The word “procrastination” is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare, which means “to put off until tomorrow.” Those words ring a bell? The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. Don’t procrastinate anymore, read on:
1) Understand time:
You cannot manage time, but you can manage how you deal with it and with the related emotions that affect you. First, develop a good understanding of time in the increments that count – “one hour, one day, one week, one month, one quarter, one year.” Learn to live in the now, and don’t dwell on what may happen later.
Start with not procrastinating for 15 minutes. Then use several 15-minute segments to do something you normally delay. Once you master 15-minute segments, move to one-hour segments. Then continue to longer stretches of time.
2) Stop thinking and start doing:
Set small goals. Many procrastinators intimidate themselves by setting unrealistic goals which are a perfect set-up for procrastination. Because their goals are enormous, they do not take any steps to achieve them, so they never start anything important. Don’t make this common mistake. Instead, focus on small objectives. Once you know what they are, get to work. The right time is now.
Procrastinators are not organised, but you can organise yourself and your life to get over the procrastination hump. Create lists. Update them nightly. Work hard to develop habits that enable you to be productive.
Keeping a written record will help you manage your new routines. Make note of things that you have to do and when you do them, tick them off. The feeling of satisfaction and organisation will keep you going.
4) Eliminate distractions:
Time is your most precious resource. Spending it on distractions that do not advance your goals is like throwing away money. Distractions don’t have to be big things; they can be minor flashes that steal your focus. For example, checking social media one more time, or building up scenarios in your head and so on. Don’t waste your time; you have little of it to spare.
To keep you updated on how you spend your time on your phone, download this free app called Offtime (Android and iOS). It also helps you create multiple profiles that will block calls, texts (selectively or all), notifications and apps.
5) Reward yourself:
Rewards motivate you to work hard and to avoid procrastination. Use that anticipation to push yourself through the pain. When you reward yourself, you will feel good about yourself which will keep you on track.
Your rewards could be as simple as, watching a movie, eating your favourite pastry or buying those pants you have been saving up for.
6) Learn the skill of self-evaluation:
It would be difficult to work with yourself if you cannot assess who you are and why you do what you do (or don’t do). Self-evaluation involves learning about yourself, the situations you come across daily and your reactions towards them.
You can do that by simply observing yourself and by asking yourself questions. You can start right now. Why are you reading this article? Would you actually follow these steps? Need just a little more help? Get this free app to keep yourself in check, called Get Sh*t Done.
Seeing yourself as a procrastinator is a good excuse to procrastinate.Instead, call yourself a recovering procrastinator. And if that sounds like phrasing from a 12-step program, so be it.
Reference: The Procrastination Cure by Jefferey Combs.