Procrastination is a huge hurdle for most people and can be incredibly crippling. It prevents you from achieving meaningful tasks and can also cause you to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Luckily, you don’t have to succumb to the pitfalls of procrastination. With a little effort and a clear action plan, you can overcome procrastination and get things done.
What is procrastination?
According to the self-titled site Procrastination, procrastination is the trouble of persuading oneself to do the things you should or would like to do.
It is the combination of beliefs and behaviors that prevent people from completing a task or a set of responsibilities because they are perceived as less desirable.
How to Overcome Procrastination
Eat the frog!
The phrase “eat the frog” is an allegory coined by Mark Twain. It is a productivity technique to get the most challenging task out of the way before it compounds.
If you eat the frog when you first wake up, the unpleasantry of eating the frog is over. You are now stress-free from the task and do not have to think about it again until the following day.
However, if you do not eat the frog on the first day, you now have a second frog to eat the following day. By not eating the first frog on the first day, you now have two frogs to eat on the second day, and the burden has doubled.
There are many iterations of “Eat the Frog,” but the phrase simply means to get over the obstacle quickly before the burden overwhelms you.
If you feel you are procrastinating, remind yourself to “eat the frog.”
Eliminate distractions in your workspace.
What does your workspace look like? Is it organized and picture ready, or do you need a moment to organize your workspace?
Having a clear and organized workspace makes your thought processes and thinking more coherent.
Disorganized and cluttered workspaces interrupt your workflow as you constantly shuffle items, notes, and books around in search of the things you need. Once you feel compelled to reorganize your work area, you have lost valuable work time and momentum by participating in trivial activities.
Having everything readily available will eliminate disruptive behavior and time wasted to regain lost momentum and motivation. Be sure to clean your workspace.
To use this method, say to yourself: “3-2-1 Begin.” Take immediate action by moving your body and doing the task without hesitation.
The most significant hurdle for procrastinators is not having the will to get started or spiraling into a line of questions, weighing the pros and cons of every situation and task. Once you get the ball rolling, you don’t want to be distracted or bothered by anyone or anything. The problem with asking questions and weighing the pros and cons is there isn’t a definitive answer.
The “3-2-1 begin!” method is excellent for breaking procrastinating habits. It’s an effective productivity technique that will cause you to take action without hesitancy.
Reduce the number of daily decisions you need to make
Too many decisions can be a significant source of stress and anxiety. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all our choices each day, and it can be hard to make the best decisions. That’s why it’s important to reduce the number of daily decisions that you have to make.
First, try to make a schedule the day or week before to reduce decision-making fatigue. It also removes the anxiousness and uncertainties of the day and assists you manage your time better.
Second, create non-negotiable habits. This means that you have to be sure that you’re going to follow through with your decision, no matter what.
A few suggestions are:
- Regularly cleaning your workspace to have a clutter-free office space at the end of the workday.
- Determine the days you will go to the gym or do outdoor activities.
- If you are in your workspace, have your phone or other mobile devices in a different room so you’re not easily distracted.
By having set schedules and strict habits, you will reduce the decision fatigue you need to make daily. You will stop procrastinating and stay focused.
Using one or all of these tips to overcome procrastination will help you in completing the tasks ahead of you.
For accountability and experienced guidance to improve work ethic and behaviors, contact Sherry Winn.