How to stop self- procrastination?
When should we start a club for procrastinators? Most of you will answer ‘tomorrow.’ But this is a tomorrow that won’t come so soon and maybe never until the last minute.
Before getting into the main discussion, we will first understand what procrastination actually is. Procrastination happens when you avoid a task or set of tasks that you are supposed to complete in a given time. Procrastinators are fully aware of the negative consequences.
There are four types of procrastinators. You can find out which one you are and help yourself break out of it.
This article will give you some actionable and achievable steps that you can implement and steadily progress out of procrastination.
8 Tips to Avoid Self-Procrastination
1. Accepting that you are lazy
The very first step is to accept that you are lazy; you are avoiding a task and coming up with excuses for avoiding them. Once you acknowledge this, it will be easier to identify your exact shortcomings and working towards correcting them.
Are you exhausted and overworked? Do you badly need a break? Do you get bored with the monotonousness of your work? Are you continually seeking something new?
Once you find what exactly your problem is, it will be conducive to create a goal for self-improvement.
2. Creating a Flexible Schedule
Moderation is the key. You cannot get rid of a habit and mindset that you have been living with for years. Things will take time. You won’t get everything done in a single day or a few hours.
It would be best if you came up with a list of all the things that you need to get done in a week. Then divide all the tasks equally for the next seven days. For instance, you need to do 14 things in a week. Then you should allow yourself two things per day for the rest of the week.
You must maintain flexibility here. You may get four tasks done in a day or do nothing for a day. This is quite okay until you are achieving your weekly target.
If you are involved in some field that needs creativity like an illustrator or writer, then you must maintain a lot of flexibility. Tight deadlines and piled up work might kill your creativity and take the fun out of the task.
Start prioritizing your tasks. You can do this alongside the schedule that you make weekly. You might want to get the most important jobs done on Monday rather than Saturday. You may also push some tedious tasks to Thursday.
This will help you to plan your entire week according to your mood. You might get a hassle-free weekend.
If you do not set priorities, then you might forget the important tasks and end up engaging yourself with the less important stuff. You might forget the deadlines.
So, it is always better to draw up a priority list and put it on your phone or laptop screen (set the list as wallpaper). For extra precaution, you can set reminders on the phone.
4. Write it Down and Create a Checklist
The goal here is to write everything down. Whenever a task is assigned to you, write it down! Put the assignment date and submission date. Usually, it is best to get things done a day before they are due.
The reason behind writing everything is down is that you are less likely to forget and mess things up. You won’t ever miss a date, and you can keep track of progress.
This acts as a motivating factor for many people. When they see a checklist, they get obsessed with ticking away all the tasks. This gives an immense sense of emancipation and satisfaction. You can go a little extra and make a colorful and catchy checklist so you will look at it often.
Make sure you paste it in a place where you can see and update it daily. You can even write it down in your diary or planner. Some people prefer those classic, yellow sticky notes. Now, they also come in neon colors.
Then there are apps on computers and phones. They are sticky widgets that pop up on your screen. Some of these apps come with reminders and alarms. This will come handy if you tend to forget tasks.
After all, this is a crucial step to stop procrastination and it will prove useful in the long term.
5. Take Breaks, Calm Down and Sleep
One of the main reasons why people procrastinate is that they are overworked and overburdened. They need to get a lot of things done in a short period. This results in demoralization, and consequently, we start avoiding those tasks.
So, to avoid procrastination, you should take breaks in-between your tasks. Get some fresh air, grab a coffee. You should get some snacks or juice.
If you are someone who takes a lot of stress or has a tedious job, then you must do some light exercise. These exercises can be of any kind – cardio, Zumba, or even some yoga and meditation.
You should also find out what your stress busters are. Several people find music relaxing. But it can be anything else like cooking, painting, reading, or even doing laundry.
Along with this, it is equally important to get enough rest and sleep. If you are a sleep-deprived zombie, there’s no way you are going to finish any task. Even if you manage to finish anything at all, it will most likely lack perfection and quality.
You should make sure you get a full 8-hour sleep. There is no point in pulling off an all-nighter at the last moment. This will result in a poor quality of work.
6. Time Management
While we planned the schedule, we sorted the tasks priority-wise and kept it flexible. Similarly, you can work on your tasks at any time of the day or night, but make sure that you complete it within a specific time frame.
For instance, your task is to write an essay. Now, you can write it in the noon or evening. But you should allot two hours to the essay and try to complete it within those two hours.
Of course, it may take up five minutes more or less, but this will help you get the essay done quickly without wasting any time.
This has additional benefits too. Time management saves you a lot of time. If you do not draw up a time frame, you might end up wasting an entire day on a simple task.
If you take so long for one task, you will never get enough time for other tasks. You will end up rushing through other chores, or you might not even finish them.
Time management will help you with procrastination, and you will also find enough time for yourself.
7. Put your phone away!
Let us all face the ugly truth that our phones are way too distracting. And once you pick up your phone while working, you spend a long period of time looking at it. This a major cause of delay and procrastination.
Some people are addicted to games while most of the people are addicted to social media.
Notably, Twitter and Instagram take a big chunk of our time away. But once you put your mind to a task, then you accomplish it easily. So, motivate yourself to finish a job and put that phone away!
It is always helpful to put your phone on ‘Silent’ or ‘DND’ while working. If you do not need your phone to complete any of your tasks, then it would be great to switch it off or put it on Airplane mode.
If you are not okay with switching your phone off, then some focus apps help you stay away from the phone.
For instance, there is a ‘Forest: Stay Focused’ app that allows you to set a timer. Now, you cannot touch your phone until the set time ends. If you successfully complete the time, you get a tree! And that’s how you create your forest. The app also keeps track of ‘no phone time.’
Then there is a ‘FLIP- Focus timer for study’ app and ‘Study Bunny: Focus Timer’ app too. These apps are free on Google Playstore. They are great for phone deaddiction.
If you think you need some help with phone deaddiction, then here are some tips to De-addict yourself from the phone.
By ‘Organizing,’ we mean that you should clean up your desks and drawers. Seriously, you need to get your workplace in order. Just try and think about all the time that you waste in looking for your staplers and pins.
You will never find the highlighters and rulers when you need them the most. The stapler won’t have pins, and the pen holder is devoid of pens. Don’t even get me started on erasers and sharpeners.
This leads to a lot of frustration, and you end up digging a lot of chests and drawers, making it messier than it was. Consequently, you are agitated, and you forget what you were doing and lose focus. This means even more procrastination.
The only way to avoid all hustle is to keep everything organized. You can clean all the mess on weekends or at the end of the day. You can make it a rule to put everything back in its place.
So this was an article on avoiding procrastination. We hope these tips were useful and actionable. If you want to share some more methods, you can comment in the comment section below.