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25th of July
As humans, there will be several instances when you couldn’t actuate yourself to do certain things that you actually should be doing or would really like to do. This is basically what is meant by procrastination.
For instance, you have some work to complete, which you know you should be doing, but instead of doing the same, you end up doing things like check your social media pages, listening to music, playing video games, surfing the web, or anything else for that matter.
You leave it until it is too late, you start panicking, and start wishing you started with the work earlier. Now, that’s what defines a typical procrastinator.
Procrastination not just affects your professional life, but can have a significant impact on the other parts of your life as well. But, do you really have to continue this way?
Should you allow this trait of yours cause more damage to your life? Not really. Fortunately, you can find some strategies that work for you, helping you focus and turn down your impulses. Here are 5 very effective ways that’ll put a stop to your procrastination:
One of the main reasons why people often procrastinate is because they find their goal or objective to be way too overwhelming. This is especially the case with goals that are bigger, and it could be work-related or even a change that you wish to make in your personal life. The best way to deal with this procrastination is to break your goal into smaller steps.
If you seem to procrastinate even after breaking down your task or goal, break down the steps even further, until you reach a point when they become manageable to you.
Very soon, you will overcome that overwhelming feeling and feel at ease with the task at hand. Just remember, even if you are unable to come up with every step required to reach the final goal, all you need initially is to know about the first few steps to take, and as you accomplish those, the rest will follow naturally.
Your peak time, also known as your productivity cycle, basically refers to a few specific time frames when you tend to be more productive. This varies from one individual to another, based on their behavioral, psychological, and other factors.
For instance, while some of you would be more productive during the nights, others would have that enthusiasm during the day when they have a fresh start. Once you know your productivity cycle, you can schedule your work to be carried out during those hours.
Additionally, knowing your down times, those times of the day when you find it difficult to focus, will also prove helpful, since you can schedule your breaks or leave behind some very simple tasks to complete during those hours.
A research article published by the Association of Psychological Science self-imposing deadlines can help individuals control procrastination.
Also, having self-imposed deadlines will be highly beneficial when you don’t have deadlines from an external source, say you’re your team leader or manager.
While setting deadlines for yourself is a great way to focus on your goals and plan ahead to achieve the same, there are some aspects to keep in mind:
First of all, the deadlines you set should be realistic, meaning, you should have just the right amount of time to finish a task, and neither more nor less.
This is because, while having too less time will increase your stress levels and make you feel overwhelmed, having too much time, on the other hand, will make you want to delay completing the task needlessly.
Secondly, be really particular about your deadlines. For example, rather than setting “next week” as your deadline, be more specific and go with “next Wednesday at 1 PM”. This will help you stay in track.
Lastly, it is important for your deadlines to be purposeful. Your ultimate goal with deadlines is to make sure that you follow them and complete the available task on time.
To make sure that you do this and make the whole process purposeful, you can do something like penalizing yourself whenever you fail to meet a deadline, or even better, work with someone who will have you answerable for your mistakes.
If you hadn’t known already, the environment you work in can really impact your productivity positively or negatively. Whether you work at an office or at home, if the environment around you makes you slack, you may have to think about changing or improving it.
Let’s say you work from home; but, if you always find yourself wanting to play your favorite songs in those giant speakers and browse the web whenever you are in your room, try going to a coffee shop in your neighborhood with your laptop.
With so many others just like you working on their laptops, the whole new environment could kindle your interest to work as well.
Another effective way to stop your procrastination is to have a power hour in your day. What is power hour? It is the one hour that you allocate to do what needs to be done, work-related or otherwise.
During this one hour, you shouldn’t let any sort of distractions, may it be taking breaks, attending unrelated phone calls, checking social media, or anything not related to the work at hand, disturb you or your productivity.
This is something that is easier said than done. In order to be successful at this, you need to carefully choose your power hour. For some of you, it could be right after your kids leave for school, for others it could be the hour right after you have had your morning cup of coffee.
All you need to do is find out what works for you.
Yes, procrastination is harder than you think, especially when you want to overcome it. But, if you are willing to put in the necessary efforts and follow these effective steps, your chances of putting a stop to it are really high.