Whether you’re a high school student trying to write an essay, or an experienced business associate preparing a sales pitch, procrastination affects us all. Thankfully though, it’s not the end of the world. Here are five ways to tackle procrastination head-on.
1. Do the most challenging thing first.
Is there a particular task that is causing you a great deal of anxiety? Then that’s the one you need to take care of before doing anything else! If you continue to let it simmer in the back of your mind, it’s only going to make all your other work harder to complete. Plus, dealing with something difficult right off the bat can give you a helpful boost of confidence.
2. Break down large jobs into manageable chunks.
For example, if your room desperately needs cleaning, don’t dwell on the overall messiness, just focus on each individual step. Make your bed, pick up clutter, dust the shelves, and before you know it the job is done!
3. Always give yourself more time than required.
If you think you’ll need a day to complete something, plan for two instead. This will allow you to account for unforeseen circumstances and give you breathing room. It may seem paradoxical, but the fear and desperation of a time-crunch can directly cause someone to procrastinate. Besides, rushing rarely leads to quality work.
4. Take frequent breaks.
Knowing when to rest can be just as important as knowing when to exert yourself. Instead of plugging away at something for hours and hours, sprinkle in periodical respites. It could be a thirty-minute work session followed by a five-minute break; whatever suits your needs. This might seem like a waste of time, especially if you’re incredibly busy, but you’ll soon find that simply taking a moment to walk around and stretch your legs can increase your productivity in the long run.
5. Beware distractions.
A distraction can act as powerful fuel for ongoing procrastination. While some interruptions are simply out of our hands, like a family emergency or an impromptu staff meeting, most of them aren’t. We normally have our attention diverted by a trivial distraction, like our phone, the internet, food, etcetera. The most straightforward answer is to shut off or remove those things from our environment, but that isn’t always tenable. Alternatively, try turning a possible distraction into a future reward. They don’t even have to be a part of your scheduled breaks. For example, you could say: After I write two paragraphs, I get to check my social media. Or give little gifts to yourself like that throughout the day can make working more fun.
As long as you can figure out the cause of your procrastination, the solution typically isn’t too far behind. If you’re procrastinating because you feel tired, then go to bed earlier. If you’re procrastinating because you feel uncertain about your assignment, then do more research or get help from a friend. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but there’s always a path to success if you look hard enough!
Enjoy your Day and Focus on your Dreams !