What is Procrastination?
The definition of procrastination is:
‘The action of delaying or postponing something.’
Everyone procrastinates sometimes, and it is totally normal. But, if you find that procrastination is a constant problem for you, it’s time to make a few changes in your life.
Chronic procrastination can affect us in a multitude of ways. Some of the negative effects caused by regularly procrastinating important projects include:
Tarnished professional reputation
Increased risk of anxiety and depression
Here are my 5 favourite tools to help cure your procrastination forever!
1. Divide Up The Task
Often, when we procrastinate, it’s because the task is daunting. The task feels so big that we believe we will never actually finish.
Put a stop to this thinking by breaking up the task into more manageable pieces.
For example, if you want to clean your basement, instead of doing it all at once, aim to clean one of the four corners each day. Rather than trying to tackle it all at once, this tactic can help make any task feel less overwhelming.
2. Make A Deadline
Now is not the time to tell yourself you will do something “later.” Instead, set a strict timeline for yourself, with sections of your main goal having smaller deadlines. This way, you know when you will be completing something. It may also help to have a small reward for yourself along the way.
An example of this would be a student needing to write a four-page paper. For each page the student completes, they can reward themselves with fifteen minutes of phone time!
3. Remove Distractions
Usually, when someone procrastinates, it’s for the same reasons each time. Like when you were going to clean the kitchen, but then you just HAD to watch a new TV show instead…
Put a stop to this by eliminating common distractions or procrastination tactics for yourself. If the TV is a distraction for you, maybe it’s time to work in another room.
4. Surround Yourself With Motivated People
There is nothing quite like hanging out with someone motivated to boost your motivation. Find a friend or colleague whose motivation you admire, and resolve to spend more time with them. This will soon start to rub off on you!
Or you could get a buddy in on your plans and decide to help keep each other motivated!
It’s much easier to stop procrastinating when you’ve got others around you accomplishing remarkable things!
5. Focus On Long Term Gains
When you procrastinate, it’s often because you are focusing on short-term annoyances. Such as that you don’t want to get up off the couch right now. Instead, it’s time to focus on the long-term gains of what completing that task will do to benefit you. It may also help to visualize how you will feel after you’ve completed the task and all the benefits you will experience.
Discontinuing your procrastination habit can be extremely difficult. But, it can definitely be done! All you need to do is change up some minor things in your life and build new habits. A great book to help you do this would be Atomic Habits by James Clear!
Start by dividing up the task, making deadlines, and getting rid of your most common distractions. Then, surround yourself with other positive people, and you will soon find you procrastinate tasks less than ever before!
Which tip are you going to try first?