Procrastination is the habit of putting off important tasks, for other less important but more gratifying activities. Almost everyone at one point or another procrastinates here and there, when they don’t feel like doing a particular task or activity. However, for the chronic procrastinator it’s a daily hurdle to get anything done on time. He or she always has an excuse for not doing what they are supposed to be doing, and for never accomplishing anything they say they’re going to do.
Habitual procrastination is not the answer to leading a successful life. It is essential for people from all walks of life to recognize that with the right amount of determination and discipline they can overcome their tendencies to procrastinate. Below are a few tips that will help you break free from the procrastination monster.
Control Your Fear
Most individuals usually procrastinate because they’re afraid they won’t be able to accomplish the task successfully. For most college students, the fear of failing an assignment paralyzes them from completing the assignment on time. Researchers suggest the reasons why some college students become chronic procrastinators is due to their fear of being judged of realizing they are not as smart as they thought and the lack of control they have to the outcome once the work is done.
Now that you know fear is the major reason for procrastination, learn to control the habit by facing your fear. Instead of delaying the task, view the work as an opportunity for growth and knowledge. The great poet Maya Angelou said it best, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
By changing your point of view, you will be able to successfully control your fears and lower your anxiety levels. Now that you have your fears and stress levels in check, you will be able to tackle the seemingly impossible task with a positive mindset.
A great way to reduce procrastination is by being organized. Create a to-do list with only the tasks that you’re avoiding, don’t include the tasks that you know you will do. If you need help keeping track of your tasks, try using a web app or mobile app to help you keep on track. For example, you can use Google tasks for free and you can use it on the web and on your mobile phone. With a clear and organized plan, you’ll be able to easily start and finish any project.
Break Off Tasks Into Smaller Segments
You are likely to freak out if you’re given a big and complicated project to finish in a short period of time. Instead of stressing out, just break down the large project or responsibilities into smaller segments, making them more manageable and easy to complete.
Be Focused And Avoid Distractions
When you sit down to complete your work, avoid all distractions and remain focused on finishing your tasks. By following a schedule, you’ll be sure to get the work done without the hassle of rushing to meet the due date. If you motivate yourself to work a little bit on your project every day, you’ll more likely not procrastinate, because it’s not part of your routine.
Allot Yourself Some Reward Time
If you don’t start or finish doing projects because you fear it will get in the way of your free time. Then, create a reward bargaining system for yourself. For example, if you finish your school assignments now, you can go out with your friends later that night. Let your friends and family know that you’re only going out on Friday if you finished all your school assignments for that week. This will add pressure for you to finish your assignment and not lose face in front of your friends or family.