You have an impending deadline. However, instead of working on that project, you are fiddling with unproductive things like watching videos, browsing Facebook and surfing forms and blogs. You know that you should be working, but you just don’t feel doing it.
We know what’s going to happen next: after running out of time, panic starts to set in and you wished you started earlier. While you may have survived through this every time, it’s a bad and irresponsible habit that prevents you from achieving greater results.
Don’t let procrastination run your life. Here are some ways to overcome this unhealthy trait.
- Do the Most Difficult First
Perhaps, this is the last tip you want to hear, but there’s a reason to start with the hardest stuff: people have limited supply of resources and willpower. Attacking the toughest task first while you’re energy level is still at its highest, you give yourself the biggest chance to succeed. Doing it the other way may cause damaging domino effect. Delaying the most dreaded job saps your remaining strength later on.
- Break Bigger Tasks Into Smaller Pieces
The bigger your task, the more quickly you become overwhelmed, making it more tempting to delay the work instead. So, if your goal looks daunting, break it into manageable steps. Remember that you do not need to know every single step to the finish line, just the few next steps ahead. You will figure out the next things to do as you move along.
- Compete With Time
Having trouble starting a task? Try the 10-minute trick. Set your timer for 10 minutes, and see how much you can do with that. Work in a focused, even in a frantic, manner for the entire 10 minutes. You’ll get engrossed and forget about the time, leaving you working for longer time. After seeing significant change in such short span of time, the sense of satisfaction replaces the feeling of dread you felt earlier and encourage you continue working towards your goal.
- Let Others Know
It’s easy to fail a task when the only thing at stake is your commitment to yourself. Make yourself accountable to a co-worker or a friend, and suddenly potential embarrassment becomes an effective motivator. Experts call this ‘positive pressure.’ The fear of letting a person down is a powerful motivator to work hard. So, call a tough friend, an officemate or a sibling and tell them what you plan to get done if you feel like your falling under the spell of procrastination again. Ask them to check on you and crack the whip at an agreed time.
Now you know what to do, stop delaying and get to work. Ignore the urge to procrastinate and just get the job done.