Has this ever happened to you that you sat down to complete an important task and suddenly you realize that your ceiling fan needs dusting, emails need to be answered or maybe you need to go out to purchase some essentials for your kitchen even if it is not that important and then at the end of the day your important task remains unfinished? This is procrastination. It keeps us from completing the most urgent and important tasks in our lives with the same strength as when you try to bring like poles of a magnet together.
Here are the top 15 ways to circumvent procrastination and complete our task without distractions.
1. Break Tasks Down Into Smaller Pieces
When your task is so big that you don’t understand from where to start, you will start searching for distraction and procrastinate that task for another day. What you need to do is break down your work into smaller pieces, so that they feel manageable.
2. Make The Task More Enjoyable
If the task that you need to get done is boring, it’s very likely that you won’t want to get started. If this is the case, find ways to make the task more enjoyable so that you can complete it in a stipulated time frame.
3. Avoid Over-thinking
Doubts will arise even for people who are most confident. Unfortunately, doubts cause procrastination. Here’s a little thing for side-stepping doubts and circumvent procrastination.
One easy way to do that is by shaking your head while thinking about those negative thoughts. It may sound childish but can help chronically uncertain.
4. Have A Procrastination Power Song
Pick a song that really gets you energized, and play it whenever you want to tackle something you’ve been procrastinating. The brain likes to create a trigger to create a new habit, plus you’re more likely to follow through when you’re feeling good in your body.
5. Set Deadlines For Each Subtask
Suppose your boss assigns you a project, which is due in three months. Instead of focusing on the deadline, i.e. three-month, break the project down into subtasks; set a deadline for each subtask. You can make sure that you work steadily in this way on the project during the three month period, instead of leaving everything to the last minute.
6. Make A List
Start by creating a to-do list with things that you would like to accomplish. If it is necessary, you can put a date next to each item if there is a deadline that you need to meet.
7. Eliminate Distractions
It is hard to get any real work done when you keep turning your attention to what’s on television or you keep checking your friends’ Facebook status updates.
Assign yourself a period of time during which you turn off all distractions such as music, television, and social networking sites and use that time to focus all your attention on the task at hand.
8. Increase Confidence And Self-belief
Students who believe that they won’t be successful at the task at hand are more likely to procrastinate. One way to increase confidence is to highlight how the other people who have been in a similar position have been successful. This will make the task achievable and provide a possible template to follow.
9. Be Realistic With Your Goal
Achieving goals and changing a habit takes time and effort. Don’t sabotage yourself by having unrealistic expectations, the ones you cannot meet.
10. Be Specific With Your Intention
Being vague about what you intend to do is basically an invitation to procrastinate. If you are vague about your goals and intention, how will you ever know if you accomplished what you set out to do? Tasks that are meaningful, important, and need to be to get done, will end up getting done.
11. Talk To Yourself
Notice how you are thinking, and talking to yourself. Talk to yourself in ways to remind you of your goals and replace old, counter-productive habits of self-talk. Rather than saying, “I wish I hadn’t….”, say this, “I will…”.
12. Get A Buddy For Yourself
Having a companion makes the whole process look much more fun. Ideally, your companion should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans.
13. Tell Others About Your Goals
This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and family about your project. Whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects you mean to achieve. But choose your people wisely.
14. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-stops
If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe it is because you make it easy to procrastinate. I think deleting or deactivating your Facebook account is a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being counteracting via self-binding methods.
15. Hang Out With People Who Inspire You To Take Action
I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you will be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. Identify people, friends, or colleagues who trigger you, most likely the go-getters and hard workers, and hang out with them more often.
Procrastination is a tough problem to solve, but if you are willing to follow the necessary steps in order to create a good plan of action, and if you are willing to then put in the effort in order to follow through on your plan of action, you have a great chance at being able to circumvent procrastination.