Procrastination is the worst form of denial. It’s a terrible vice that could hinder you from leading a fulfilled life. No matter how unhealthy it is, we all somehow get caught in its unforgiving trap! Don’t fret, we will show you a few ways you can cut this bad habit out of your life.
Do what you hate first
You woke up today feeling so energized and ready to start your day. You throw on your best outfit, have a little breakfast, and out you go into the world. As golden rays from the hot sun gently sweep your face, you tell yourself, “Self, today is a wonderful day because I’m gonna get stuff done!” Ladies and gentlemen, this is when you start with the most loathsome task on your to-do-list.
Enthusiasm is what drives you to get that gut-wrenching and tedious job done first. According to Eva Wisnik, a specialist in Marketing, Recruiting and Professional Development, putting off your hardest work until the end drains your strength and “makes you not completely present with anything else.” So, spending your day preoccupied with your toughest project will sidetrack you from completing the easier tasks. Also, you’ll do a half-assed job, which is what you really don’t want for yourself. Tackle the hard stuff first and don’t get distracted!
Make your digital device work for you!
If not used constructively, devices are a HUGE distraction when trying to get meaningful things done.
You’re studying for an exam that’s worth 70% of your final grade and, all of a sudden, you hear the DING sound of a Facebook notification. Ugh! You know you should’ve put it on mute or hid it in an unsuspecting place, but you check it anyway. Don’t we all do this?
Luckily, there are three great apps you could download that’ll silence your phone (or any digital device) and keep you concentrated on what matters. According to Real Simple, Freedom is an app that disables access to the internet for a specific amount of time. For those with little self-control, cheating the app is quite difficult considering that if you want to use the internet, you have to restart your computer. Do you want to get struck by reality? Download RescueTime to see simple, nicely organized charts on how much time you waste, now that’s an eye-opener! Instead of blocking people on social media, use LeechBlock (that works with FireFox) to block sites where you procrastinate the most either for a short period of time or indefinitely. Make your device work for you.
Now, you’re ready to start working hard to reach your goals!
Break your goals into manageable pieces
Treat your goals as though you’re running a 50-kilometre marathon. Thinking about the entire race will most probably make you super anxious and discourage you from starting. Taking it one kilometre at a time will put you at ease and give you enough willpower to reach the finish line.
Attaining your goal is a journey. Don’t think you’ll complete all your projects by tomorrow, there’s no magic trick here! It is crucial to rationally plan out how you’ll achieve your objectives in order to reduce stress and make less excuses for yourself.
Forbes further emphasizes this by stating that “you don’t have to know every step of the way, just the next few steps immediately ahead. Your next steps will become obvious as you move along.”You are now light years closer to your destination. Keep it up!
Reward yourself during the process
It’s common knowledge that successfully reaching your goal merits a reward. Although this is true, it’s not entirely true.
You should always remember to do things you love while trekking towards triumph. Katy Milkman, an associate professor in judgment&decision making and behavioral economics at the University of Pennsylvania, coined the concept of temptation bundling. Basically, you’re combining tempting behaviours, like watching Netflix or getting a pedicure, with behaviours you must be doing, like your job or the house chores. According to James Clear, Milkman conducted a study on temptation bundling using 226 students at the University and discovered that those who used the concept were 51% more likely to be productive compared to those who didn’t participate. Who knew that working hard and playing hard could be done simultaneously?
Success doesn’t happen overnight. You must build towards it and have fun in the process. Organizing an un-procrastination day where you hide all possible distractions is also a way for you to curb procrastination.