7 strategies on how to overcome procrastination
In the topics below we will talk about best strategies to boost your day, helping you answer this million dollar question: how to overcome procrastination?
But first things first: let’s find out if you are a professional procrastinator, through small and simple questions. Remember, you need to be honest with yourself when answering. So come on.
Have you ever woken up on one of those days when the to-do list seemed to be getting longer and longer and the time passed more slowly (or faster)?
Have you spent the whole day updating status on social networks, having daydreams or even just waiting for time to pass instead of worrying about activities that have higher priority?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are in the right place. Procrastination can help to make thoughts like “there’s still a long time to do this” or “I don’t need to do it now, it may be later” become frequent, especially when we take into account the well-known human way of get things done.
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7 tips to overcome procrastination
1. Change your mindset
The very first tip to help you overcome procrastination is to modify your mindset, which is the way your mind is configured to think, that is, how you see and interpret the world around you. As a result, your thinking reflects your habits.
It’s quite common see people extremely excited when starting a task but, days later, they no longer remember that they had started. This is because we are often in a moment of initial excitement and euphoria, and without the discipline or awareness that it’s necessary to bring activities to a successful port, that moment is lost and our mind begins to pay attention to other things; especially the meaningless things.
Thus, to ensure that you are valuing and prioritizing the right functions in your day, it is necessary to change your mental configuration. And, as it’s not an easy task, it will take a lot of willpower and determination.
2. Start with the little things
One step at a time. To eliminate the habit of procrastinating, it is not necessary to start embracing the world overnight.
According to William H. McRaven, a former member of the elite US Navy (SEAL) and author of the bestseller “Make Your Bed – Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe The World”, the first step to change the world is making a bed every day right after you wake up. This statement is related to the way your brain interprets your actions. Doing small tasks throughout the day gives you, little by little, a sense of pride in your completion, encouraging you to perform new tasks.
In addition, the feeling that it’s possible to do small daily tasks guarantees the security of the possibility of carrying out larger and more laborious tasks. After all, if it’s not possible to do the basics, the advanced becomes something apparently unattainable, which is why the second tip for ending procrastination is to start with the little things.
3. Choose a nice environment
Suddenly the dust in the corner of the table became the focus of attention? Or was the landscape in the window more interesting? Poor choice of work environment or performing some daily tasks is also a problem.
Staying in places that facilitate distraction and loss of focus is a common mistake made by most people, being among the common causes of procrastination. However, it is important to make sure that there are no forms of devolution around you, as this will ensure that your attention is fixed on your responsibilities for a longer time, leading to productivity gains.
So, check your environment. What materials shouldn’t be there or could they be allocated elsewhere? Reflections like this will help you to think better about the subject and help maintain the place in an ideal way, thus bringing more focus and a sense of well being.
4. Make a plan
Now that we have established some basic premises for overcoming procrastination, it is necessary to define what fact activities will be accomplished. To do this, it is necessary to create a list of all existing pending activities.
Afterwards, the priority criteria for its execution will be defined, which should guide the organization of the list: it is necessary to list which activities will be carried out on the day and which will be carried out at another time.
Some possible criteria are: level of difficulty in performing the task (it is recommended to mix different levels, avoiding leaving the more complex ones for later), delivery date, expected impact, among others.
Thus, one must also seek to understand how these activities will be developed and how long their executions will take. And, for that, any technique is valid: use calendars (physical or online), write in notebooks or even use Excel or any productivity app.
5. Set goals and a deadline
The fifth tip for you not to procrastinate once and for all is to set goals and deadlines, so that you can be able to identify whether the result generated by a certain activity obtained the expected result or not.
Setting a deadline allows you to organize over time to reconcile the necessary work with other activities, avoiding stress and overload. In addition, when we do not set a deadline for the completion of a task, we consider that it can be done at any time, facilitating its non-performance or the performance of other activities to its detriment.
Keeping in mind the desired results and a viable and well-defined deadline will make your brain feel a greater obligation to fulfill its accomplishment, thus avoiding the dreaded procrastination.
6. How to overcome procrastination by establishing rewards
Have you ever wondered if at the end of every rainbow there was a pot of gold? Locating it would definitely be worth it.
You can use this analogy to carry out activities, for example: at the end of each task, allow yourself to use social networks for a certain period of time, or take a walk to your favorite place at the end of the day. Here, the only rule is to ensure that the final rewards are something that makes all the work worthwhile.
This technique is linked to motivation. When we feel that we will gain something valuable in return, we tend to have greater vitality and willingness to be involved with the execution, thus avoiding procrastination.
7. Do now what could be done tomorrow
Nothing left for later. Leave laziness aside and start today those plans that have been formulated for months. It doesn’t matter if they are personal or professional plans, they will only be realized as soon as they leave the paper and as soon as we learn how to overcome procrastination for real. Start today. Start now!
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