Procrastination happens to us all. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of telling ourselves we’re just taking a short break and then not going back to the task at hand, wasting time doing something else. Even if that other task is useful (prepping dinner, vacuuming the house, taking the dog for a walk), it’s procrastinating if it interferes with what you should be doing. However, the good news is there are ways to prevent this from happening.
Know When You Are Procrastinating
Understanding when you are procrastinating will help you put a stop to it. Putting off a task because something more important has come up, or because you had to attend an appointment or any other real reason is not procrastination. Putting off a task because you want to avoid it is. If you fill your day with lots of little tasks that have much lower priority than the one you’re shying away from, or if one item is left on your, or even if you tell yourself you have to be in the right mood or for inspiration to strike, you are procrastinating. Once you realize that these distractions aren’t real and that you are simply putting off the inevitable, you can re-focus and get on with the task at hand.
Find Out Why You Are Procrastinating
There are many reasons you might procrastinate instead of getting on and doing the important thing you’re putting off. Once you work out why this is happening, it’s easier to get over it and be much more productive. You could be afraid of what will happen after you complete your task, for example. If you’re applying for the, then you might be afraid of getting a response (either yes or no!) after hitting send. However, you need to get that response to continue in life, so it is essential. Or you might find the work that you’re doing is boring, so you look for ways to entertain yourself. However, it’s far better to do the boring tasks first and get them out of the way so that you can fill the rest of your day with more interesting things. Being badly organized is another way procrastination creeps in; having a schedule and a to-do list can help. Feeling also overwhelmed aids procrastination but breaking the task down into more manageable sections will enable you to complete it more easily, with fewer distractions.
Have Strategies In Place
Once you know how to spot your procrastination and why you’re doing it, you need to have anti-procrastination strategies in place. Procrastination is a habit, and to, you need to stop doing it. Firstly, don’t worry about all the times you were distracted in the past – that’s over, and you need to focus on the present and the future. Next, focus on doing the task (not even necessarily completing it) and not on avoiding it; give yourself a deadline if this helps. Finally, promise yourself a reward when you’re done. It could be a slice of cake or a walk around the block or anything that clears your head and makes you happy, ready to take on the next task.