Procrastination is a nasty little monster. You have a pending project on your to-do list, but for some reason, you just don’t have the zeal to start working on it. That small devil on your left shoulder keeps convincing you that you can meet the deadline. And before you know it, you are already behind schedule and under the cosh.
We have all been there. Every one of us has put off responsibilities several times. And it all starts with abandoning a task once.
With time, the habit begins to take deeper roots, leading to more worrying bouts of procrastination.
Why do we procrastinate?
Some people assume that laziness is a close relative of procrastination. Others often confuse both terms.
But make no mistake; procrastination is not always a by-product of laziness. Sometimes you really want to do something, but you end up substituting the task for other less-demanding tasks.
So, why do people procrastinate despite knowing the risks?
It pains me to tell you that procrastination is a deep-rooted problem often related to the following:
- A lack of motivation
- A feeling of self-doubt
- Lack of organization
Although the reasons above might be genuine, your boss doesn’t care about your motivations. Neither will your professor move your essay deadline to accommodate your ill-discipline. That project report or assignment must be ready by Monday.
In essence, procrastination can put you in a very worrisome place academically and professionally.
But you can still get rid of the habit today. All you need is a proper kick in the butt or a change of surroundings to get you going.
Follow the steps below to develop mechanisms of overcoming procrastination at all costs.
1. Recognize your faults and forgive yourself
Since you are here, it means you’ve recognized the problem. This is the first step to breaking your procrastination habit.
But don’t dwell on the past because you will only stall any chance of improvement. Focus on developing a better work ethic instead. What matters most is that you take essential lessons from the unpleasant repercussions of procrastinating.
Remember that feeling of embarrassment and panic when you couldn’t make the deadline and use it to fuel your motivation for future tasks.
2. Eliminate self-doubt
You know that lingering thought that comes to your mind when you get assigned a project? The one that tells you, “This is way out of your league!”
You need to condition yourself to ignore that voice.
Once you catch yourself questioning your ability, reassure yourself that you can cope with anything. This technique creates a positive mindset that helps you avoid procrastination.
3. Arrange your surroundings
Your workspace setup can affect your productivity. Think about it; you can only start working on a project if everything is in order. But if your workspace is in shambles, you will struggle to get going.
Ughh! Now I have to clear out this mess before I start working? I’d rather leave it for tomorrow.
And that’s how it starts. Before you realize it, tomorrow turns to next week, and the cycle continues.
4. Stop moving with the wrong crowd
Another factor that affects your work ethic is your social circle. Surrounding yourself with high-energy people is a massive stimulus to work toward your goals.
If everyone around you is concerned with frivolities, this will rub off on you. You will always lack the zeal to start a pending project.
And if you are struggling with motivation, you should stay away from such people.
5. Ask for help
If the project is genuinely too tricky to handle, seek external help. It doesn’t have to be from your superior. You can find someone experienced in solving a similar problem and brainstorm with them.
6. Segment your projects
Sometimes, the sheer size of a task is enough to discourage you from working on it.
Think of it as moving an entire car: your brain will convince you to abandon the task for a more opportune time. But if you split the car into components, the task becomes more feasible and approachable.
Therefore, create a working strategy once you get the project instructions. Start with the most demanding tasks and work your way down to the least demanding.
Also, attaching a reward to each complete work cycle creates a sense of anticipation, which helps to avoid procrastination.
7. Don’t waste momentum
Once you start working on a task, the success rate will determine how far you will go. Sustained success at every step creates a sense of reinforcement to do more. So, you should capitalize on this momentum.
Don’t take unnecessary breaks because any distraction in the workflow will affect your concentration levels. Consequently, you end up abandoning the task for later.
8. Use time management tools
If you think you lack the self-discipline to stick to a schedule, use writing and time management tools to maximize productivity. These tools have been optimized for people struggling with efficiency.
Download a planner for your tasks. Get a to-do list with scheduled reminders. And if possible, find a concentration app.
9. Remind yourself of the cost of inactivity
Convince yourself that you hate being backed into a corner. Remember your boss’ fury when you failed to submit that report on time.
Don’t forget how that late paper cost you an A.
Trust me; keeping these moments of failure as constant reminders will push you to start working ASAP!
10. Just do it!
Okay, enough of the excuses. Just get up and get to work. Ignore that voice telling you to check your social feed. Instagram isn’t going anywhere. Those messages won’t disappear into oblivion. Prioritize your most important tasks and work on them in a timely fashion.
In the end, you can say goodbye to procrastination by choosing a proper work ethic. Always immerse yourself in an environment that encourages growth. Seek help on difficult tasks, and use time management tools. And if the task is too large, divide it into sections.
Don’t procrastinate! Do it now!
Who wrote this?
As the owner and editor of SomebodySays, Ugo Ezenduka shows readers the fundamentals of content writing and blogging to help them adapt to the ever-changing landscape.
He has collaborated with several IT and publishing companies to create articles and blog posts that customers crave. When he is not in front of a screen, Ugo can be spotted somewhere with a camera or on a football pitch.