How to Overcome Procrastination: 8 Simple Steps to Increase Productivity
How to overcome procrastination? Doing so it no mean feet, but it can be done!
Once you identify that you’re procrastinating, you’re well on your way.
Let’s take a closer look…
No doubt everyone is familiar with procrastination in one way or another. Whether it’s professionally or personally, we all have put off tasks or favoured a more desirable task than an urgent job at hand. The only question is, when does it become an issue?
Delaying work becomes a problem when the stress caused by putting off a task becomes more than the caused by the task itself. A study in 2007 by the University of Calgary found that 80% to 95% of university students procrastinate. This not very surprising number highlights the need for everyone to learn how to overcome procrastination.
What is Procrastination?
Before starting your path to overcoming procrastination, there’s important question to be asked: is every time you delay a task considered procrastination?
No, procrastination is the act of completing less pressing errands in favour of more important ones or accomplishing more pleasurable things instead of less pleasurable ones, and accordingly putting off looming tasks to a later time.
In other words, in order for a delay to be considered procrastination, it needs to have negative consequences. These consequences can be in the form of stress or social and professional backlash from not completing the task.
The Effects of Procrastination
Individuals encounter the impacts of procrastination at both the business and individual levels. procrastinating may bring about pressure, a feeling of blame and alarm, extreme loss of productivity, and also business and social dissatisfaction for not meeting duties or responsibilities.
These sentiments can join and may make promote even more procrastination.
For some, the nervousness and stress caused by procrastination winds up being a spurring power to start acting for different errands. However, it’s generally trailed by justification attempts which additionally strengthens a similar sort of conduct from the person.
While it is viewed as typical for individuals to hesitate to some degree, for those learning how to overcome procrastination need to raise themselves over any endeavours to legitimise or limit stalling being acceptable in any frame.
On a professional level, procrastination can cause many financial problems. Mundane tasks like financial management are the easiest target for procrastination. Keeping your budget in check is another example, however, there are apps for that now.
There are those who see individuals who show procrastination as an indication of a hidden mental issue. However, other people who view procrastination as a helpful method for recognizing what is essential to us.
In the end, it’s uncommon to stall when one really enjoys the job that needs to be done.
The Causes of Procrastination
In Clinical Psychology, there seems to be an association with issues of tension, low feeling of self-esteem, and a pointless attitude. Procrastination is firmly associated with fear (e.g., low self-viability, or educated weakness) or disdaining the undertaking (e.g., fatigue and disregard).
The most grounded association with procrastination, in any case, is indiscretion. These attributes are frequently utilised as measures of the identity quality ‘good faith’, though tension and nonsensical convictions, (for example, compulsiveness) are parts of the identity characteristic neuroticism.
Being a stickler has no immediate connects to hesitation and that any relationship is completely repaid by vigilance.
Perhaps the dominating reason why one procrastinates is a breakdown in the self-control. You realize what you should do and you’re not ready to force yourself to do it. It’s that hole between goal and activity.
The main player in procrastination is always, justification. If your procrastination can’t hide behind something else, it will never win. When learning how to overcome procrastination you need to identify procrastination AND the different masks it hides behind.
Justification of Procrastination
Because procrastination is a great source of stress, it can not only hide behind preferable behaviours but also less frowned upon negative ones. For example:
- Distraction with other behaviours to avoid thinking of the task (like surfing the internet or flipping through cat videos at work.)
- Turning lack of achievement into a joke or a humorous thing.
- Blaming external factors is the most common causative agents of procrastination. You can tell yourself that it wasn’t your fault or that you won’t get valued anyway.
- Comparing with other people’s lesser achievements.
- Denial or pretending that what you’re doing isn’t procrastination is also a very powerful shield for procrastination. Sometimes you tell yourself that starting early on a task is counterproductive or results in lower quality work.
- Falsely increasing value of tasks of lesser urgency to justify not doing the task at hand.
- You can also trivialize the task you’re supposed to do and hence decrease its priority.
How to Overcome Procrastination?
The most terrifying aspect of procrastination is that it is entirely out of your own will. Meaning that when you are delaying a task, you are doing it deliberately and without external influence. Before learning how to overcome procrastination it’s important to envision it as a conscious parasite.
This parasite can’t expose itself so it hides behind things you find acceptable, like the occasional laziness, for example. However, once you know that the problem is within, then you can finally start fighting back effectively.
1. Identify Your Procrastination
The article already tackled the different masks that procrastination hides behind. The problem now is identifying it in your everyday behaviour.
You may put off an undertaking since you’ve needed to re-organise your workload. In case you’re quickly postponing an imperative assignment for a really justifiable reason, at that point you aren’t really dawdling.
You may likewise be delaying if you:
- Fill your day with low-priority tasks
- Leave something on your schedule for a while, despite the fact that it’s essential.
- Read messages a few times over without settling on a choice on what to do with them.
- Begin a high-need assignment and after that head out to grab a snack or have a chat.
- Occupy your time with irrelevant assignments that other individuals request that you do, rather than getting on with the essential errands.
- Waiting to be in “right mindset,” or sit tight for the “perfect time” to handle a task.
2. Forgive Yourself
One of the most compelling motivations for people to procrastinate is on the grounds that they catastrophise, or make something a bigger concern than it needs to be.
It might be identified with how intense, how exhausting, or how agonising it will be to finish the assignment; whatever the case, the basic topic is that doing the errand will be intolerable.
But quit beating yourself up about the past. Negative thoughts like “I should have started earlier” or “I’m a lazy, incompetent person” will just make it worse. Research shows that forgiving yourself for past procrastination will help you stop putting off working on a task.
You can attempt to use past procrastination as a map. How? Figure out what went into your evasion like fear, pressure, not having a decent comprehension of how to advance, the absence of responsibility, and so on. At that point address those issues in the present and future.
3. Watch Your Step, Not the Finish Line
One of the main reasons individuals procrastinate is looking at the big picture and making a big deal out of it. It might be identified with how extreme, how exhausting, or how agonising it will be to finish the assignment; whatever the case, the basic topic is that doing the errand will be “intolerable.”
You cannot help but take a glimpse at the endgame. It’s like looking down when you’re walking a tightrope between two skyscrapers, you probably won’t do it. What you need to do is take one step at a time, once you start you will keep going.
You must focus all your energy on the first step, whether it’s at work or at home. This may seem like the kind of advice a mother gives her son to do his homework, but it’s really easier said than done, and so is learning how to overcome procrastination.
4. Break It Down to Small Bites
Dwelling on the size and difficulty of a looming task will overwhelm us, and this will promote procrastination. Any undertaking, no matter how daunting, can be broken down into smaller steps.
The trick is — with each step along the way — to focus solely on the next, achievable chunk of work. Ignore the big picture for a while and just tackle that next small task. Make sure you can easily visualise the outcome of your small task.
Don’t write a book; write a page. If it is still intimidating, commit yourself to work on it for a specific period of time. Keep the big picture in mind, of course, but don’t allow it to frighten you. Use it for motivation and direction.
At the point when an errand appears to be too much, procrastination takes over. So how might you break that assignment into littler, more sensible parts?
For instance, in the event that you need to compose a book, you may influence a layout, to distinguish every part, make sense of the segments in the sections, and after that focus on thinking of one fragment at any given moment. Piecing it down like this will enable you to feel not so much overpowered but rather more engaged.
5. You Want to Do It > You Need to Do It
“I have to” is every procrastinator’s favourite expression. It’s also the most dis-empowering. Every time you say to yourself that you have to do something, you imply that you don’t have any choice, that you feel forced or coerced to do the task, that you don’t really want to do it.
That perception, of course, elicits a strong feeling of being victimised and resistance toward doing the task. The solution to this problem is to replace “I have to” with the immensely more empowering alternative ‘I choose to’ or ‘I will’.
Everything you do is ultimately a choice. Using language that expresses choice reminds you of that and brings the feeling of power back.
Of course, you can’t change how you feel about a task, but you can change the internal dialogue. You can want to finish the task to get it off your plate or for the promotion that’s waiting for you if you do it.
6. Get Help
Establish specific deadlines for completing a task. Then find someone who will help you be accountable. It could be a promise to your boss or client that you will complete the job by a certain date. Or it may be a coach who helps you stay on track. Or simply find an accountability partner.
In this relationship, you connect with someone (on the phone, for example) at certain time intervals (such as once per week) and commit to what you will do before your next meeting. Not wanting to go back on your word, this can be a great way to squash procrastination.
7. Perfectionism Is Procrastination in Disguise
Perfectionism is an all-or-nothing mentality: Something is either perfect, or it is a failure. People with perfection tendencies tend to wait until things are perfect in order to proceed — so, if it’s not perfect, you cannot be finished. Or if it is not the perfect time, you believe you can’t start.
This all-or-nothing mentality can hold you back from starting or completing tasks.
Instead, focus on being better than perfect. This means to still strive for excellence, creating excellence, or setting yourself up with excellent conditions, but at the same time, you focus on getting the job done.
8. Write Down & Track
One of the main procrastination causing factors is disorganisation. In that case, your medicine is keeping a to-do list or a daily planner. Now, that may sound like a very boring and mundane thing to do, but if you’re serious about learning how to overcome procrastination, you need to keep tabs.
The first thing is figuring out the best platform that suits you, it has to be something accessible and mobile. The easiest of choices is an old-fashioned pen and notepad, however, there are countless apps that can help you manage your time.
The second step is to write down all your task in order of priority. You can figure out the priority of a task in terms of which are of the most consequence and the ones with the closest deadlines.
Give each task a score from 1 to 10 in both aspects and then add them up for a total score and list them down with their deadlines. You can use apps like Trello to manage the tasks more efficiently.
Summary: Procrastination is Curable
Do you procrastinate? You aren’t alone.
However, once it reaches a point where it harms you and your future or career, you need to stop and work out out how to overcome procrastination. With the right mindset and effort, you can defeat this ‘theft of time’.