Everyone procrastinates from time to time. However, there’s no getting around it. There are things to be done.
As tempting as it might be to put off that looming homework assignment or that presentation, work or task, it’s not going to happen. You will eventually have to do it.
When we face something that seems overwhelming or stressful, our instinct is often to put off resolving the issue until later. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as procrastination.
At its most basic level, procrastination can seem like a harmless and even helpful way of dealing with the stress of our lives. But prolonged and excessive procrastination has negative consequences for both your personal life and your professional life.
You feel incomplete because you aren’t meeting your expectations, and you feel resentful because you aren’t getting the most out what you deserve.
In other words, if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by too many external demands on your time, then putting things off until later isn’t necessarily going to help. In fact, it could make things worse.
In this article, we offer several ways to stop procrastinating. This will help you get your job done more easily and without putting things off.
Don’t Confuse a Lack of Motivation with Procrastination
Many people assume that procrastination is due to a lack of motivation.
However, we don’t all experience the world in the same way, and procrastination can be caused by a variety of different factors.
Procrastination can be a symptom of anxiety or depression, particularly if those feelings are present in the person’s life.
Certain personality traits like perfectionism or a tendency to ruminate on unproductive thoughts can also contribute to procrastination.
Procrastination can be a way of avoiding negative emotions associated with a task. These could be guilt from working on something that isn’t “worth it”, or frustration from working on something that is.
It can also be due to lack of energy, lack of ambition, and sometimes, even laziness.
Here are 5 ways to stop procrastination and overcome it.
Set Daily Goals
Every day should be a little bit more successful than the day before. Set yourself small daily goals to guide you toward your larger and more aspirational goals.
For example, if your goal is to write a book, set a daily goal of writing a single page.
If your goal is to craft a presentation for a client, set a daily goal of crafting a single slide.
Daily goals can help to reduce procrastination because they are concrete and tangible. They also provide a small reward for completing them, and they provide a sense of progress that can feel very satisfying and motivating.
Establish an Environment that Nurtures Work
Try your best to create an environment that encourages and nurtures your work.
The most productive people in history have always been those who have some method of ridding themselves of excess anxiety and stress. Whether that’s listening to music or reading a book or taking time out to vent, the key is to find a way to de-clutter your mind.
If you’re worried about how this will affect your work, don’t be. Studies suggest that increased mental clarity has been shown to improve almost every aspect of productivity.
Research has found that making a concerted effort to only work for small amounts of time – even if you’re working on something that you enjoy – can make a big difference in your overall productivity.
Time is finite, and we all have 24 hours in a day – even if we don’t realize it. So, make an effort to put some of your time toward enjoyment or self-care. And as you do this, you’ll also be giving yourself a little break from the hecticness of your daily life.
Regular breaks can reduce the likelihood of procrastination because they allow us to “reset” our brains and give us a break from the constant pressure of work.
Set Deadlines for Yourself
It’s important to set deadlines for yourself, even if they’re arbitrary and metaphorical. Assigning yourself a deadline forces you to find a way of working that you enjoy, which is the key to long-term success.
Make sure that the deadline isn’t too ambitious, but it should still be a bit of a stretch.
This way, you’ll be motivated to push yourself and work harder, but you’ll also be realistic enough not to get overwhelmed.
Make Your Task More Enjoyable
Enjoying your tasks is a good way stop procrastinating.
Procrastination is often treated as a problem of motivation, but that’s only part of the equation.
Research has found that the key to overcoming procrastination is to find a way of re-framing the task, making it more enjoyable.
There are a number of ways of making this shift in mindset, but one of the most effective is re-framing tasks as “s-t-a-r” activities.
When you re-frame a task like this, you’re basically taking out any negative associations you have with it and replacing them with more positive associations.
So, instead of thinking about how much work it is, you should think about what the finished product will be like, and how amazing it will be when it’s done.
This will give you a new way to look at the task and potentially make it more enjoyable.
People procrastinate for different reasons. Some, find it overwhelming to deal with significant life challenges or significant life changes. Procrastination can often be a way of coping with these challenges by giving them a “later” date.
Most people would be better off if they would simply address the issues that they face head-on rather than simply putting them off until later.
Procrastination is a normal human trait. It can be caused by stress or a lack of motivation, but it can also be a symptom of a deeper problem like anxiety, depression, or a personality disorder.
The key is to identify the root cause of your procrastination, so that you can address it head-on.
Try to implements into your life the above ways to stop procrastinating.
Did you know that developing a certain degree of willpower and self-discipline can greatly increase your ability to overcome procrastination? You can develop these skills of willpower and self discipline through appropriate exercises.