How to stop procrastinating
You do your best work best under pressure, right? You need a looming deadline to get things done, that’s how you roll. But, have you ever tried it any other way?
But, wouldn’t it be nice to give yourself the time to that project or assignment and not have to pull some all nighters full of “why didn’t I start this weeks ago?”
Leaving things until the last minute, by essentially lying to ourselves can backfire. This leaves us more stressed when that deadline finally creeps up.
So, how can we change the habit of a lifetime and get down the task at hand, instead of colour coding timetables, cleaning bedrooms, or whatever else that can suddenly seem so important?
Visualise your task being done
It’s said you need to see yourself doing something for you to undertake the steps to get there.
Think back to the last time you achieved a goal or completed something, how did it feel?
Remember that feeling. Picture yourself with that feeling with the new task completed. That’s where you want to get to.
Get rid of distractions
Checking if food has magically appeared in the fridge or checking your Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or email every 5 minutes is a road to nowhere.
Get rid of these distractions by setting aside a specific time to study each day, with notifications off. Then schedule time for other stuff to, so you can enjoy your time off guilt free.
Break it down to smaller tasks
Sometimes we procrastinate because we get overwhelmed by all that has to be done.
Breaking down a task into small manageable parts makes that mountain into a molehill. Then, prioritise these parts, starting with the hardest thing first to help with any anxiety.
Beginning is the hardest part. Honestly. It’s only by starting too that you get a full sense of what the task involves.
So, get going!
Do a little bit each day
Little but often is the way to develop a new a habit and get stuff done in an effective way. Imagine a scenario where you hand in assignment that you’ve read and rewritten a few times! Instead of the normal drill of barely having enough time to format and spellcheck properly.
Use a reward system
Organised breaks and rewards can help your motivation. Be they whatever rewards you need to start with, but do to combine relaxation and activity in there, as the breaks, or rewards!
Perfectionism holding you back
For some, procrastination can be about putting things off because we don’t feel good enough. A sense of perfectionism can hold us back, and that’s not about things having to be perfect. We can hold the fear of working really hard and it still not being enough, and this stalls our ability to get started.
If this sounds familiar to you, and keeps happening, think about talking to someone about the pattern. A friend, family member, teacher, tutor or counsellor might be a good sounding board to work out how you can combat this. Or, you can try to work this out for yourself.
Now, get on with whatever you’re meant to be really doing!