Hacks to fight procrastination in a desk job

So, if you feel you are a procrastinator and your habits are affecting you mentally as well as at your workplace, start today by making small lifestyle changes that surely have an immense impact.

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We all have dealt with procrastination at some point in our lives sooner or later. When you think about it, you must be familiar with the feeling of knowing that you have to work on something but somehow you are unable to do it and wait to do it till the last minute under stress and pressure of deadline hanging on your head. In the worst-case scenario, some jobs don’t even get done or are done poorly. This can happen at any point of your life or throughout your lifetime, you may procrastinate your assignments at school or college, you may do it at your workplace especially when you are stuck to your desk 24/7 like in most web development companies or people working as a data analyst, or when you are pushing your body to exercise.  

It is not that you completely forget about the work that needs to be done, there is a constant reminder somewhere in your mind which does not let you relax completely. This habit leads you to feel like a disappointment and then slowly makes you feel like a person who is not capable of getting things done and majorly affects your self-image. With time, along with your productivity, your creativity and ultimately, your earning suffers a lot which is something you would never want. 

Hence, we have shared here some simple tactics to conquer your procrastination and get rid of it once for all. However, before that, let us learn how procrastination is different from being lazy.  

Is Procrastination the Same as Being Lazy?

 

Oftentimes people confuse laziness with procrastination due to lack of knowledge as they are completely different from each other.  

Procrastination is choosing to do something else instead of the task you know you are supposed to work on at that point in time, whereas, laziness is just being inactive and unwilling to do anything.  

Procrastination is also choosing the task that is more enjoyable and easier instead of finishing an important task that takes up your mind. Once you give up the task to this feeling, the consequences you face are serious and damaging. You will be feeling guilty and ashamed of it no matter whether the task was minor or major. If this goes on for a longer period of time, you won’t be able to achieve your goals, feel demotivated all the time and even lose your job. 

How to Overcome Procrastination 

Luckily, as for most of the bad habits, it is surely possible to defeat and overcome procrastination. The steps given below can help you enormously throughout your journey: 

Step 1: Recognize That You’re Procrastinating 

The first and the foremost thing to do is acknowledge your procrastination as there are a lot of reasons one can put off a task, like he/she may have a lot of workloads that there is no time to do a less prioritized task, maybe you are physically or mentally going through a bad phase, you do not have a work/life balance, and the list is never-ending and legitimate. If your reasons to postpone an essential task is genuine then you are not procrastinating and thinking otherwise can be more intimidating.  

Here are some clear signs of procrastination: 

  • Leaving an important item on your to-do list for several days without any reason. 
  • Filling your day with low-priority or easy and enjoyable tasks. 
  • Reading work related messages and emails over and over without taking any action or making a decision regarding them. 
  • Starting a pivotal task and then running off doing something else like making coffee or replying to the messages received on social media. 
  • Depending on your mood to start a task. 
  • Waiting for the deadline or the “right time” to start with a task. 

Step 2: Know and work on the reason you’re procrastinating 

Before you tackle a problem, you need to realise and understand its cause and the same goes for procrastination. To exemplify, if you are working, do you find a particular task boring or unpleasant? If yes, you need to take steps to finish it as soon as possible so that you can then focus on the enjoyable part of your job and in this way, you can create a win-win situation. 

If you are unorganised and do not pre-plan your day’s schedule, you are most likely to become a procrastinator. If you study or research about any successful personality, you will come to know that they are extremely organised, they plan their schedules ahead of time, prioritize To-Do lists for important tasks and try to finish them first. All these tools help you not only meet the deadline but also improve the quality of your work instead of looking for shortcuts. 

Some people stop themselves to complete a task because of fear, the fear of failure. However, it is also shocking that many perfectionists are procrastinators who would avoid working on a task simply because they don’t feel they have the skillset to do it rather than doing it imperfectly. Moreover, Indecisiveness and procrastination are the two sides of the same coin as if you cannot decide what to do, how on earth will you finish a task? Hence, you will keep postponing it. 

Step 3: Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies

 

The habit of procrastination is a deep-rooted pattern of behaviour that cannot be broken overnight, hence, you will need to give it time and experience the discomfort it will bring at the start. The only way to break habits is to stop doing them, hence, we bring to you some strategies that can become your new good habit: 

  • Forgiving yourself for your past habits is of utmost importance especially when they are connected with your self-image. Hence, forgive yourself and get rid of the negativity you are clinging to fight procrastination. 
  • Commit to the task once you start it with focus without any distractions. You can do this by writing down the task that needs your attention and specifying the time you will be progressing it so that you can tackle it proactively 
  • Bribe yourself with rewards once you complete a difficult task and enjoy your treat once it is done. This reward can be an enjoyable activity like an episode of your favourite web series or ordering your favourite dish from your favourite food joint. Do make sure to have a look at the finished task while enjoying that dish to bring a sense of accomplishment. 
  • Ask a family member, friend, or colleague to check up on you as peer pressure can play a tremendous role in overcoming your bad habits. This is the tool adapted by many self-help groups. 
  • Start working on a task as soon as you find them or they arise rather than piling it up for the next day. This will not give you the time to overthink it. 
  • Give yourself a pep talk each day that should include the phrases “I choose to” as it implies that you are in charge of the task or project. This is a significant tool to break old patterns and make you feel proud and motivated once you accomplish your goals for the day. Choose your words wisely. 
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