How many times have you noticed, you fight with the ticking clock when you have significant projects to finish. It is not that you had little time to complete it; in fact, this one was sitting idle for weeks before you decided to attend it when the deadlines were looming large. You have been procrastinating on this until the time has come to deliver it.
It is a typical experience with many, resulting in high anxiety levels and frustration. There may be various reasons that a person finds himself dilly-dallying on the things that have a broader timeline. It can be laziness, de-motivation or being busy with other chores. They differ person to person depending on their personalities, behaviors and work culture.
Not only our professional work, but we also delay on matters related to our home affairs, relationships, health, money, dreams, ambition, etc. We find it is okay to postpone it for a while.
Procrastination is an inconvenient habit which impacts your success. Let us stop it from affecting our lives by adopting these easy tips. Pick the one which suits you.
Tip #1: Include the Goal Oriented Tasks on your To-do List
You can cure procrastination if you maintain a daily to-do list. Usually, the to-do list doesn’t have the tasks with medium to long-term goals. It is not a good practice of ignoring them in the list. People tend to exclude it as they are more bothered about the immediate job in hand.
It impacts your plans badly as you pile them up for tomorrow. Always make it a habit of putting some of your medium to long-term goal oriented task on your to-do list. This way with little efforts you can quickly accomplish your pending tasks.
Also, do a daily review of the list. It may not take 5 to 10 minutes of your day. Reviewing will help you prioritize your tasks, and the time it is going to take to finish it. It will help you in slotting the pending work that you can undertake with less stress.
Tip 2: Chalk out your Important Tasks
The previous tip was about prioritizing the tasks and it is necessary to prioritize based upon the importance of the task. Always put your most important work at the top of the list followed by the next crucial task. You should never set important tasks according to its urgency but the ones that are going to have a significant impact on your life.
You should address them first as a priority because this will help you in getting rid of the habit of keeping it for the last. If you dedicate only half an hour daily to it, you will end up doing a substantial work when you approach the deadline.
Also, if you focus on completing these crucial tasks first, the burden is on your shoulder, and you are free to attend the tasks which consume the most but impact the least.
Tip 3: Do the Hardest First
Always push yourself to finish the toughest task first. It is tough for anyone to do so but imagine the feeling when you are over with the most laborious work in the beginning. Isn’t it a big win? Won’t the successive assigned jobs seem less daunting? It is a big motivation if you get over the most problematic thing; you have been procrastinating on, off your shoulder. The rest of the day becomes pleasurable.
Author Brian Tracy introduced a concept of “Eat the Frog.” He suggests committing oneself to eat a live frog every morning. It is a metaphor he uses to get over the most dreadful exercise first. So, commit yourself to do the toughest task in the first hour of the day. If you put it for the last, the chances are that you will never attempt it all.
Tip 4: Take Quick Decisions
Usually what we plan is often obstructed by emergencies, random distractions, or for that matter sheer laziness. You can’t avoid it, but they deter your productivity. You feel annoyed and abandon it for the day.
Abandoning your tasks lead to procrastination. It is advisable to make quick decisions based on the importance and urgency of the new task that has propped up. If the immediate task ranks higher on priority, you should go ahead with it. If not, then keep it for the next or later.
Tip 5: Take the Bull by its Horn
Problems are never tougher than actually, we think it to be. If you face it without any fear, you will most of the time find it not that overpowering. Problems look huge from a distance. When you encounter it, they don’t seem menacing anymore.
So, if you are procrastinating on things, take the bull by its horn and face it. If you feel lazy, just reverse count from 5 to 1 and launch like a rocket. Once the threshold is broken, you will finish it in no time.
Tip 6: Finish the Easier Tasks Quickly
Don’t keep the more manageable task for later. By keeping those pending the easier ones turn into tougher in no time. Whenever you face smaller and easier tasks, finish them at once. Don’t wait for an opportune moment. They are easy tasks and needs to be completed immediately.
Tip 7: Develop a Daily Habit
You can develop a habit if a task can be done daily for a specific period at the same time. It is like having your dinner or daily bath. If you have a gigantic task in front of you, break it into days and every day inculcate a habit of doing a bit of the task without fail. The small tasks turn into substantial work in no time. Developing a habit beats procrastination.
If you develop this mini habit of challenging tasks, in no time the task will look challenging any more. Mini habits can achieve bigger feats.
Tip 8: Focus on One Thing at a Time
Our main distractions happen due to lack of focus. The result is we don’t finish things on time and end up reaching nowhere. All your tasks are pending because all the while, you have been juggling tasks.
Moving from one task to another will neither help the assignment nor you because it will take time to complete them all. It will tire you, and you will start the habit of keeping the tasks pending. If you start building many bridges at the same time, after some time, you will end up with many incomplete bridges. Instead, if you had focused on building one bridge, you probably would have finished it.
Tip 9: Take little sprints:
If you are doing a challenging work that requires time and hard work, using the sprint method can be handy. In this method, you dedicate your full concentration and efforts on doing a specific task within a small chunk of time. You will keep all your distractions at bay and devote your all your efforts into that short sprint.
Keeping a timer for the sprint is helpful to keep track of your work. Little dashes of 10-15 minutes and then taking small breaks in between will enable you to do challenging work in no time. Smart people solve their procrastination issues by squeezing their work into these little sprints.
Tip 10: Be Accountable
We procrastinate because it is convenient not to do anything than pushing yourself into unpleasant tasks in the beginning. So to beat procrastination, you need to be accountable for your tasks. You need a concrete action plan to overcome the deterrents.
To be accountable, you must disclose your routine to a confidante, or on social media or a group of people of like-minded people. By revealing, it becomes an obligation to complete it. It is an excellent trick to beat procrastination. It is less pressure than a boss sitting on your head, but being accountable will help you to get that push.
Tip 11. Reward Yourself
If you have become accountable for the task, you should then reward yourself too on accomplishing challenging tasks. It acts as a catalyst to motivate you for the next challenging task.
By introducing small rewards to the tasks associated with your long-term goals, you are also adding a bit of fun and frolic to your severe and ever grueling activities.
To sum up, don’t feel exhausted by the thought of work overload. In fact, learn to beat procrastination by executing any of the tricks mentioned above. Don’t forget to revisit the list and choose the one that suits the most on that particular day.
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