Do you procrastinate about going to the gym? Doing work? Cleaning?
Procrastination could be a time-management issue, but more often than not it’s about avoiding certain emotions. You might procrastinate if the task at hand seems boring or pointless, or it could be you’re so afraid of not doing a good job that you feel so paralyzed you can’t even get started.
Most procrastinators focus on short-term benefits rather than long-term ones. For instance, they get hung up thinking, “It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be uncomfortable,” as opposed to just getting it done.
Here’s the funny part: “Even though you’re procrastinating and you’re trying to avoid whatever unpleasant experience you think you’re going to have, by avoiding it you still have that [task] hanging on you, so it’s still having a negative impact on you even if you’re not doing it”.
Procrastination isn’t an illness, but it can lead to surging stress levels, health issues and poor performance at school and work. “It can impact you emotionally, physically, relationship-wise and, obviously, work-wise”.
The good news is that it’s possible to overcome your procrastinator habits.
Here are nine ways to get you started — don’t put them off for too long!
1. Forgive Yourself for Past Procrastination
“A lot of people beat themselves up, thinking, ‘I’m lazy, I can’t do this,’” But labeling yourself as a procrastinator may make you more likely to procrastinate. So even if you’ve pushed off projects in the past, give yourself a break and move on.
But how do you go about forgiving yourself? Think of what happened in the past as data, not failure, and ask yourself how you can do better next time. Instead of dwelling on the guilt and shame you feel, you’ll free up your mind to focus on solving problems and getting more done.
2. Determine Why You’re Really Procrastinating
Ask yourself why you might be putting off the task. Is it a fear of failure? Is it a fear of success? Is it a fear that the task is going to be difficult? To figure out the root of the problem, address that aspect to gain a better understanding of why a project matters.
3. Adopt the Two-Minute Rule
Here’s how it works: If a task will take less than two minutes, do it immediately. Completing simple tasks right away keeps you on a productive path and can also help you avoid feeling bogged down by your to-do list.
4. Reframe the Task
To determine whether you’ll be productive or not depends on two things:
Whether you believe you’re able to
complete the task
Whether you believe the task is worthwhile