Let’s not kid ourselves, we’ve all done it. You know what I’m talking about. That force that takes over, when there’s an important deadline coming up, a task that needs to be completed almost immediately, or even when you need to tidy up at home. Should we dare speak its name? Yes, it’s your old friend, procrastination. You know you should be working or doing something important, but you just can’t, it’s stronger than you. You just decide to put it off and fill your time with mindless tasks like checking your emails or browsing through social media.
Some people postpone their responsibilities on purpose because they admit that they work better under pressure. This might be true to some point, but for certain jobs, this can’t be common practice. You need time to prepare, schedule, carry out, execute, and check these tasks, among other activities. Being a chronic procrastinator can become very stressful and it could eventually lead to termination.
Furthermore, when we procrastinate outside of the workplace and take it to our daily lives, postponing our goals is not only bad for our career, but also for our personal life. Leaving for tomorrow what can be done today can eat away our dreams and aspirations, eventually making us feel like we’re stuck and going nowhere.
Avoiding procrastination can be very hard, but not impossible. We’ve done our research to come up with the best ways to overcome it:
1. Organize your calendar and be realistic: Scheduling your projects will help you get a better grasp of your upcoming deadlines and other activities. It will help you be more organized and not leave everything until the last minute. Don’t set yourself up for failure; if you know you go to bed early, schedule your activities for the morning, when you are more productive.
2. Break it down: Being in charge of a huge project might sometimes feel overbearing; therefore, it often leads to procrastination. Breaking down that big project into smaller tasks might just do the trick, but don’t be tempted to drag the tasks out, be strict with each task’s deadline.
3. Focus on the results: If you’re too focused on what you need to do and how annoying the task is, think about the results. Imagine the goal has been achieved and that you managed to finish the tasks that led to it successfully. For example, if the task at hand is cleaning your kitchen, imagine walking into a perfect, squeaky clean kitchen, with no dirty dishes and being able to invite your friends over without being embarrassed. Then you’ll have the drive you need to get there.
4. Optimize your work space: It has been proven that an organized workplace can help you be more efficient while carrying out your daily tasks. Tailor your space to your own taste so you can be more productive and competent during the work day.
5. Reward yourself: Think of something you would like to reward yourself with after you finish a tedious task. However, keep it simple and realistic. Maybe take a 10-minute break, eat a chocolate or check social media for a while, but don’t go on a 12-hour Netflix binge.
Remember that keeping a positive attitude about life and your career is also a very important step into the journey to learning how to avoid procrastination.
If you find yourself procrastinating all the time, then it’s probably time for a change. Don’t be afraid to do it; what’s there to lose?
Vanessa Fardi / NEUVOO
Online Content Editor