How To Stop Procrastinating
Even when you pronounce procrastination, you become aware that it is a word with a negative connotation. Delaying your tasks for tomorrow or some point in the future is something that we all do sometimes. However, you should be worried if you are a chronic procrastinator that is always late with his tasks and that may be affecting various areas of your life. If that is the case, take a look at these 15 killer ways to beat procrastination and become more productive.
1. Find out the Cause
First, try to take a moment and think about why you are procrastinating. Reasons may vary from one person to another, but most often they include distractions and giving up on a task because there is not enough time to complete it. Either way, try to understand what lies behind your procrastination so that you can find a way to deal with it.
2. Use a Notebook to Write Down Assignments and Set Deadlines
If you want to beat procrastination and become more productive, you need to learn how to manage time effectively. Notebooks can be your best companion when it comes to planning, so make sure to write down your assignments for the coming period. While you are writing the assignments, make sure to give yourself a deadline to complete each of them. Try not to set tight deadlines to avoid putting too much pressure on you. Make sure that completing the task until the desired date is something that you can achieve.
3. Break Down Big Tasks
One of the reasons why people give up and resort to procrastinating is that they are afraid of the size of the assignment that they should complete. If that is the case, there is a neat little trick you can apply and it involves breaking down a big task into several small ones. That way the assignment will seem more achievable and you won’t feel as much pressure. On top of that, allowing yourself to start small will allow you to build momentum and reduce obstacles.
4. Create a Daily Schedule with a Diary Planner
Diary planners can be extremely helpful when creating to-do lists on a daily basis. It might be smart to think about what you need to do tomorrow the evening before. Prioritize the tasks and create a daily schedule with time blocks. The crucial thing is to stick to that schedule, which is why you need to make it realistic. Do not try to squeeze too many assignments, but make sure to leave enough time to complete each task. We cannot foresee how our day will go, which is why you should leave several blocks empty for unplanned events. You might need to adjust your schedule on the go, but the important thing is to ensure that you finish all the assignments for the day.
5. Avoid Multitasking
You might think that you are more efficient if you are trying to complete more tasks at once, but the truth is that it takes away your focus and affects your performance negatively. Prioritize your assignments for the day and start with the top of the list. Finishing the task of the highest priority in your daily schedule first will relieve a lot of pressure and help you create momentum to complete other assignments.
6. Find a Way to Motivate Yourself
You might consider some assignments fun and engaging, but many of them will be extremely boring to complete. If that is the case with your current task, try to make things more interesting. For example, if you are raking leaves, try to make a perfectly neat pile.
Alternatively, you can also motivate yourself by imagining the positive outcome. Think about what you will get once you complete the assignment – will you earn some money or it will take a huge load off your back? Be careful, though, you do not want to wander into daydreaming, but only find the energy boost required to continue.
7. Acknowledge Your Success
Each time you complete a task you scheduled, grab your daily planner and tick it as successfully finished. Take a moment of your time to acknowledge that you did a good job and finished an assignment that was important enough to be in your daily schedule. That will increase your confidence and give you the momentum needed to tackle the following tasks.
8. Establish a Reward System
Another excellent way to get a motivation boost for completing a complicated assignment is to establish a reward system. For example, tell yourself that you can spend 15 minutes on Twitter or Facebook if you manage to finish the task on time. Or, if you are not a fan of social networks, you can use a reward in the form of a candy bar or your other favorite food. If the task you are supposed to finish is complex, you can even promise yourself dinner in a fancy restaurant or a trip to the movies.
9. No Technology Allowed
If you want to finish an assignment as soon as possible, you need to keep your focus. Unfortunately, there are so many technology distractions that can take you into procrastination. Once you start doing a task, you should apply a strict rule that no technology allowed. That means not taking your phone to check social network accounts or play games, but it also means not checking your e-mail all the time.
Distractions do not have to come only from gadgets. If you are distracted by members of your family, go into your room and close the door to focus and if you don’t like noise, find a quiet place. The idea is to create an environment where you will be able to give your max to complete the task at hand.
10. Think about the Obstacles
When you are creating a schedule, give yourself a moment to think about each task and possible obstacles you may encounter. Do you have all the necessary tools needed for completing the assignment? Is there a chance to get stuck at some point and what do you plan to do about it? Foreseeing the obstacles and trying to devise steps on how to counter them will enable you to finish tasks and move to leisure activities sooner than expected.
11. Wake Up Early
Many experts agree that getting a jumpstart on the day may help move things in the right direction. The truth is that everything looks so peaceful in the morning and there is far less chance of something distracting you. That is why you should consider waking up earlier and start tackling your assignments before the day gets going. It won’t take long to realize that it is like you’ve been given an extra hour or two as a gift for a man.
12. Don’t Forget to Relax
You should apply the “work hard, play hard” rule. While it is important to give your max and finish as many assignments as possible, it is also crucial to allow yourself some time to relax. If you are moving from one task to another, at some point you will drain your energy, which may lead to procrastinating.
That is why you should ensure to find enough time in your schedule for leisure activities. Think about what you enjoy and make some time to relax. That will allow you to recharge your batteries and get ready for future challenges.
13. Make Your Piece with Setbacks
Nobody is perfect and that’s just the way things are. We are all humans that can make mistakes, which is why you need to make your piece with setbacks. It does not matter if you missed completing a task and watched TV instead if you get back on the right track as soon as possible. Don’t dwell on the wrong move you made, but continue as if nothing happened to regain the maximum level of productivity as soon as possible.
14. Tell a Friend
Share your plan to beat procrastination with a friend and ask him to ask you about the progress you are making from time to time. That way you will make your procrastinating plans ‘more real’ as there is someone that will hold you accountable. It is even better if your friend has similar issues with delaying tasks and he agrees to embark on the adventure of becoming more productive with you as you can motivate each other to push harder.
15. The Power of Positive Thinking
Perhaps the reason for your procrastination is negative thinking. If that is the case, try to have as many positive thoughts as possible. For example, instead of thinking how the task that you should do is hard, think about steps you need to do and imagine how proud you will feel once you complete it. Try to find a way to encourage yourself into taking action towards achieving your goals.
In the end, it is important to remember that beating procrastination is a process. Keep your head up high, set achievable goals and do not be afraid of action. Start with small steps, work your way from there and you will soon notice that you have become more productive than you have ever been before!