5 Tips to Manage your Procrastination
Updated: Oct 18
We’ve all done it at some time or other. We put off our exercise routine until tomorrow, we continually delay finishing that project or starting that business.
Procrastination is a common issue for people at work, home, and school. Procrastination takes many forms. At times, you may not even realize you procrastinate. You might be doing something that is still productive but takes you away from your goals and make justifications to yourself. We all do it! "At least I took out the garbage and did the laundry". Even though that project didn't get done once again. You may also be procrastinating if you spend a lot of time on email or social media, fill your time with insignificant tasks, or wait for the right mood or conditions to begin a task. It is also important to recognise why you procrastinate so you can change your mindset. Common reasons for procrastination include fear of success, not enjoying the task/finding it boring, issues with organization, feeling overwhelmed by the size of the task, perfectionism or poor decision making. It can be most helpful to address these issues individually.
Here are 5 effective processes you can use to slay this giant.
Do it now
Hold your breath and jump right in! Putting things off until the last minute is a bad habit and like all habits is ingrained in our subconscious mind and hard to break. It feels like the normal thing to do and we simply continue along our path. To complete a task immediately may even feel strange or like a forced action.
2. Take baby steps
Sometimes we procrastinate because the task may be intimidating to us. Perhaps we have no possible inkling on where to start. In these cases, it is quite fine to take it one step at a time. Say you are preparing a business plan and for the 5th time this week, you’ve turned on the PC and looked at the blank screen. Or you’ve just remembered you need to do some more research before you begin…you’re still not ready. It can help to break down the project into smaller pieces and tackle each bit separately. Make each task an individual project and after completion of each one, celebrate and acknowledge your achievement.
3. Accountability buddy
Having someone hold you accountable can be a great way to manage procrastination. You can ask a friend or coworker about your goals for the day and have them check in on you to see how you are doing. Some people find that studying in groups or just at the library around others helps them stay on task because others are nearby. They can help keep you focused and on track and cheer you on when you are doing well.
4. Support team
Do you put off tasks because you feel that they are too big and complex for you to handle alone? Or because you need assistance? Be honest with yourself. Ask for help! There are many resources out there that can provide you with all you need to carry out your job. If you’re a solo-professional and you put off answering emails, then don’t answer them yourself. Hire an assistant, find some college students that want experience, or get a family member to help. Procrastinating on life changing activities could be as a result of fear of the unknown. Get a mastermind group together, find a mentor, or a coach, or join a support group. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Just ensure that to kick this habit, you do what feels good to you in whatever method you choose.
5. Reward Yourself
Reward yourself for a job well done! It is a great way to motivate yourself to get difficult tasks accomplished. Rewards can be anything from a movie, a spa, 30 minutes of video games, a specialty coffee, lunch out, or anything you give yourself once you have completed your task. Try to ensure you do not have easy access to the reward at other times.