Very few of us could say we had not succumbed to procrastination at one point in our lives, at least with a straight face. The seemingly endless rut can be a damning state for many and from the minor to the extreme, can be the catalyst for a number of different issues.
Feeling as if accomplishment is a far off land can, not only be incredibly frustrating to ourselves, but can also impact those around us.
Have you ever been held back at work by a teammate who couldn’t get their part of the group assignment done? Or been enlisted to organise a party for a friend, only to be let down by one of the co-organisers? Procrastination, in its many forms, can be annoying at the least and dangerous at its most severe.
Whilst the urge to do everything, other than what you are meant to be doing can be strong, ending overwhelming situations caused by procrastination can open you up to a whole new world.
So how do we stop the cycle? There are many ways to combat procrastination, here are some of our favourite, tried and tested solutions.
Identify your tasks
It may sound simple but the urge to procrastinate, when our goals or tasks are not clear, can be exacerbated. The first step to combatting this is to make a list of all the tasks and goals you need to accomplish. Whether you keep a daily, weekly or monthly list is up to you.
Don’t stress about prioritising or perfecting the list either. The goal in this instance is to remove these competing thoughts from inside your head so you can begin to tick them off.
Start from the bottom
By completing your least favourite task first you are setting yourself up for success. Whilst many will want to warm up by doing easy, comfortable tasks first, ticking off your most dreaded task will make the rest of your day much easier.
Break it down
Once you have identified the task, break it down into smaller more manageable steps. This will stop you becoming overwhelmed and beginning the procrastination cycle again.
Knowing there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or a reward for a hard day’s work is always incentive enough to keep going. Make (and keep) promises with yourself. If you have a list of things to do but a friend calls and invites you to dinner, bargain with yourself – unless you complete your allocated tasks, off-task activities are banned.
Ask for help
As with everything in life. There should never be a time where you are afraid or ashamed to ask for help. By putting your hand up and asking for assistance you can get through your tasks more efficiently and perhaps get to spend time with your friends whilst doing it.