Do you ever find yourself procrastinating on tasks that you know need done? It is quite common, actually. Procrastination is something that even the most well-organized and punctual experience at some point or another.
While procrastination is a common problem, it can have a detrimental impact on your productivity and your life. Before we get into how to overcome procrastination, it’s important to talk about what leads to it so you have a better understanding. When we are in the know, we can then do something about it.
Procrastination (goes, also, with avoidance) essentially is a form of anxiety. Whatever the task is, it creates some level of fear – yes, fear – of some kind. It may be the fear of failing, not being good enough, or the fear of success and having to sustain a high level.
All of these are disruptions to our system, which likes to stay in safety. We learn to cope and adapt to doing what feels safe, so when we move outside of it then the body reacts, leading to fear of some kind.
With procrastination, you will take some action and then stop but, eventually, it gets done. Some like the thrill of waiting until the last minute to get things done but this is very detrimental emotionally. With avoidance, one will put off and only complete it if it’s absolutely necessary. Again, emotionally detrimental.
The good news is that you can overcome procrastination to get things done.
Some of the most effective ways to overcome procrastination include developing a schedule and improving your time management skills. Here are some of the top tips you can implement in your life to help you overcome procrastination and increase your productivity.
Deal with Your Fear
One factor that contributes to procrastination is fear. This can include a fear of making mistakes, a fear of failure, or even a fear of success. When it comes to overcoming procrastination, an essential factor is challenging your faulty beliefs. If you are afraid of success because you believe that you don’t deserve it, you have to realize that this self-handicapping might be keeping you from achieving your goals.
Create To-Do Lists
Start by creating a list of the things that you want to accomplish, and make sure you put a deadline next to each task. Estimate how long it will take you to complete the task and then double the number. This will keep you from falling into the trap of underestimating how long each project will take. Also, putting an end-date will help to plan your time so you can reach goal.
Break Down Projects Into More Manageable Segments
When you are faced with a substantial project, you might feel intimidated and daunted when you look at the amount of work involved to complete it, which can lead to your procrastination. To avoid this, you can break down the individual items into a series of smaller steps. Once you’ve completed this list and detailed the process that you need to take to accomplish the task, you can start working on the individual steps in the process.
Recognize the Onset of Procrastination
As you begin to tackle the items on your to-do list, pay attention to when thoughts of procrastination start to appear. If you find yourself thinking that you don’t want to do this right now, then you need to recognize this as a sign of impending procrastination. Rather than giving in to the urge, force yourself to spend a few minutes working on the task.
Once you’ve completed a task, it is important to reward yourself for your efforts. Give yourself the opportunity to do something that you find fun and enjoyable after you’ve completed a task on your to-do list.
Breaking the habit of procrastination isn’t easy. While you might not be able to avoid procrastination completely, you can take steps to decrease your procrastination tendencies and improve your productivity dramatically. Focus on the benefit you will get by having those tasks accomplished as this helps to take action and get things done.
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