You don’t know how to overcome procrastination and finally start doing tasks? Feel guilty about it? Solve this problem and stop being late. These 8 tips will help you figure it out.
How to Overcome Procrastination: 8 Proven Ways
Procrastination is the enemy of our productivity. It distracts us from tasks and suppresses enthusiasm for work. But is it so bad? Of course, you can ask what is good about it: time is wasted, deadlines are burning, you don’t have time, you’re late, and in the end, curse yourself for not doing things right away. From the one side, it happens because of a lack of organization and laziness. At least everyone thinks so. But if to look at the problem from the other side, procrastination is a way of protection from emotional exhaustion. Thus, understanding of the essence of its problem can help figure out how to overcome procrastination effectively.
Why we have this habit
In the fight against procrastination, it is necessary to understand why you put things off. The reasons may vary. Psychologists explain this by different theories about the causes of procrastination. It is remarkable that all of them are similar in one. The thing is that it’s associated with internal anxiety and fears. For example, a student is afraid to get low scores for the assignment, while a worker is worried to get a scolding from a boss or even firing. After all, people feel fear of a fail, and this is a key reason for procrastination.
This theory was proposed by specialists Laura J. Solomon and Esther D. Rothblum from the University of Vermont in 1982. They studied the causes of procrastination among students. Research has led scientists to a conclusion, that procrastination is a complex problem, the main cause of which is the fear of failure. According to this conclusion, we don’t dare to start work, because we’re afraid of fail, condemnation, and disapproval.
In further studies, psychology found additional factors that increase a person’s desire to start working later:
- fuzzy task
- nasty job
- personality problems
- emotional exhaustion
- total workload
- lack of motivation
In addition, procrastination may be caused by a depressive state. Therefore, before classifying yourself as lazy, think well of why is nothing works out. Maybe some of the described above factors suppress your zeal.
Top ways to deal with procrastination
Anyway, whatever problems can be solved, regardless of its cause. In the case of procrastination, a solution is an integrated approach and some useful habits that normalize the work process. Use these ways as a step-by-step strategy to overcome procrastination.
Step 1. Gain strength
Never start work if you are upset or tired. Even the strongest motivation will not make you pull up your socks if you are shattered. Therefore, as soon as you got your task, think well, do you have enough energy to start the work right now? If you are tired, exhausted or feeling bad, then start with regaining strength. To do this, there are proven and quite simple ways that don’t require additional efforts.
- Get enough sleep. Undoubtedly, energy drinks and coffee are an effective way to stay vigorous. But it never restores energy sufficiently, like a healthy sleep. In addition, during the rest at night, the brain produces melatonin. This hormone protects against stress and speeds up the recovery of the body.
- Meditation. It is a no less excellent way to recover and get in the right headspace. The research in neurophysiology shows that regular meditation practice increases brain activity at least on 10-15%. And it’s only on elementary stages of practice. With time you can notice more tangible results. The concentration and endurance will increase, while depression and tiredness disappear.
- Walking. Do you know that at least three 40-minute walkings per week increase intellectual abilities? Besides, it helps to abstract of the problems and to get needed Oxygen, for the normal function of brain and body.
And when you recover your forces and feel vigorous, your body won’t require additional rest. Thus, the tiredness which causes procrastination is eliminated.
Step 2. Be optimistic
Our desire to please someone often generates fear and negative mood. Therefore, in order to eliminate negative factors and quickly tune in to optimism, try to:
- find optimistic and positive information
- talk to someone who inspires and supports you
- clearly imagine that you have completed the task well
- come up with a present for yourself for the work done
- make a visual motivator like a picture of what you dream about or your favorite quote
Also, before starting work, some people listen to rhythmic and cheerful music in order to set the rhythm for work.
Step 3. Prepare your workplace
Disorder in the workplace takes the mood to work, not to mention the fact that it negatively affects the workflow. At the same time, cleaning the place where you perform the task brings you additional benefits:
- good mood
- order in place
- comfort for work
And so, you again did not leave a chance for procrastination because you are self-disciplined and set to work.
Step 4. Delegate your tasks effectively
Feel free to ask for help. In the end, the work will be done faster if it is done by two. So, if you write articles, ask someone to check them, if you have to make a report, ask a colleague how he or she would do it. There will always be someone who will be happy to help with advice or action. And to make your life easier and unload you from unnecessary work, there are professional paper writing services like WritemyPaper4me, who are ready to help you with writing essays and other academic tasks.
Step 5. Remove distractions
If everything is in order on your desktop, how about a smartphone and a computer? If you took up work, then take away the distractions as:
- smartphone or turn off the sound
- social networks from your browser tabs
- tabs with movies or music, if it affects the concentrate
Also, don’t turn on the TV or extraneous or distracting videos while you are performing an important task. Focus on success and don’t let to prevent you from achieving your desired goal.
Step 6. Work smart, not hard
The Pareto principle states: 20% of efforts give 80% of the result, and the remaining 80% of efforts only 20% of the result. This law can be an excellent tool for allocating priorities and time. For example, what do you spend 80% of your time on? Efficient work requires to use time and energy as efficiently as possible. So, to get high results with only 20% of your efforts, organize the work correctly:
- make a plan
- divide the big task into small stages
- automate routine processes if possible
- leave only the most necessary items for work
And of course, don’t forget to give yourself a periodic rest.
Step 7. Rest with benefit
The progress of your work depends on the quality of your rest. Therefore, breaks are important. Between the intervals of work do a little rest, it is advisable to spend it with benefit:
- do some physical exercise
- take a walk
- listen to nice music
- watch educational video
And finally, do what inspires and pleases you. Choose a specific time frame for a pause. For example, after each hour of work, take a rest for 15 minutes. At least this kind of alternation technique uses the most productive workers, according to DeskTime research. This company has developed an application that tracks the productivity of workers at the computer. In any case, take time to relax and abstract from work periodically. This will help you find new forces and fresh ideas for successfully completing the task.
Step 8. Add creativity
Procrastination often comes with boring work. If we perform a routine and monotonous task, we constantly want to get distracted and do something else, more interesting. Therefore, to keep work from bothering you, make it more fascinating. Different techniques will do for this:
- make your work reward more valuable to yourself
- turn on nice background music
- turn your work into a phased quest
The inclusion of a dual-channel brain mode also helps to perform routine work. This is when you do monotonous work and listen, for example, an audiobook or a lecture. The brain perceives work differently: it seems that you’re not performing a boring task, but listening to a lecture on the history and at the same time doing a job or cleaning an apartment, for example.
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