7 ways to overcome procrastination
You are aware of when you are procrastinating. As soon as you are busy surfing the internet while that huge file on your desk is staring at you, you can feel that gnawing feeling in your lower stomach…
In our daily lives we base many decisions on two factors: will performing this task bring me closer to my goal, and is it fun? As infantile as it may seem, we dislike doing things as soon as they are not fun or if they do not provide us with a good feeling.
Although this bad habit occurs in everyone, it is still important to tackle this behavior. In fact, there are two types of procrastination behaviors, one of which keeps you from achieving your dreams;
Procrastinating on tasks with a deadline.
This is, for example, that annual report that needs to be on your boss’s desk before the end of the month. You rarely start it right away; only when the panic sets in do you pull an all-nighter that gets it done. Unfortunately, this often means it’s not your best work.
Postponing tasks without a deadline.
Think about writing that book you’ve wanted to write for years, getting your master’s degree or polishing up that language skills by learning French. These dreams bleed to death as soon as you put them off for too long. With no clear end goal, it’s easier to put these tasks off until tomorrow than to tackle them now.
Think about how many opportunities you let pass you by because you gave your procrastination the upper hand. An eternal shame. If you know when you’re doing the wrong thing and realize that putting it off will not make your work any better, then why are you doing it?
Overcoming procrastination is difficult because it involves changing personal habits. Changing personal habits usually requires conscious effort.
Here I’ll touch on 7 ways to overcome procrastination.
Put in some effort and get going. It’s important to take action and to have that go beyond procrastination.
1. End procrastination on your own.
This is a difficult path because it usually involves trial and error, “to-do lists”, New Year’s resolutions, and many failed attempts. On this website, you will find the information you need to overcome your procrastination. As somebody who has written a lot about time management, I recommend that you use your time most effectively with a more structured approach to overcoming procrastination.
2. Attend seminars on procrastination.
I have attended a number of seminars on procrastination (as part of my professional development as a psychologist) and these seminars are often not expensive. They also feel good, but they are less likely to address the underlying causes of your procrastination and less likely to result in substantial long-term change.
3. Read a book on how to deal with procrastination.
Study the different techniques you may use to overcome procrastination.
This is important because it then gives you the tools to systematically change your habit of procrastination for the long term.
After reading about your procrastination habit and you will be able to develop step-by-step strategies to end procrastination.
4. Do nothing.
If you do nothing, nothing is likely to change and procrastination will lead to more stress and the inability to reach your potential.
5. Set yourself weekly limits for the amount of time you spend on certain tasks.
Say for personal goals like cleaning a closet, answering e-mails, or finding that latest novel to read.
6. Reward yourself.
But not just by giving you something in the form of gifts or money: Do a favor for someone and don’t tell them you did it because it was “a nice gesture.”
7. Focus on being present throughout the day.
Taking care of yourself while doing the “mundane” chores.
As Albert Einstein said:
Madness: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.