Ahhh… good old procrastination! To about 20% of the population this is a near and dear friend of theirs and one that they can’t seem to get away from. You are not alone, and thanks to a follower of theclarityofmind.com, we are able to tackle this problem together! We all know that we procrastinate. But what does this really mean? Procrastination is a resistance towards anything; we look at the activity as too tedious, boring, uncomfortable or even negative and therefore we decide to put it off and to avoid it until absolutely necessary. These feelings are created when we tell ourselves that we HAVE to or NEED to do something because we as humans tend to ignore the things that we are told that we have to do. We create these feelings in our mind and convince ourselves that the task is boring or too hard or whatever else it may be, but in reality, the task itself is none of these, you’re making it into something to rebel instead of embracing it for what it could be.
I myself am a huge procrastinator and I have been for as long as I can remember, but by implementing these 5 tips, I’ve found that I am able to look at my challenges a bit differently and with more of a positive mindset rather than dwelling and avoiding them. I also find myself feeling more productive and more successful because I am achieving the things that I set out to do. If you’re a pro procrastinator like myself, give these a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed!
As cheesy and simple as this may seem, it’s actually a great first step. By not only realizing that you are a procrastinator but also understanding how being one affects your life and your mood, you will be able to identify exactly when you begin to stall on any project. You will begin to notice patterns within yourself, whether it’s thought patterns or emotional patterns; the most important thing to do here is action, to act in spite of your negative feelings towards it. Once you are aware of these habits and begin to show more action, you will begin to break them one by one and will be one step closer to breaking your habit of procrastination.
Keep Yourself Accountable
Be committed to getting things done. By making this commitment to yourself, in return you are holding yourself accountable. Write things down, make to-do lists and create reminders either on your phone, or with a note on the fridge… something that you can see everyday and is unavoidable. Something that will keep this project on your mind so that you will constantly be thinking about it and coming up with ways to complete it. When I have a huge project that needs to be done, I tend to find a motivational quote and either write it in my planner for the week, or set it as the wallpaper on my phone. This quote acts as my own personal encouragement reminder and helps me stay on track. By staying accountable to yourself, you are allowing yourself to prove that you are capable of doing anything that you put your mind too.
Change Your Environment
This one, for me, is the most important. If you want to be fully focused on the task you want to complete, why place yourself in a location with an unlimited amount of distractions? Now that you have become aware of your habits and know that you can be easily distracted, eliminate this possibility. Try doing your work in a more calming and stress free environment. Make sure you don’t have an empty stomach, turn your phone on silent, listen to some calming music (I usually try to avoid lyrics) and let yourself be at peace. When your body is in this state and the mind is more at ease, you will see that your thoughts and ideas are clearer and they tend to flow quite a bit faster.
Break It Down
Yes this one is a bit of a cliché but I had to put it in here because it does show results!
If the task that you are trying to complete is big and requires a lot of work, instead of trying to take it all on at once, why not divide it into smaller sections that will allow you to be more thorough and time efficient? By having these smaller ‘mini projects’, you will release the daunting feeling that you have and will be able to fully focus on each part, thus resulting in an even better final project. You will see that by finishing just one ‘mini project’ you will have a sense of encouragement to keep going as well as a sense of accomplishment for what you have already completed. Everyone loves the feeling of scratching things off of their ‘to-do’ lists and by breaking this down you too will feel this satisfaction. But with this, remember to stay true to yourself and make sure that the mini tasks you are wanting to accomplish match with your schedule and will be manageable for you with no added stress.
I mean who doesn’t like rewards right? Just because this was something implemented to you with a timeline doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be rewarded, and lets face it your boss or teacher isn’t going to be the one to do so. So do it for yourself! You deserve it! The reward you receive can be of any variety but you need to make sure that it is done at the proper time. You’ve created your ‘to-do’ list for the day and have already managed to complete your ‘mini project’ of the day, (WAHOOOOOO!) This is when you deserve a reward. Once you reward yourself, allow your mind to find clarity again before moving on to the next project. As humans, if a reward is known, we do what we have to too receive it; it’s part of our nature. This reward system you’ve created will not only reinforce effort and progress but it will also provide incentive and drive for you to achieve. While you are rewarding yourself from time to time, keep in mind the most important reward of all and that’s the feeling you will have once this task is finally completed.
Now that you know some ways to get away from this life long friend some of us have, do you think you can tackle this steps and get rid of it for good? What’s your next task that you are trying to achieve? Where will you start?