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7 Ways to Stop Procrastinating

Do you find yourself having tasks that you need to accomplish yet you find yourself putting them off? Maybe you tell yourself you perform better under pressure, that you’ll do the work when you have more “free” time, or that you are just not in the “right” mood to do them now. What if you never have more “free” time or if that “right” mood never comes? Whichever excuse you may find yourself giving, it doesn’t change the fact that you are procrastinating what needs to get done.

Procrastination affects everyone to a certain degree, but the difference is that not everyone takes the effort to overcome procrastination and manage their self-control. But you have what it takes to resist the urge to procrastinate. Yes, you. By reading this, you already acknowledge that procrastination only hurts yourself, and it is a challenge that you need to surpass. It is important to know what causes procrastination so we can overcome it.

7 Tips on Overcoming Procrastination

1)      Make a To-Do List – Write down everything you have to do. The Eisenhower Decision Matrix can help you prioritize your tasks in terms of its importance and urgency. Write down any consequences that can incur if the tasks do not get accomplished. Be as specific as possible.

2)      Set reasonable deadlines – Allow reasonable time to complete the tasks and set a short amount of time aside for breaks and possible interruptions. Do not give yourself too much time or else you’ll find yourself procrastinating and do not give yourself too little time, as you may feel pressure and give up. A helpful way to follow the deadlines that you set for yourself is to mark the deadlines down on a calendar or a planner. You can also set up an alarm on your cell phone to remind yourself.

3)      Divide up the task – If the task will take a long time, divide it into smaller tasks and spread it out over several days. Treat this as multiple tasks and write down the deadlines for completing each of the small tasks. This way you wouldn’t feel overwhelmed thinking that you have to do it all at once.

4)      Change your expectations – Often times, we procrastinate because we are waiting for the “perfect moment.” We want to have everything ready and in a certain way before we even begin. Although perfection may be desirable, don’t delay what needs to get done by waiting for the perfect moment that may never come. Doing nothing and waiting for the right moment will cause you to waste good opportunities. Instead, get started with what you have and work out difficulties when they do arise.

5)      Reward yourself – Each time you complete a task, give yourself a reward, such as a five-minute Facebook break or a healthy treat.

6)      Check off what is accomplished – Refer back to your To-Do List and check off the tasks you have completed. Seeing what you have accomplished will not only make you feel great about yourself, but will also keep you motivated to continue with the rest of the tasks on your To-Do list.

7)      Make this a habit - The bright side is that procrastination is a learned behavior and therefore it can be unlearned. With enough effort and practice, you can overcome procrastination.

Now that you know 7 easy ways to help you stop procrastination, avoid making excuses, and start your tasks now. Don’t wait until the perfect time to do something because you might end up never even doing it. It’s time to overcome your procrastination habits!

The Causes and Cures of Procrastination

You tell yourself that you’ll wake up in another 10  minutes, that you just need 5 minutes to check Facebook, or that you just want to watch one last episode of this drama. Soon enough, you find yourself spending the next few hours procrastinating. With the expansion of the Internet and social media, procrastinating is getting easier and taking more self-control to resist its temptation. Realizing that you need to end your procrastination habit before it gets any worse is a good first step.

Before we break our bad habit of procrastinating, we need to find out the root causes of procrastination. So what is procrastination and how can we overcome it?

5 Causes and Cures of Procrastination

1)      Fear of Failure – Some people procrastinate because they fear that no matter how much effort they put into something, they still might not do well. An example of this type of thinking is, “No matter how much I study, I know I’m still not going to get a good grade in this class.” This kind of negative thinking will cause you not to try at all, thus leading to procrastination. Instead, practicing positive thinking will motivate you into trying and starting your tasks now.

2)     Laziness – This is the feeling that you don’t have to do the tasks now. You convince yourself that you’ll work on it later when you’re in a better mood.  A way to cure laziness and give yourself motivation to start your task is to reward yourself if you start now. When you give yourself a reward for completing something now instead of later, you will feel less lazy and more driven to accomplish the task sooner.a

3)     Lack of focus – Distractions are everywhere and you must learn to ignore them. Every small break you take to check your Facebook or email distracts you from the task at hand and causes you to lose your focus. One helpful tip is to seclude yourself in a room where you are unable to do anything else but the task that needs to get done. Disconnect your Internet and shut off your cell phone if you have to. Instead of checking your email every 10 minutes, set certain times throughout the day to check your email and phone calls.

4)     Disorganization –When you are disorganized, you are more likely to procrastinate. A cure for this is to keep an organized list of tasks that you need to complete. Prioritize the tasks and a set deadline for each based on how important and urgent the task is.

5)     Expecting Perfection – Many people procrastinate because they pursue perfectionism. They fear doing a task poorly, thus they wait until they are more organized with their time and resources. Having this perfectionistic attitude only hinders you from starting your task early. Instead, you should realize that nothing can be absolutely perfect and by waiting, you are only wasting your own time.

It is important to understand the causes of procrastination so that you can work on stopping procrastination. Procrastination is a learned behavior and therefore, with the right amount of effort and persistence, we can all take the necessary steps to overcoming procrastination.