How To Stop Procrastinating In 10 Simple Steps
Procrastination is like a credit card. It’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.
-Cristopher Parker -
Procrastinators are not a rare species — they can be found everywhere, even in you and me.
It is the rather notorious habit of putting off things endlessly. Who amongst us is not guilty of it?
Procrastination is the easiest thing to do and the most difficult thing to stop. It can really sap up your productivity.
Business organizations and their strategic plans can suffer losses because of poorly performing employees. Decision-making and action are prerequisites to success.
So, what can be done to combat procrastination, before it leads to even more losses in productivity?
The first thing you need to do to get a control over your dreaded procrastinating habit is to understand why we procrastinate. By doing so, you can get control over it.
1. Control distractions
Life has become considerably complex with the pervasiveness of digital technology.
We are living in a constant state of distraction — distracted by our mobiles, digital devices, social media, and other such sources.
The result? There are numerous temptations for procrastination.
What you need to do is to shut off these distractions when you are in the middle of work. This would help you to get a handle over your procrastinating habit.
2. Acknowledge your procrastination
Many times we tend to evade accepting the reality of procrastination. When you tell yourself that your procrastinating habit is harmful, you would have taken the first step towards freeing yourself from procrastination.
3. Identify the time-wasters
Aside from the technology-induced distractions, there may be other personal habits, which may lead to procrastination such as doing other things when there are pressing tasks to be done. List these habits and discipline yourself to recognise and not succumb to them.
4. Allot time
Prioritise your schedule so that you reserve your best times for the most important activities. The best time refers to when you are physically and mentally maximum alert and efficient. Keep time wasters on the back burner.
5. Understand time
One of the best ways to reduce the habit of procrastination is to understand the value of time. Understand how much time is required for each activity and dedicate that amount of time to it. This will ensure that your work will get done; no matter what other distractions you may have.
6. Perfectionism is evil
One of the major reasons behind procrastination is perfectionism. Many of us feel that we need to wait for the perfect moment, to do things the perfect way. This is wrong. There is never a perfect time and no work will ever be 100% perfect. Excessive obsession with perfectionism leads to procrastination. Just do the work in the given time, the best way you can. And you would be ahead of your procrastinating habit, as well as build up a habit for reliability.
7. Pressure is not useful!
Many attribute their procrastination to the belief of delaying the work to the extent that they feel pressurised to work. Postponement and delays will not really help improve the quality of work. Rather, you may end up producing poor quality work. It is better to plan in advance and work towards a goal.
8. Indecision leads to procrastination
Difficulties in taking decisions, postponing decisions, second-guessing your decisions are all easy ways to procrastinate. Stop hesitating; start deciding. Your life would change for the better. Your work productivity will improve.
9. Task is not challenging enough or is the reverse
One of the most common reasons for procrastination is that the task is either oto challenging or too easy. In this case, you need to break up the task into small chunks so that you can get periodic breaks to recharge and focus you mind; this way, your work wins and you don’t suffer from boredom or stress.
Discipline yourself to give priority to your committed work first. Give yourself rewards for having followed up your goals.