Have you caught yourself saying “laters, baby” a lot more times that you’re allowed to? If so, you’ve fallen into the habit of procrastinating. What is procrastination? It is the tendency to keep postponing or delaying your work. The word procrastination is hard to spell but easy to do. The reason why it is a bad habit is that, at the end of the day, you are overloaded with all those tasks you decided to do later. The normal circumstance under which we procrastinate is- when the work we have in hand isn’t as exciting as idling around. There’s nothing wrong with being a victim of procrastination. I’ve been one too. What’s wrong is- knowing its adversities and still letting the habit overpower you. To get your life back on track, you have to stop procrastinating. Here are some of the best tips that can significantly help you stop procrastinating and getting things done.
Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Getting Things Done
Break Your Work Down Into Pieces
We all remember that dark night that kept us awake to get our project done. We cry about it and promise to never repeat. But it’s like a hangover. No matter how bad it got, we get lured by a Friday night downing way more alcohol than we can take. Once we have another task/ a set of tasks in hand, we again start procrastinating. The first thing you need to know is- MAKE IT SEEM LIKE IT IS A SMALL TASK.
Our brain prefers small task as opposed to a bigger task. If a task is lengthy, we tend to do one of the following things. We either rush through it and don’t do a quality work, or we keep postponing it. For the sake of avoiding both the things from happening, it is great to break the task down into little pieces. Once you do so, schedule each part for every day and you’d be able to complete the task before the deadline.
If you have a deadline day after the task was given, chances are it wouldn’t be as lengthy. Deal with the task in the same manner. Divide it into 3 or 4 parts. Do the task for about 30 minutes and then take 10 minutes break. That way, you will be able to complete it within 3 hours.
When you have a number of tasks and the same deadline, you have to be a bit more meticulous while scheduling the tasks. Instead of assigning a complete day for one task and another day for another, do a little bit of all tasks in a day. This helps you escape the monotony of having to one thing all day long. Also, when you switch from one task to another, take a small break. This helps you stop procrastinating.
Note- Make sure you don’t take a break for more than 15 minutes.
Stick Quotes On the Wall That Motivate You to Work
This might not make sense instantly. But, the wall that is adjacent to your table should have nice quotes and colorful pictures stuck on it. An inviting environment makes us want to work more and stop procrastinating. In fact, not just the wall, you should even make your desk look interesting. This has even become an Instagram trend- to flaunt our neatly done and customised table by posting pictures of it. If you are finding it hard to believe, which table would you choose out of the two given below?
Some might still say how the table looks, doesn’t matter to them. But the reason they say so is that admitting the fact would make them clean the table and customise it. While the process seems like a waste of time or time consuming, you’d love the outcome of it. While “don’t procrastinate quotes” would help, you can add just about anything to your wall and table. A few pictures of you, your family, friends, pets, etc would make you feel good to be at your desk. Have a pile of your favorite books at the side of the table. While these are some ideas, you can take the liberty to make it look the way you want.
Make a Timetable
At times, we tend to avoid tasks when we have lots of tasks and it seems complicated. To help yourself gain a better understanding of your work, make a to-do list. List all the work that has to be get done and prioritize your tasks. Making boxes against each task to mark after you are done will help you gain more clarity. You can make your to-do list even more detailed by assigning time to each task. Take an upper count, like if it takes you 30 minutes to complete a specific task, assign 40 minutes to it. When you complete the task in 30 minutes, it gives you a positive feeling of being able to complete the task before the allotted time. Keep reviewing your timetable after each task.
Keep Away From The Distractors
Anything that is a constant escape from work is a distractor for you. If you keep zoning out of your work to check your phone, laptop, television remote, pets, or whatever, try keeping away from it while working. There’s no way you can work and simultaneously use your phone. Once you start using your phone or watching tv (even if you promised yourself you’d only do so for 10 minutes), it doesn’t end. And after 2-3 hours of binge using your watching or binge-watching your favorite series, you enter the “self-loathing” phase.
So, the simple rule is- keep away from the distractor. When you work, leave your phone on “do not disturb” mode and keep it in the drawer. Be in a room different room if your pets are around and constantly grab your attention. If you have committed a certain time for work, it requires undivided attention.
Reward Yourself After Completing Your Work
Once you complete your work, flatter yourself with a treat. It can be anything as long as it makes you feel cheerful and refreshes you. The basic idea of rewarding yourself is that- it would gear you up to complete other tasks as well to again being rewarded. The reward should be something rare. It shouldn’t be something, like getting to watch videos or drink coffee- since you can do that anyway.
Make it a habit to get that specific reward only when you complete a task. This will make completing a task fun as you will something you’d be looking forward to. While this is the rare reward, you can even go for little perks while you are completing your task. For example, every time you sit to work, you can have coffee, your favorite snack, or something like that.
Make It Public
Human beings prioritize te=heir self-respect and ego. So, if you involve some significant into keeping you motivated, it might help you stop procrastinating. The person who gets involved has to have a certain amount of authority. This person will keep reminding you in regular intervals about your goals. If you fail to complete your tasks to reach your goal on time, you might receive some sort of punishment.
In general, we all try to save our image. This is why, when our goals are public, we would complete it rather than being embarrassed. None of us would want others to say we are irresponsible or procrastinators. When we have someone who knows about our targets and goals, there is a certain amount of pressure that is built. This should be a motivating factor and help you stop procrastinating and get your work done.
These are some of the tips on how to avoid procrastination and laziness. While these can be really helpful, you need to realize “inner motivation” is the key factor. You need to have an internal drive that keeps reminding you of your important goals. The second most important ingredient is- control. You might feel like postponing your work and spending time doing something more interesting. But you have to control the itch that seeks distractions.
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