Procrastination can strike anyone, but once it gets hold of you, it can be very difficult to remove yourself from its grasp.
Procrastination comes in many disguises. While we might resolve to tackle a task, we usually find endless reasons to defer it. And lets face it, most of us are guilty of putting off things that we could do today until tomorrow. It can even affect a highly productive person. However, did you know that 20% of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions? We avoid certain tasks because they are often rooted in anxiety, fear of failure or negative perfectionism.
Distractions from your tasks are unfortunately becoming increasingly available in the form of smartphones, games, Netflix, and so on. But you can beat procrastination by first understanding why you’re procrastinating. Then you can apply strategies to stop it before it takes hold.
So to help out, Atlanta-based writing services website, Essay Expert has created the following infographic. While primarily focussing on students, it’s also useful for all adults. In it you’ll find 15 ways to beat procrastination with useful tips, such as practicing effective time management, changing your perspective, and setting realistic goals. Find out more below:
15 ways to beat procrastination
Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow? As many as 1 in 5 adults (not just students) may be chronic procrastinators. But procrastination doesn’t necessarily equal lazy. Inaction is often caused by anxiety, fear of failure or negative perfectionism.
To stop the stress from not getting things done, try these simple, scientifically-backed solutions:
Understand how procrastination affects your life and think about the habits that often cause it. This insight prevents you from feeling inadequate and helps you to understand the causes of your procrastination.
Practice effective time management
Complete estimates for completing assignments. Then compare the accuracy of these estimates across all tasks. Doing so simplifies working patterns with effective planning. It will also improve the quality of your work and help avoid stress.
Change your perspective
Think about what attracted you to your assignments; look beyond the grades to what interests you. Identifying personal goals will help you improve engagement. Also, reassessing an assignment makes it less intimidating.
Commit to assignments
Start by listing tasks that you’re confident you can complete. Make a point of crossing them off once they’re done. When you look at the list, it will rebuild the faith you have in your abilities. It will also show your commitment to making good on personal promises.
Work in productive environments
Choose where and with who, wisely. Put down your phone and try to work in a room without distractions like a television. This will help you focus on the immediate task and removes obstacles from studying.
Set reasonable targets to measure your achievements. Be patient, you won’t change overnight. Setting reasonable goals helps you avoid self-sabotage. Unrealistic goals feed procrastination; why try the impossible?
Notice how you talk to yourself in your head when procrastinating; try to replace that negative talk with positive reinforcement. If you can stop negative thinking before it starts, you will be more encouraged to reach your goals.
Develop a flexible schedule that only includes important tasks. Just leave plenty of room for extracurricular activities. A rigid schedule can leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Devote small chunks of time to big tasks. Try to achieve as much as possible, without pressure. Tasks seem small with holes punched in them. It builds momentum and reduces obstacles.
Don’t indulge fantasies
Don’t fantasize about desired results. Instead, devise practical steps to help you achieve your goals. Imagination is the enemy of motivation. By viewing your outcomes objectively, you will improve your working energy.
Plan for obstacles
Make a list of possible obstacles for completing your assignments. Then plan countermeasures for those obstacles. For example, “whenever I look at Twitter, I go for a break.”
Improve learning behaviour
Focus less on gratification in the present. Instead, focus on learning for the future. Developing correct behaviours in assessing mistakes improves behaviours when combatting procrastination.
As your roommate or family not to indulge your bad habits. That way if you mess up, you deal with the consequences alone. The fact is, people who expect help procrastinate more. Doing things yourself teaches you self-sufficiency and independence.
Create a reward system to celebrate successful tasks. Similarly, arrange small punishments for failures. Rewards provide incentive and drive you to achieve. And positivity reinforces effort and progress.
Learn to forgive yourself
If you slip up, don’t be hard on yourself. Understand that there’s no quick-fix solution for procrastination. It’s often rooted in your psychology and forgiveness can result in future improvements.
Now that you know how to beat procrastination, find out how to stay productive all week.