Procrastination can be defined as the deliberate act of choosing to do something else instead of what you ought to be doing. We all procrastinate to some degree. Personally I will procrastinate because I want to spend more time browsing through the internet or checking on social media. Some other reasons why we choose to procrastinate may include; being a thrill-seeker by waiting until the last minute, fear of failure or success because you are worried how other people will think of you and fear to make a decision because you are not ready to deal with the outcome.
Procrastination is an active process where you choose to do a more enjoyable task that is easier by choosing to ignore a task that is more unpleasant but more important. Giving in to procrastination can lead reduced productivity and missed deadlines that can cause you to lose your job, in extreme circumstances. Like most habits, it is possible to overcome procrastination.
How Can You Effectively Stop Procrastination?
- Acknowledge That You Are Procrastinating
In order to be able to work towards stopping procrastination, it is important to acknowledge that you are procrastinating. Some of the ways you can recognize that you are procrastinating include; when you put off tasks because you are not in the right mood, spend your day performing low priority tasks or even performing unimportant tasks that other people ask you to do. When you acknowledge that you are procrastinating, then you are able to make a decision to come up with ideas to help you improve.
- Understand Why You Are Procrastinating
You need to sit down and identify the reasons why you’re procrastinating so as to know how to effectively deal with procrastination. For instance, you could be procrastinating because you find the task to be done is boring. If so, you can tackle it quickly and move to another task that you find enjoyable.
- Come Up With a To-Do List
Take time and make a list of the tasks that you are supposed to accomplish and by when. These tasks should be listed in order of importance. Arranging the tasks in chronological order helps you prioritize what needs to be done first. It also helps to prevent intentionally forgetting those unpleasant but important tasks.
- Minimize Distractions
Life happens and you should at least try to minimize things that distract you while you work. You should find a good workplace that is free of all the things that distract you. For example, if the internet for you is a distraction, then you can turn off the Wi-Fi access. Where you must work using the internet, you can log off your email and social media sites. Depending on where you are working from you can also ask family, friends or co-workers not to disturb you as you work.
- Act Fast
Be action oriented. This means that as soon as a task arises, you tackle it regardless of whether it is unpleasant or boring. This system prevents build up and helps avoid procrastination. Getting your tasks accomplished as soon as they arise also creates more free time for you to do the things that you find enjoyable.
- Build Accountability
Get someone or people in your support system who will help keep you focused. They can help you review your to-do list and hold you accountable for completing the tasks on the list. Having your buddy or co-worker hold you accountable is certainly better than having to answer to your boss for unaccomplished tasks.
- Come up with a Reward System
Promise yourself a reward when you complete a difficult or unpleasant task on time. You can reward yourself with five minutes on social media or a slice of cake. The reward you choose should ensure you notice how good it feels to complete a task.
Procrastination can lead to problems such as insomnia and gastrointestinal disturbances due to challenges such as unmet deadlines. It also erodes relationships and teamwork in the workplace.
With effort, it is possible to stop procrastination. Taking a leap and following the above steps will definitely see you moving towards the right direction – away from procrastination.