It’s an age-old problem: you sit down to work on a project, but instead of getting started, you find yourself staring at the screen or looking out of the window, wishing you were someplace else. We all do it from time to time, but for some people, it can be a chronic problem that stands in the way of success. We call this procrastination!
There are many reasons why we do it. Sometimes, it may be due to perfectionism or fear of failure. Whatever the reason, Procrastination can have serious consequences.
The good news is that Procrastination is a habit, and like any other habit, it can be broken. With a little effort and determination, you can learn to overcome Procrastination and get things done.
What is Procrastination?
Procrastination is the habit of delaying essential tasks or putting them off altogether. It’s a problem that affects people of all ages and from all walks of life.
There are many reasons why we might procrastinate. For some, it’s simply a case of poor time management, and others may have perfectionistic tendencies that make them unwilling to start a task unless they’re sure they can do it perfectly. And for others, procrastination may be a way of coping with anxiety or stress.
Whatever the reason, procrastination can have serious consequences. It can lead to missed deadlines, lost opportunities, and decreased productivity. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to overcome the habit of procrastination. Here are my top tips to help you overcome the dreaded procrastination habit.
Top Tips on how to overcome procrastination
1. Recognise That You’re Procrastinating
The first step to overcoming procrastination is recognising that you’re doing it. Pay attention to your thoughts and behaviours throughout the day. Are you putting off tasks that you know you need to do? Do you find yourself making excuses for why you can’t or don’t want to do something? If so, then chances are you’re Procrastinating.
2. Talk to Yourself
Once you’ve identified that you’re procrastinating, it’s time to start talking to yourself. This may sound silly, but it’s an essential step in overcoming the habit. Start by acknowledging why you’re Procrastinating. If you’re not sure why you’re procrastinating, try asking yourself the following questions:
- What are my thoughts and feelings about the task I’m putting off?
- Do I have any negative beliefs or assumptions about the task?
- What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t do this task?
- What are the consequences of Procrastinating?
3. Set Small, achievable goals
One of the best ways to overcome procrastination is to set small, achievable goals. Rather than trying to accomplish everything at once, break your task down into smaller pieces. Then, focus on one piece at a time, and this will make the task feel less overwhelming and more manageable.
4. Create a timeline
In addition to setting small goals, creating a timeline for yourself is also helpful. This will give you a specific deadline to work towards and help you stay on track. When creating your timeline, be realistic about how much time you need and don’t try to do too much at once.
5. Eliminate distractions
One of the biggest reasons we Procrastinate is because we allow ourselves to get distracted. Eliminating distractions is key to overcoming procrastination. So, turn off your phone, close your email, and find a quiet place to work. And if you’re working on a particularly challenging task, set a timer for a specific amount of time and focus on the task at hand until the timer goes off.
6. Get started
Once you’ve eliminated distractions and created a timeline, it’s time to start. And the best way to do that is usually just to jump in. Start with the easiest part of the task and work your way up to the more challenging aspects. Procrastinating will only make the task more daunting, so getting started as soon as possible is important.
The Pomodoro Technique is one of the best ways to help you get started, and I use this every day when dealing with challenging tasks.
7. Reward yourself
As you progress on your task, be sure to reward yourself. This will help you stay motivated and on track. And it doesn’t have to be a big reward. Something as simple as taking a break or watching your favourite Netflix box set can be enough to keep you going.
8. Ask for help
If you’re struggling to overcome Procrastination on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to a friend or family member about your difficulties. Or, consider seeking professional help from your Doctor or counsellor. There’s no shame in admitting that you need assistance; getting support can make all the difference.
Procrastination is a problem that affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. It can lead to missed deadlines, lost opportunities, and decreased productivity. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to overcome the habit of procrastination. Recognising that you’re Procrastinating, setting small goals, creating a timeline, eliminating distractions, and getting started are all essential steps in overcoming this common problem. And don’t forget to reward yourself for your progress!