How do you beat procrastination?
When it comes to procrastinating, I used to be up there with the best of them. If ever there was a task that I wasn’t confident with or a bit scared of, I would struggle to even start – often always completing it in a mad rush at the last minute. My procrastination skills were at their peak during my university days but I reined it in somewhat when I started working full time. I still slip up now and again, more often than I’d like, and I very often beat myself up when my day doesn’t go to plan.
My aim for each day is to be productive and being productive and procrastinating do not go hand in hand! In this post, I share with you the ways I combat procrastination when it rears its ugly head.
Address the problem
I remember feeling overwhelmed at university, particularly with heavily weighted hand-in assessments or essays, and feeling like the task was too enormous and difficult that I couldn’t see a clear way as to where to even begin. Similarly during my grad year at work, I used to get overwhelmed when I was asked to write chunky legal advices and I wouldn’t know where to start researching in the first place. If I was scared of doing the work, I would almost always put it off.
For me, I quickly learned that I needed to take a step back and see the bigger picture, rather than get overly stressed for not knowing the answer straight away. In breaking down a large task into smaller chunks, the feelings of being overwhelmed would almost always disappear.
Addressing the reasons why you procrastinate in the first place may help to overcome any fears you have in getting started.
Make a (realistic) checklist
I get a lot of satisfaction when I cross things off a list. So I always start my day with a handwritten list of things I want to get done and I break down each of those tasks so they are easily achievable.
The list also serves as a visual aid for me to track my progress throughout the day. I love looking back at my lists in the late afternoon and seeing all the little ticks next to the tasks I have completed.
The trusty checklist is my friend in the office as well as at home and serves me when I’m going about my domestic/parental duties.
One way to tackle procrastination is to grab the bull by its horns and deal with the ugliest task first. Personally, I find that the pressure’s off and I’m not wasting my energy worried or anxious about finishing off that particular task if I’ve already done it.
I would love to hear any of your tips as to how you ward off procrastination. Let me know in the comments below. As always, thanks for stopping by!
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