We’re all guilty of procrastinating at some point in our lives – this is when you put off, and ignore an unpleasant but really important task, to focus on one that is easier or enjoyable. This can be really dangerous if not taken care of quickly. It is usually accompanied by feelings of guilt, reduced productivity, de-motivation, and loss of focus once you give in to this impulse.
Although it’s totally different from being lazy – which is not feeling like doing anything at all, they sometimes work hand-in-hand. Sometimes, you might find yourself thinking you’re procrastinating, whereas, you’re just being lazy. You’ll need to be able to differentiate.
Even while thinking you’re procrastinating, you’ll also need to pay attention to your feelings, because it might just be a sign that you’re working on the wrong thing, especially if you find yourself procrastinating day in and day out. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and think before handling the task again.
If you’re constantly struggling with procrastination, then know that, while there’s no best way to deal with this impulse feeling, I’m pretty sure that the tips listed below can help you get back on track.
1. Are You Really Procrastinating?
You can only be procrastinating when you find yourself either focusing on low-priority tasks while paying little attention to the high-priority ones, or waiting to be in the right mood before handling a task. If not, then you’re not affected by this impulse feeling.
Sometimes, this might be as a result of how boring and difficult the tasks that need completion can be. In a boredom related situation, just get down on the task till you’re done with it. Once it’s out of the way, you can continue to focus on the part of your task that you find interesting.
In a case where you find the tasks overwhelming, you can try splitting the tasks into bits you can easily complete daily. This way, you don’t have to tackle more than you can handle at a time. You will also be able to put in your best while reducing the stress that comes with focusing on the task as a pile of workload.
2. Forgive Yourself and Move On
The past is past, and we can’t undo it, so, forgive yourself and move forward. This will help you feel more positive about yourself, and reduce the chances of procrastination reoccurring in the future. After that, you’ll need to start committing yourself to whatever task(s) that needs your attention. Make a list of the tasks that need completion and set aside a specific time for handling them on a daily basis. When you’re done, you don’t have to break the routine. Whenever a new task arises, attend to it immediately so that they don’t build up.
3. Distractions Aids Procrastination So Avoid It
While working, stay away from all forms of distraction, because, they work hand in hand with procrastination. Try as much as possible to minimize distractions. Turn off the TV if you can, or move to a quiet place to work. If possible, stay away from your phone while you work. This way, you will be able to fully concentrate on the task at hand.
4. Keep a To-Do List and Use It
Constantly make a list of the things you need to do. This will make it almost impossible for you to forget to do them. Keep it in mind that, you’ll need to list them in order of their priority, so that, it will be easy to quickly identify those tasks that need your immediate attention – you focus on those ones first, then the others would come after.
On your to-do list, set deadlines for every task to keep you on track, so that you will have no time for procrastination.
Listen, it would require a certain level of determination and perseverance to break this behavioral pattern, and it won’t just disappear overnight. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take it one step at a time, and don’t lose focus. Eventually, you will break through it.
FINAL WARNING: Procrastination can also be as a result of a serious health issue, and can also be caused by stress and illness. In any of these cases, please be sure to seek the advice of a trained professional
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