We all know that procrastination is a bad habit. But it’s also something that we all do from time to time. It’s not your fault if you’re a procrastinator. You were born with the tendency to put off tasks until the last minute, and there are many reasons for this.
Procrastination is one of the hardest forces to overcome when you’re trying to act on your dreams. Even if you’re not showing other overt signs of resistance, it’s easy to get caught in a procrastination loop. It happens to almost everyone at one time or another.
Procrastinating doesn’t mean you’re lazy; it means that you’re having trouble focusing and acting. This is why generic platitudes such as “work harder” and “just get it over with” don’t work. You have to do something to get over the procrastination itself.
How to Stop Procrastinating and Be More Productive Right Now!
Here‘s a simple way to increase your productivity. When creating your list, be mindful that you‘re adding things that you need to do today.
Make a list of all the tasks you need to do for the day. First, look at if you can delegate any of the tasks, and then divide them into three categories: A) Important but not urgent, B) Urgent but not important, C) Neither urgent nor important. Start with the tasks in category A, and work your way down to category C. Remember not to feel guilty about delegating tasks.
When you finish a task, give yourself a small reward, such as taking five minutes to watch your favorite TV show or reading an article that interests you on your phone while waiting in line at your local ice cream shop. (Hey, it works for me!)
If you find yourself in a situation where it’s difficult to decide what task is more important than another, try using this simple rule of thumb: “If it takes less than two minutes to complete, do it now; otherwise schedule it for later.
Here are some more tips to help eliminate procrastination:
1.) Make it fun
Making something fun is a great way to beat procrastination. Turn the dreaded task into a game. See how fast you can get it down. Do it to music. Sing songs while you work. Find someone to help you, and compete to see who can get their portion of the task down first. Whoever gets done first wins a prize.
If it’s a repetitive task, set up a scorecard. Add points and bonuses -even if you’re the only one doing it. Promise yourself a reward for getting a task you dislike finished. Make the reward something that will motivate you and follow through. These are just a few examples -there are many more.
2.) Make a bet
Find a friend or coworker who will hold you accountable, and not take excuses and make a bet with them. You’ll either get the task done by a certain date and time, or you’ll do something that you really, really don’t want to do.
It shouldn’t be anything horrible; a good example is agreeing to donate a large (but affordable) sum of money to a cause you hate if you don’t follow through. This motivates many people to stop procrastinating.
3.) Change Your Self-Talk
Self-talk is the constant monologue inside our heads. It’s how we think about ourselves and talk to ourselves. It can be empowering and uplifting, or depressing and deprecating (and everything in between). When you’re procrastinating and feeling guilty, you often resort to negative self-talk.
This means you say things such as “I must…” or “I have to…” and follow it up by talking down to yourself because you haven’t done it yet. Instead, change it to something empowering. A good example would be “I choose to do this because (fill in the blank).” Changing your self-talk will make you feel better about yourself and motivate you.
What Causes Procrastination & How Do You Conquer It?
Procrastination is a habit many people have. It can be hard to break the habit and start working on your tasks. To help you out, we have created this article with some of the most common causes of procrastination and how to conquer it.
There are many reasons for delaying tasks, but there are three main causes: lack of motivation, low self-esteem and perfectionism.
The first cause, lack of motivation, is a result of feeling overwhelmed or lacking control over your life. The second cause, low self-esteem, is when you don’t believe in your own abilities or think you’re not good enough to do something well. And finally, perfectionism is when you want everything done perfectly and without mistakes, no matter what the cost.
Michelle D. Garrett is the founder of Divas With A Purpose.
She focuses on sharing resources for being purposely productive; setting personal and professional goals and achieving them through daily action; and successfully running a business while focusing on your mental health. Michelle is a full-time entrepreneur who specializes in teaching female entrepreneurs how to show up consistently in their business – online and off.