5 Ways To Help You Fight Procrastination
Why do something today, when you can simply put it off until tomorrow? Let’s admit it, we all have these thoughts, and have procrastinated at some point in our lives. It allows us to delay the tasks that we wish we didn’t have to start, let alone complete. Interestingly, experts believe that the tendency to procrastinate is often not a sign of laziness, but rather a mechanism we employ to escape feelings of anxiety, fear of failure or starting something we think will not live up to own expectations. The following five ways to overcome procrastination will provide useful hints to help you fight the urge to put things off, and get you working towards achieving your goals today.
1. Learn from yourself
Procrastination is often driven by negative thoughts and feelings we create in our mind and can be stemmed from a host of different reasons. Reflecting on your thought process when you begin to fall into the cycle of procrastination can help to identify the triggers behind it. Learning about your habits can give you greater insight into how to overcome these thoughts in future.
2. Alter your perspective
When assignments or work become challenging or just too much to handle, many of us begin to conjure up ways to delay facing the issue rather than tackling it head on. However, changing your perspective and asking yourself a few simple questions, can assist in shifting your mind set from negative to positive and encourage you to continue on your journey. When working toward a big goal such as completing a higher education degree, it is wise to remind yourself of the bigger picture. Ask yourself questions on a daily basis to help you reassess your end goal and re focus your energy to your benefit. Ask ‘what is my core purpose?’ ‘why am I putting in all of this effort?’ ‘how will this task benefit me and my goals in life?”. Your answers will offer that added motivation to help you stay on track.
3. Assess the environment you work in
Different people work better in different environments and we each learn in various ways. Some work better autonomously in a quiet space, while others need background noise or music to concentrate. When it comes to procrastinating, the environment you work in can play a huge role in your mood and consequently impact on your frame of mind. In order to get the most out of your study sessions or working days, create an environment that suits you best. At work you might decide to decorate your office desk with plants, photos or a vision board to keep you on task. When studying, you may find that you work best in a comfy space inside your home, at your local library or outdoors at a park or garden to immerse yourself in nature.
4. Limiting distractions
With the plethora of technology and devices available to us, it is often hard to resist checking our notifications, scrolling through our newsfeeds or replying to texts. As a result, we can easily become distracted and fall into the trap of procrastination. To stay focused, rid your working environment of these distractions or schedule time within your breaks.
5. Plan for potential obstacles
Planning for contingencies is vital to success and avoiding feelings of failure when deadlines are delayed. It is beneficial to list out any foreseeable obstacles that could trigger procrastination. Listing out potential obstacles such as overtime at work or family commitments can help you to mentally prepare for changes in your plan well in advance and effectively counteract procrastination.
What do you think?
What are your views on fighting procrastination? Do you think it is a habit that can be overcome by following simple steps, or do you have another suggestion to help? I’d love to hear how you’ve overcome the pitfalls of procrastination, and any other advice you can give to readers.
This article was written by Tina Beatrice on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.