Procrastination makes you keep putting off important or valuable tasks for something easier or more enjoyable. These can be small everyday tasks that don’t really matter too much, or they can get severe and make you lose your motivation over longer periods with tasks that could be very important to you. These are some helpful tips to combat procrastination.
Recognize That You’re Procrastinating
If you delay a task for an actual good reason, then you aren’t really procrastinating. But, when you are putting things away indefinitely and switching your focus towards something easier, or just to avoid doing something, then you are procrastinating.
Knowing and accepting that you are procrastinating is a crucial first step to start combating procrastination.
You procrastinate more when you don’t have a set plan to finish your tasks. Get a planner or start keeping a to-do list to keep reminding you of what needs to be done. Writing down your tasks and planning for them makes it much easier to complete them and keeps you from ‘forgetting’ about your tasks in general.
Keeping yourself organized and having a plan gives you a good idea of what needs to be done and when.
Do The Important Tasks First
Our mind is fresh and ready to work best in the morning. Hard tasks take up more of your mental energy and make them harder to finish when you are already tired or bored of your work. This usually makes people put off these hard tasks until the next day and keep the cycle going.
Therefore, it is a good idea first to complete the hardest task of your day, then move on to whatever is left!
Set Achievable Goals
Don’t create or set unrealistic goals for yourself. They can usually end up in disappointment and lead you to procrastinate even more. When you set goals that are too big and fail to achieve them at first, you will probably stop working on them and let them go.
Instead, break up your big goals into more achievable smaller goals. This makes the tasks ahead of you look much more attainable and less scary. Checking off these small goals also gives you a sense of accomplishment and pushes you to keep moving forward.
Set deadlines for your tasks. When your work has a deadline, and you know you must finish by a particular time, it makes you plan ahead and think about the task much more. Also, give deadlines to tasks appropriately. Small tasks should not require long deadlines as that could end up making you procrastinate even more. Think rationally about how much time a particular task should take and plan accordingly.
We all love rewards. It is important to feel accomplished and give yourself incentives to complete your tasks. These rewards could be big or small, depending on how big the task is. Big accomplishments could have rewards like going out to a nice restaurant or a new purchase! Having something at stake always gives you the motivation to complete a particular task.