Procrastination as opposed to laziness is indulging in low – priority jobs while avoiding the ones on the higher priority list. There are many reasons for procrastination; the most common being overawed by the monstrosity of the work at hand. The mind tries to find out ways to avoid the unpleasant work and supplements it with an easier one. Another reason may be the fear of being loaded with more such work in the future when the work gets done.Or, it may even be the fear of failure. It has often been observed that it is the perfectionists that often tend to procrastinate as they would rather stop doing a work, than do it in a clumsy manner. Procrastination is a habit that we develop over the years and it takes time to wean ourselves away from this self defeating habit, but it will definitely be crushed; once we decide to do so.
Identify the Reason
Our first job is to find out the cause behind procrastination. Why exactly are we looking for excuses to avoid the task at hand? Once we acknowledge that we are procrastinating, half the battle is won. We must be ready to forgive ourselves for our limitations, and chalk out a plan to overcome them. There will never be a perfect time and place for starting and completing our work. The only way to get a job done is to do it, and get over with it.
Getting a clear picture of the things that need to be done on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis makes it sure that all our work is done on time; and we are able to achieve our goals in a smoother manner. Therefore, getting an organizer like Rescue time and Hubbstaff, and writing down the to-do list for each hour of the day is necessary to avoid procrastination. The to-do list would help to keep you on your toes and help you to complete your work on time. Using apps like Procraster would help people with procrastinating tendencies to be on their toes.
Our first step is to prioritize the work that must be done first. Most achievers are organized, they use high priority to-do lists to focus on the work that needs to be done urgently. The most difficult task should be completed first and the easier ones should be left for a latter time. Once the boulder is removed the smaller tasks will feel like a breeze.
Un-schedule Low Priority Work
Work that can be avoided or can be outsourced should be unscheduled to create free time. That free time should be utilized to complete piled up work from previous to-do lists. It also helps us to know where we are losing our precious hours and invest them in activities that would yield long time positive results.
Set Achievable Goals
If you are overawed with the monstrosity of the task; break it into smaller achievable ones that could be completed within smaller time frames. Select 45 min, 30 min or 15 min time slots to complete a particular task. Take small breaks in between but take care not to extend the short breaks into longer ones. Procrastinators are often heroic about their abilities and procrastinate, thinking that they will be able to do their work in a shorter time than the task would actually take. This very mentality can be used to trick ourselves into doing the work. We can tell ourselves that we shall be doing the work only for 15 minutes after which we shall do the easier task. Once we start doing the work -a chunk of the work will be completed before we know it.
Visualize long term results
Think about the long term gains, if the work at hand is completed and the losses if it is not done. Our future is based on what we do today. Thinking of positive results will give energy and vigor for completing the work at hand. Procrastination results in work being piled up creating stress and dissatisfaction that can easily be avoided by completing the work as soon as it comes.
Stay away from television and social media while doing a work. Create an appropriate environment in which you will be able to focus on the task without distractions. However, do not spend most of the time creating a suitable environment instead of getting the job done. That would, result in procrastinating the job at hand.
Set a Time Limit
Hold yourself accountable for failing to stick to the time limit that you have set for completing a work. To be your own boss, you must be an obedient servant. Reward yourself for each little milestone that you reach, and tell yourself how good and relaxing it feels to have completed the work. Promise yourself a treat once a particular work is done within the stipulated time. Soon, the mind will stop procrastinating and develop a habit of completing every work on time. That would pave the way towards a fruitful and rewarding life.
Today and Tomorrowby J. E . Carpenter
Don’t tell me of tomorrow;
Give me the man who’ll say,
That when a good deed’s to be done
“Let’s do it today.”
We may command the present,
If we act and never wait,
But repentance is the phantom
Of a past that comes too late!
Don’t tell me of tomorrow
There is much to do today,
That can never be accomplished,
If we throw the hours away,
Every moment has its duty,
Who the future can foretell?
Then why put off till tomorrow
What today can do as well?