Everybody all knows the sentiment of having a gigantic rundown of to-dos and approaching deadlines, yet we find ourselves becoming a victim of procrastination on a regular basis. Whether it is small or big tasks, it has become our second nature to procrastinate. Not that we deliberately do this to ourselves, but we end up wasting a large chunk of time on irrelevant undertakings or thoughtlessly looking through our social media or trying to juggle multiple tasks all at once.
Especially, now that we are working remotely, it is extremely easy to fall back into our old habits and become less productive. Procrastination has cost many freelancers, businesses, and entrepreneurs a large chunk of money and time.
We may try to avoid distress but in the long run, distress will only get worse. In 2008, a study showed that procrastination can lead to various physical and psychological effects, lack of performance, anxiety, stress, and even sleep issues. Procrastination has a negative impact on mental health and self-deprecating thoughts that may lead to putting off tasks.
Fortunately, procrastination is one of the greatest work environment pandemics we are experiencing, there are plenty of tips to help you stop putting off tasks and to get you back on the horse. But first, let’s have a look at why we are the victims of procrastination.
Here’s the liberating truth
You are not alone! We all procrastinate in some way or another. A study shows that the problem can be proven in students and in the work-space. One of the most exasperating problems in today’s world is that we get thrown all the work and information. The world is constantly changing and evolving, today’s great idea may not be tomorrow’s success. That leaves us feeling baffled and disabled to deal with life.
We are so good at avoiding the negative emotions associated with work and dealing with anxiety or stress that comes with the effort of undertaking big tasks or the fear of being able to meet tough deadlines. This sort of temporary feeling of escaping negative emotions can promote procrastination in many ways by making us abstain from getting started on a task in the first place.
Too quickly, we end up draining our own energy, which leads to more procrastination. Before you know it, you’re excessively worn out before you’ve achieved anything critical. “I’ll do this tomorrow,” as though you have already prepared to give up. Procrastination has a long-term negative effect on our minds. It isn’t something that is fixed overnight, and it requires our continuous effort to stop this.
Here are 6 tips to help you put an end to procrastinating once in for all.
Tip 1: Forgive yourself
Stop putting yourself down and dwelling in the past, focus on the present and what you can control now. We all get thoughts like, “I should’ve quit my job”, “I could’ve started my own business or I shouldn’t have” or “why can’t I meet my deadlines”; “I can’t get anything done” and the list goes on. We keep feeding our mind with all these endless negative excuses and self-sabotaging ourselves, that ends up costing us our psychological well-being.
Simply forgive yourself and determine what you have been avoiding or putting off – stress, fear, worry, lack of community and accountability, etc. Be real with yourself and allow your conscious mind to be in charge. Embrace your vulnerability and come to terms with them. Think of what steps can you take to overcome your drawbacks.
Tip 2: Practice mindfulness
One of the biggest savers for fear, anxiety, or depression, is practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of mediation in which you focus on being deeply aware of your senses and being in the present moment without judgment.
We spend too much time in our head, problem-solving, thinking negative, daydreaming, and other thoughts that can be toxic. Practicing mindfulness helps you bring inner peace, accepting yourself, focus on your breathing, and brings awareness to the world around you.
Tip 3: Make a list
We all know what it is feels like to lack discipline or inefficiency. We wake up, asking ourselves, “what do I need to do today” and wasting hours and hours of time before we know it. Before going to bed, take out your note pad and a pen, create a to-do list that you would like to accomplish the next day.
Many studies have shown that writing down notes helps us process information and remember it better. Keep the list with you are at your desk and starting work, chances are you will complete most of those tasks. Add the incomplete tasks to your to-do list for the next day and don’t overwhelm yourself.
Tip 4: Be realistic
We often set drastic goals and find ourselves burned out or extremely overwhelmed that we never get to fully accomplish them. Be real with yourself, start by setting small goals. If your undertaking big projects, break it down into more manageable segments. Draw out a road-map if you must and divide them into smaller tasks.
Tip 5: Minimize distractions
Distraction is caused by multitasking. Stop focusing on multiple things all at once. Discipline your mind by taking on one task at a time. Multi-tasking will lead to rushed results, causing further delays, a lack of productivity, and stress. We’ve all been there by working on a few things at once, and we find ourselves getting distracted by social media or co-workers that bring our productivity down.
When working on your tasks make sure there are limited distractions around you, turn your phone off, mute social media notifications, or log out of all your social media accounts to limit your social media browsing.
Tip 6: Reward yourself
Once you have completed your tasks, reward yourself for all your efforts. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy life, whether it’s going for a run, taking yourself out on a date, catching up with your friends, or reading a book. Do things that progress your growth. Do not let yourself binge-watch Netflix shows, or often find yourself checking social media like a maniac. Take responsibility for your actions. Don’t let procrastination stop you from reaching your goals.
“Do not put off until tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well.” – Mark Twain
Freelance Writer – Gargie Kejriwal