How to overcome it?
Forget the past and stop feeling guilty
A vast body of research has proved that the more you forgive yourself and forget about the past procrastination, the more you will be able to complete your tasks – and, of course, to procrastinate less. Sticking to the past and having thoughts like ‘I always procrastinate’ or ‘I am not good enough’ doesn’t let you come out of the past and focus on the current goal. Try self-compassion instead of self-criticism. Take a fresh start. In the start, you will make mistakes; it will not be perfect, but taking one small goal at a time will get you there.
Find designated space and time
Space and time is of utmost importance when it comes to achieving your goals and stop procrastinating. You must find a space where there are no distractions which can be an unorganized space, a tech device like phone, tablet or TV, people, pets, and there is a long list. Creating a work-friendly environment will keep you focused.
Secondly, know yourself, know your mind. Identify what time of the day or night you are able to be more focused and have more potential to work. Everybody is different. Every individual has a different body and mind. Some may work at high potential at midnight and some in the early morning. When you start working to achieve your goals in a right space at the right time, your potential maximizes and there is no room left for procrastination.
Mostly, we procrastinate from initiating the work; once we get started, we are able to attain our goals. For that purpose, when you procrastinate about starting work, just set 10 minutes time and resolve ‘I have to just do it for 10 minutes’. For instance, if you are procrastinating about writing a whole essay, just tell yourself I am going to write for 10 minutes and then I will stop. Once you start writing, you get involved and end up writing the whole essay.
Eat biggest frog first
As Mark Twain famously said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Often times, the more difficult the task, the more you procrastinate. You do the easy stuff first and then wait and procrastinate for the harder tasks. Therefore, it is best to start with the difficult tasks first and then the rest will be easy and you will not procrastinate.
According to this rule, give yourself one hour. Avoid any distractions or socialization during this time. Just focus and finish your task. Tell yourself ‘After this one hour, I will take break and enjoy the time’. This will help you in reaching your goal. Also, during the free time, you will not be thinking and stressing about the goals that you have been procrastinating about.
According to Mel Robbins, a human mind has a 5-second window. If you get up and start your goals in five seconds, you will be able to attain it; otherwise, after 5 seconds, your brain will start thinking and those thoughts will make you procrastinate. For instance, if it is difficult to wake up early for studying, set an alarm. And, when it rings and you wake up, count 1,2,3,4, and on 5, you must be out of the bed. If you fail to do so, your mind will tell you it is cold out there, sleep for 10 more minutes, etc. and it leads to procrastination.
Know the actual reason of procrastination
Everybody has some reason for procrastination. Find the real reason. For some, it may be doing too many things at a time while, for others, it may be health issues, or some other genuine reason. Find out that reason and work on that. Once that is solved, you will be more focused and will not procrastinate.
Rokhana Riaz is an inspirational writer and digital content creator.