Wondering how to overcome your procrastination and stop having to half ass the tasks your finally muster up some motivation to do? I get that.
We’ve all been there, I definitely know I have, there’s always that one thing you’d like to do at some point in your life and you’re like “oh I’ll do it tomorrow” and by tomorrow you reiterate that very same excuse.
Procrastination is a concept everyone understands, typically some of us are far better at dealing with it than others.
Whether its giving your dog that walk to the park or searching for a travel agent, today we’ll be look at what procrastination is and how you can keep this silent productivity killer at bay.
1- Acknowledge you really do procrastinate.
Procrastination refers to the act of deliberately putting off impending important tasks in preference to the more pleasurable or less relevant ones.Taiwo Hakeem.
Nobody likes to think they’re a bad person, or that they’re unfriendly, the same goes for procrastinating.
Try to take a moment to really think about something you’ve been wanting to do but keep putting off for no good reason.
If you do have a feasible reason for not actually checking this activity off your list that’s great but if not, its better to come to terms and acknowledge that you really have been procrastinating.
When you do this, its just so much easier to getting into the appropriate headspace for dealing with it.
Side note: Stop exaggerating things.
When it comes to procrastinating, we tend to create this scenario in our head whereby that one activity is the end-all be-all amongst the list of all the things we have to get done and so we may start to “Take time to mentally prepare” for doing this task.
Refrain from doing this as much as possible as it will only add that much more pressure to the process.
Pro tip: Break it down into a list.
When you make a list of all the required tasks to do in order to achieve a desired outcome and prioritize those tasks accordingly to their level of importance, it’ll be a little bit easier to get started with getting things done.
You should also note that for anything you’d like to achieve, it’s far better to view it from a perspective of a set of tasks rather than this one overwhelmingly gigantic task.
2- Get started.
Just reading this part might send chills down the spines of some readers but regardless, this is one of the best tips for getting over procrastination.
Now if we’re being honest, some of you would actually rather much literally crawl about your homes than getting started ( I feel ya), but that’s precisely why you should get started.
Side note: Don’t let it linger.
Taking action is also good because no matter how little action you take, as long as you keep taking them, it’s far better than doing nothing and just vaguely wallowing all over the place.
Feelings of emotional exhaustion or depression arising from procrastinating is an indicator you’ve been putting stuff off for too long and its about time you got your head back in the game.
Make it a point to get at least 3 tangible and productivity things done per day, big or small, you may even opt for setting time limits for sub tasks if you enjoy a challenge.
Pro tip: Look to determination.
If procrastination is the antagonist of this topic then I would say determination is the protagonist.
This is because for some of us (I’m no doctor so I can’t speak for everyone), once you really get started on doing that task or activity, you’ll be really focused and once you’re established in that headspace, you will literally be procrastinating your procrastination.
You already know what it feels like to procrastinate so when you find yourself in a more productive mindset, chances are you’ll want to stay there and get even more things done.
Also, be sure to block out all distractions when you’re working, as much as I love Ariana Grande and Blackpink, I don’t think twice leaving the TV in an inactive state for better concentration.
It might also help to write out what you want you want to achieve and the steps needed to get there (it’s okay if you can’t think of all the steps right of the bat) and then write in a brief, comprehensive sentence why you wish to achieve this goal and how beneficial it will be for you.
Often times, procrastination can come as a result of attempting to do something we consider difficult or boring, so writing out the relevance of your goal can help you gain clarity as to if you really want to achieve that goal or if you’re wasting time on the wrong thing.
3- Set up a plan.
Having a plan from the very beginning of doing tasks can be quite helpful in that it’ll help you be more realistic and also provide a little more accountability.
You should also keep in mind that you should avoid trying to do everything perfectly, for the most part, this will turn out a time wasting mindset. This also goes without saying but you should neither do things haphazardly.
Side note: Get an accountability partner.
Having someone to check up on your progress and how productive you’re being can also go a long way, this will also help you feel a little more supported which will give you that precious productivity boost.
Pro tip: Hack your productivity.
Building off the point I made earlier about getting and staying in a determination mindset, you can hack your productivity even further by making list in your diary, notepad or journal checking off the tasks you have taken care of, so whenever you find yourself backsliding, you can look at wins and be inspired to add to that list.
4- Breathe and trust in the process.
Procrastination in it’s own can be quite ingrained in a person and for this reason, its quintessential to acknowledge your strengths and your current limits in order for you to transcend them.
Side note: Be familiar with downsides.
Another great idea for keeping your procrastination in check is by being acquainted with the downside of not getting that thing done. If its something you really do want, you will find the motivation.
You may want to note that consistency is key with doing tasks, its not easy but its definitely worth it.
Pro tip: Reward yourself.
This is one of the more important tips I can provide, when you finish any considerably productive task, be sure to take some time out to reward your good work, this could mean watching a movie, getting some tasty chicken wings or lip syncing 7rings in my case.
5- Know your motivators.
Shoutout to Shadé Zahrai for this tip, another important yet overlooked process is knowing why you want what you want, and have a good mix of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards tied to it.
Now when it comes to seeing the pros of achieving a goal, we have intrinsic rewards and extrinsic rewards.
Intrinsic rewards are internally perceived benefits as a result of taking action towards achieving a goal, this can be a feeling of accomplishment, sense of satisfaction etc.
Extrinsic rewards are externally perceived benefits as a result of taking action towards achieving a goal, this could be more money, better social status etc.
Side note: Balance both rewards system.
You also wanna make sure you’re balancing both your intrinsic and extrinsic benefits as a mismatch could cause a situation whereby you’re motivated to take action but still actively procrastinate.
Having enough intrinsic rewards means that you have a lot of internal drive and motivation towards working on and achieving that goal.
In contrast to not having enough extrinsic rewards (reasons) for achieving that goal, you may start to feel unmotivated if you put in a lot of effort into something without getting any tangible external results for your actions, big or little as it may be.
Consequently, having enough extrinsic rewards without any significant amount of intrinsic rewards can result in getting more of that thing you want (money, fame etc.) yet still feeling like you haven’t really achieved anything, this is due to a lack of internal relevance and harmony with those goals you’re so currently focused on reaching.
Pro tip: Join a support group.
Similar to finding an accountability partner, you may also consider join a real life or virtual group who’s members are consciously working towards goals that aligns with yours.
This will allow you to observe others in the process of achieving that similar goal but also inspire to keep taking action.
Trust in the process, strive for consistency as opposed to perfection and watch as your procrastination dwindles down. Keep calm and enjoy your travels.