6 TIPS TO FIGHT PROCRASTINATION AND STAY PRODUCTIVE
Hello to people who can only be motivated by the deadlines. Do not feel guilty because you are not alone in this procrastination problem. Approximately 20% of the world population and 80% – 95% of the students believe that their life is affected by the habit of procrastination. We all have the habit of procrastination in different degrees. I do not think a person has replied with the classic procrastinator phrase “I will do it tomorrow” just because they do not have the motivation to do it right now. But we live in a competitive world, and procrastination is an enemy for anyone who has goals and dreams to achieve.
WHAT IS PROCRASTINATION?
You wake up in the morning with a long to-do list in your head but engage yourself in other less important tasks instead during the day. When you are about to fall asleep, you think about your day, feel guilty for wasting time, and affirm to become productive tomorrow. But the same routine continues till a deadline or some reason of that sort forces you to complete those tasks. This what we call procrastination and it is a temporary problem for many people. I will address six tips that you can follow to fight this temporary condition of procrastination.
But some people procrastinate as a habit when you have to seek professional help—unfortunately, the following are few signs of chronic procrastination that you can notice easily.
- You struggle to cope with transitioning from one completed task to another. It is not comfortable for you to start a new project as soon as you finish another project.
- You think about the tasks that you have to complete, get overwhelmed, and feel lost. It is difficult for you to plan and prioritize your tasks.
- You are known among your family and friend as the person who will always be late. Missing deadlines does not scare you anymore because you go through that regularly.
- You notice that your to-do list is amazing but always long. It is only growing longer because you hardly ever check off a task unless some external reason forced you badly to finish it.
- You find yourself engaged in the most unimportant tasks when you have a pile of urgent work to be completed.
PROCRASTINATION VS. LAZINESS
Are procrastination and laziness the same? Both procrastination and laziness hinder us from getting our work done. However, although they are similar in their impact on our life, they are different from their nature.
When you are lazy, you might curl up in a bed or a sofa and spend time doing nothing. This is because you enjoy the feeling of not doing anything and being free. But procrastination is when you engage yourself in a less important task which is most probably more pleasurable. Laziness is the love to do nothing where procrastination is the love to do anything but that serious work that required your attention.
HOW TO FIGHT PROCRASTINATION?
1. Take Baby Steps
Lack of motivation is the seed from where procrastination will grow from. If we can find the reasons that kill our motivation, then our problem of procrastination is fixed. One of the main reasons which impact our motivation is the difficulty or nature of our task. When we recognize a certain task as hard or boring, we tend to procrastinate it to the maximum possible time.
There is no way we can avoid the hard and boring projects we will encounter in life. The best option is to break them into small workable units. IFor example, if you are procrastinating on your thesis, make a plan and define which part of your current chapter you will finish today. You can have a weekly goal or a monthly goal but have them broken into daily goals. This will help you to stay motivated without being overwhelmed.
2. Establish a Routine
Humans function better when their life is based on a routine. Routines keep your body and mind ready to work when it is the time to work and fall asleep when it is the time to sleep. You will not spend time wondering when to eat, work out or sleep if you have a routine. Instead, you will wake up and follow your routine with no confusions and distractions.
When you are planning your routine, remember to add activities that will boost your energy, motivation, and productivity. It can be anything from a cold bath in the morning to a five-minute workout or a meditation session. Routine can also include controls such as blocking your social media apps on the phone when it is time to deep work.
3. Start from the Worst Task
Cleaning the bathroom, math homework, tax forms or unpacking the luggage from your last trip, start from the least appealing task in your to-do list. If you do not start from the worst task, it will be the reason why you did not get anything done today. Thinking about that disliked task in your to-do list, you will get overwhelmed and end up scrolling up and down on Instagram rather than doing anything else you planned to do.
Completing the least appealing task first will create a flush of motivation and a sense of satisfaction, which will keep you going for the day. Yep, you finished that most dreaded project in the morning so why not give a shot at these remaining easy peasy tasks?
4. Embrace positivity
Your mind is the power that drives your actions. As I said before, lack of motivation is the underlying reason for procrastination. If your thoughts are more into negativity than optimism, there is a very narrow chance that you will be motivated to achieve even a simple goal in your life. What will force you to wake up and get things done when your inner thoughts tell you that you cannot do it or you do not have to do it?
Positive self-talk is precious when it comes to embracing positivity in your life. Encourage yourself and talk good about yourself when you are thinking alone. If you see a weakness in your personality, work to fix it instead of making it an excuse. Tell yourself that you are capable of doing whatever you want and keep putting in the effort.
Instead of considering your habit of procrastination as an excuse, see it as an enemy that you have to fight against. You will not overcome procrastination unless you see it as a flaw and believe that you are capable of beating it.
5. SMART Goals
When you set a make sure it meets the SMART criteria. This framework is widely used in many fields to assure the successful achievement of objectives so why not use it in your life too?
- Specific – You should be specific with the goal you set. If it is too vague, you will procrastinate wondering what to do today or this week, and end up doing nothing.
- Measurable – Your progress towards the ultimate objective should be measurable. Measurable goals are important to boost your motivation. You are more likely to finish the rest fast when you see how much of the entire task you have completed,
- Achievable – Your goal should be achievable. Studying 3 hours for a day is not going to happen today if you cannot even sit still for an hour at the moment.
- Relevant– The goals you set must be relevant to the ultimate objective you are trying to achieve. If your objective is to get a good grade on your exam, your goals should focus on studying daily for a considerable amount of time.
- Time-bound – The worst type of goal you can have is a timeless one. If there is no time limit for the completion of that goal, your procrastination will make it invisible to you.
6. Always Have a To-Do-List
For the procrastinators, to-do lists are the best friends. With a to-do list, you will already know what you have to get done within the day. LSo list down the tasks you have to do tomorrow and prioritize them. Remember, the most disliked and boring task should be there at the first. Your to-do list can be written in your organizer or you can use an app. As long as it looks appealing to you and checking it off gives you pleasure and motivation, your to-do list can take any form, soft or hard.
It would help if you made a habit of creating your to-do list for tomorrow before going to sleep or the first thing in the morning. Never cheat on your to-do list and check off the things that you partially completed for a fake sense of achievement. Banstead, be honest and devoted to your to-do list.
Procrastination can be beaten but it will be a process that will take time and effort. So please do not lose hope when it did not work as planned. Just keep putting in your best effort and you will start noticing how your productivity grows.