Nothing worth it ever comes easy. An old adage very much applicable today. We need to work hard for our dreams. We need to reach it by finishing one task after the other until that inevitable triumphant moment. But while you scan your desk, you surmise. You haven't done anything! With so much to do and so little time, why are you left with zero productivity but felt so busy? Well, you have been procrastinating. Again. Procrastinating does not equate laziness. In fact, it is an active process. You are busy but you just chose to do something else instead of the more important task leaving you with no time afterward. So, what can a procrastinator do? Are we destined to fail in life? Well, you are sure to fail unless you do something about it. We hear your plight. And these are 6 tips on managing your procrastination.
Find the Reason You Are Procrastinating The first step is finding the reason why. It's in accepting that one can move further. And discovering the cause of your procrastination leads to a solution. People usually procrastinate because:
Let's break it down even further.
- They find it too difficult.
- They find it too troublesome.
- They are afraid to take action.
It's Too Difficult. Everything Needs to be Perfect. These people just get overwhelmed with the task. Usually, they want everything to be perfect. I mean. If you're writing a 30-chapter book, you certainly want it to be spotless and error free. But too much clamor for perfection usually leads to analysis paralysis. Remember, progress is better than perfection. So tell yourself to just start and do something. You can still work with excellence even if the draft of your material is not perfect. Just tweak for your final product along the way.
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It's Too Troublesome. Try to Break Your Tasks in Bite-Size Steps If something needs too much work, we tend to just put it off. No one wants to be uncomfortable. It's easy to just ignore your responsibilities and do something else. If you don't want to be trapped in this limiting state of mind, try to break your tasks into bite-size steps. Instead of saying, "I have to finish this essay in 2 hours." Why not commit to fixing the outline first? Or better yet just start with a few sentences. Or tell yourself to just work for 15 minutes. With taking action, rarely do you end with just this outline, a few sentences, or just 15 minutes. I doubt you will procrastinate on easy tasks. When you start. you may find your flow. Ideas rush in. You might even accomplish more than you think you can. The hardest part is taking the first step. The less you are overwhelmed and bothered, the more things you can do that may lead to productivity. So try to start right away.
I'm Too Afraid to Take Action. Forgive Yourself. Some people might just be too afraid because they feel inadequate or they can't absolve themselves of procrastinating in the past. Well, I tell you. Forgive yourself. This might be the only thing stopping you from moving forward. We all make mistakes. As long as you are still living, you can make amends and do better next time.
Use the Pomodoro Technique Again, this is not a secret tomato-based pasta sauce. If you don't know already, the Pomodoro technique is characterized by short bursts of productivity followed by multiple short rest periods to provide that hard first step jolt. Get a timer and set your intervals. As for me, for every 25 minutes of undistracted productivity, I rest for 5 minutes. And the cycle goes one. This will allow you to automatically break your tasks in chunks of time and get to finish more things for the day.
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Find a Buddy to Keep You Accountable Okay, you got it. So many techniques but nothing seems to work. Well, it's too easy to fall into complacency when you are alone. Why not get an accountability partner? S/he may be your friend, family member, mentor, or anyone who would keep you in focus. Get a buddy who will check up on you. In return, you can also keep him/her accountable as well. You don’t have to do it alone, you know.
Reward Yourself Finally, get to reward yourself! The prospect of gain is a great motivation to push forward. Incentivize for the job well done. Thank your Accountability Buddy. Maybe do something fun together. For what it's worth, you deserve it! Congrats!