Do you find yourself wasting hours, mornings, or days at a time? You want to get going on your to do list, but instead you procrastinate about doing it instead. Sometimes you will even choose horrible jobs like the dishes or the ironing instead of focusing on the task at hand.
So why do we procrastinate? And how can you stop procrastinating? Let's look at both of those questions now.
Why do you procrastinate?
The number one reason that you procrastinate is because you feel hesitation about the task in front of you. Procrastination is an adverse emotional reaction to a task. The more pressure you put on yourself to complete the task, the more adverse the reaction and the more trouble you will have finding the motivation to do it.
The tasks that you are most likely to procrastinate about are…
- Boring tasks
- Things that frustrate you
- Things that you find difficult to complete
- Ones that lack personal meaning
- Something you don't know how to do
- Jobs that lack structure.
Basically, the more negative you are about a task, the more likely procrastination will strike. When you put off doing something negative, you feel better. Hence why you delay doing the kinds of things listed above.
So how do you push past this negativity and stop procrastinating? Try some of these 7 tips…
7 Ways to Stop Procrastinating…
1. Ask if you have to do it
No, don't simply ignore the task. But assess if it is something that you personally need to complete. Maybe you could delegate or outsource the task to someone else instead?
2. Visualize the outcome
You tend to procrastinate about things that are unattractive. So make the task more attractive by offering yourself an incentive to get it done. Plan for a little reward after the unattractive things is finished. Then visualize how you will feel when you get your reward. It might help you to push past the hesitation and claim your reward.
3. Count the cost
What are the repercussions if you don't complete the things you are meant to do? Count the cost to you. It might not necessarily be a monetary cost, but a loss of time, unhappy clients, or someone relying on you for something. Not doing something can cause feelings of shame and regret. No one likes to feel like that, so remove the need by just getting on with things.
4. Chunk it
Big projects can be overwhelming. If you are procrastinating about a job because it is too big, then you can divide it into smaller, more manageable chunks. By making progress on completing several of the smaller tasks, you will feel motivated to complete the rest.
5. Laser focus
Don't let yourself get distracted by everything else you need to do. When you have lots of things to complete it can be overwhelming. Remove that overwhelm by laser focusing on one task until it is complete. It might help to physically clear your workspace of everything you don’t need and only have the things you do need within reach. After completion, shut the door on that task and switch your focus to the next one.
6. Create a celebration wall
At the beginning of the day, write each of the things you need to do on a separate sticky note. Then when you complete a task, stick the corresponding note to your celebration wall. It is strangely motivating seeing the notes move from the to do pile onto the celebration wall.
7. Play task roulette
In any one day there will be tasks you are excited about completing and ones you aren't so excited about. Write each task you need to do on a card. Shuffle them up and pick one card at random. That is the task that you need to complete first. Making a game out of it can be fun and you never know, the roulette gods might just let you avoid that yucky task for a few more minutes.
Using these 7 tips will help you to stop procrastinating and start being productive. Break through that negative emotional reaction and make each day a positive and efficient one.