Everyone should learn how to manage procrastination, since this is a bad habit that can really affect your productivity and which can cause you quite a lot of problems in the long term. Like every habit, it can be pretty hard to break; yet, with a bit of hard work and with a lot of patience, you will learn how to be more disciplined and how to take care of your responsibilities when you’re supposed to do it. In some cases, people fall in the procrastination trap because they see it as a way to cope with the emotions and the physical symptoms of depression, since it can bring some temporary relief, but it causes stress and anxiety afterwards, when people realize that they don’t have enough time to take care of their tasks. Here are a few very useful techniques to manage procrastination that will help you get rid of this bad habit:
1. Set Priorities
One of the most important things you can do if you want to learn how to manage procrastination is to set some priorities, so you will know on what you’ll need to focus your energy. Discover why you procrastinate and try to eliminate the causes of your unproductive behavior. Focus on your tasks, believe in yourself and you’ll be able to reach all your goals and you’ll fulfill all your dreams.
2. Break the Task down into Little Pieces
When you have an important thing to take care of, you could try breaking it down into smaller pieces and just take one thing at a time. After each small victory, reward yourself, because this will motivate you to keep going and you’ll avoid procrastination. Just remember: “Many small things make one big thing.”
3. Make a Plan
Make a plan and stick to it! Don’t let anything distract you while you are working! You could use a time schedule or also a calendar with room to write notes in. Make a list of what needs to be done, think about how you will be able to do it and then just start working on it. Even if it may seem a bit hard at first, once you realize that by sticking to your schedule, you can do your job more efficiently, you’ll be less eager to postpone different things and you’ll take care of your tasks when you’re supposed to do it. Always plan your day in advance, because not knowing what to do is a major cause for procrastination.
4. Avoid Distractions
When you have a certain task to take care of, in order for you to be as productive as possible, you’ll need to avoid all distractions. So, unplug your Internet cable, turn down the TV, turn off your phone and focus only on your task. Once you get your work done, you may watch one of your favorite TV shows or check your Facebook account as a reward but make sure you do this only after you’ve finished all your work.
5. Examine the Consequences
Just take a moment and think of all the consequences of your actions. If you don't do your job when you’re supposed to do it, how will this influence you later? Will you be stressed or anxious? Will you have enough time to take care of all your tasks? Will you be able to do your job properly? In my opinion, this is one of the best ways to motivate yourself: by examining the negative consequences if you do not act.
6. Get up Early
You may say that this has nothing to do with avoiding procrastination, but in fact, getting an early start can put you ahead of the game. You do know what they say: “The early bird does get the worm.” So there must be some truth in this. Just follow your plan, learn some time management skills and be passionate about every little thing that you do. You will be more motivated to get things done in time, thus you’ll avoid procrastination.
7. Put Your Goals Where You Can See Them
Try to write down your goals on some sticky notes or on little pieces of paper and put them somewhere you’ll be able to see them for at least an hour every day. You could try sticking them next to your bed, on your mirror or in front of your desk, and this way you will constantly be reminded of the things you need to do in order to fulfill your dreams. You will stay motivated and you will get rid of this bad habit that affects your productivity.
There are a lot of things you can do to avoid procrastination. I just mentioned a few in this little article but I’m sure there are many more I haven’t talked about. Can you give me a hand and tell me if you know any other useful techniques to manage procrastination? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!