgent from the beginning.
And it’s important that you learn to develop a “sense of urgency” for every important task. Meaning you have to see every of your important task as “a matter of urgency” that needs to be done immediately. If there is a sense of urgency for every major task you want to get done, you won’t be able to procrastinate on it. Reasons being that you already feel the need for the task to be done as soon as possible. This approach will definitely help you not procrastinate.
4. DEVELOP SELF-DISCIPLINE
Of all the 5ways mentioned earlier, you really cannot get through any one of them without self-discipline. Self-discipline is the centre of all human character. It is needed for growth in all areas of our lives.
If you’ve made the decision that you would discipline yourself into getting a particular task done, and you earnestly follow through with it, procrastination won’t have any choice but to back down.
The reason why you probably still find it hard to resist putting off your task is that you lack self-discipline, and procrastination breeds more where self-discipline is lacking.
READ ALSO: Vulnerability: The Bridge to Relationships