How to Kill Procrastination!

How to Kill Procrastination!

The Cambridge Dictionary definition: ‘Procrastination, to keep delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring.’

Most of us suffer from procrastination. Recognise this is the case and work on breaking it down and eliminating it as you would any other bad habit you have developed. This takes time and commitment, but it’s worth the effort.

Here are five proven ways to kill off procrastination:

  1. Break it down
    Most people know that if you have a large project to complete it can be overwhelming if you look at the whole of it. Instead, break the task down into smaller pieces and complete them one by one. Always keep the end goal is mind but only work on one part at a time.Another thing that helps a lot is to set deadlines for completing each task and make sure you stick to them. In this way you can make progress step by step and feel a sense of achievement. As each small part is completed tick if off your to do list. You’ll begin to build momentum and before you know it the huge task will be complete.
  2. Avoid “Dreading it”
    If you have to do something that you’re not looking forward to dread can creep in and stop you from doing it. Our imagination is so powerful we often blow things out of proportion. In reality most tasks are rarely as bad as we imagine they will be.The best thing to do in this situation is plan a time when you are at the peak of your energy. This is often first thing in the morning. Do the dreaded task first thing the next morning before you do anything else. Once you’ve completed the project give yourself a reward and relish ticking it off the list.
  3. Avoid the curse of perfectionism
    We all take pride and satisfaction from doing the best job we can on everything we work on. That and that’s a good thing. However, this can lead to perfectionism which isn’t such a good thing.Realise that you’re rarely going to do something that is 100% perfect. Few things in life are perfect. In fact, your 80 or 90% standard might be more than good enough on certain jobs. You’ll often find people who don’t have such high standards. If you’re always aiming for 100% nothing will ever satisfy you and your tasks will never be completed.
  4. Minimise distraction
    One of the major causes of procrastination is distraction. Interruptions are also a problem and stop you completing your tasks.The best way to deal with this is create blocks of time when you do nothing but work on the task. Tell colleagues and customers that you’re unavailable during these times because you’re working on a project. Shut down your email and social media and let the phone calls be answered by someone else or your answering service. It’s important that you have quiet time to think and focus on your work. Your productivity will rise and you’ll get a lot done in a short space of time.
  5. Make a decision!
    Often procrastination is caused by not being able to decide something. If you can’t decide which way to go one the best things to do is to discuss the issue with a friend or colleague. Someone looking at a problem from a different perspective can often see something you can’t because you are too close to it. Another thing that helps is to write down all the criteria and consequences of making a particular decision. Once you’ve done that set a deadline for making the decision for the next day then sleep on it. Overnight your subconscious will work on the problem once you’ve fed it all the facts. You’ll often find that the following day you’ll wake up and the decision will be much easier to make.

Remember, these bad habits are natural. According to Psychology Today‘Humans are wired to consider the needs of the present much more strongly than the needs of the future, a phenomenon called temporal discounting. And this makes perfect sense: The present is in our face, so naturally, we pay it more attention.’

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