Procrastination is something a good number of us tend to do, no matter what the task. We know that putting something off doesn’t help us and it only makes things worse by adding anxiety to our lives; but knowing this only makes us procrastinate more! How can you stop this vicious cycle, use your time more effectively, and get your tasks done sooner?
Here are five remarkably effective ways to say “farewell” to your self-defeating, postponing habit, get up and go, and stop putting off things that you really want to be done for the sake of bittersweet procrastination:
1. Determine why you delay working on your task. Is it a specific task that you’re putting off, or do you procrastinate almost everything on your plate? What is it about this task that stops you from doing it?
Are you scared of failing?
Do you fear that you’ll fall short of what’s expected of you?
Are you just lazy?
Are you resentful of whoever put this obligation upon you?
By evaluating the task – and the irrational thoughts that you have about it – you can better understand what’s holding you back so you can complete the task more efficiently.
2. Make a plan. When you make a step-by-step plan, you are setting a specific schedule and timeline to complete the task.
Write this plan down on paper. Writing this list will help you better organize your thoughts and determine the small steps you need to take to accomplish your goals. Give yourself attainable tasks on a daily, weekly, or hourly timetable – as it applies to your specific situation.
You are less likely to be overwhelmed when you’re faced with small, manageable steps.
3. Be realistic. Be realistic about what you can achieve in your plan. Doing so makes each step clearly attainable and you’ll be less likely to put it off. Knowing your limits will make your goals seem easier and less of a mountain to climb.
4. Just begin. It sounds simple enough, but few heed this simple tip. Most procrastinators find themselves prone to delaying the start of the task because it seems too overwhelming. Instead, they make themselves anxious and worried during the final moments before it’s due.
No matter how large or insurmountable the task may seem, beginning with even a small action will help build momentum. Simply beginning also tends to put the task into perspective and makes it seem more possible than ever.
5. Take breaks. Taking scheduled breaks while working on your task refreshes your body and mind. If you go for a 10-minute walk or work on a Sudoku puzzle, for example, you’ll feel re-energized and you’ll be in a better frame of mind to forge on.
Breaks, while refreshing, should be taken in moderation. You most certainly don’t want to use breaks as an excuse to lapse back into procrastination.
Procrastinating is a self-defeating habit many of us fall into. Luckily, this postponing habit can be overcome and if you are prone to procrastination, you can become more proactive and productive.
Follow these five tips, practice them frequently, and with some time and patience, you’ll find yourself getting more done and having more fun – more often!
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