Why do we like to postpone our tasks until later? In such cases, the result, which is sometimes vital to obtain, may never appear on the horizon. Let’s try to understand the reason why the “do-it-later” attitude can sometimes be more dangerous than the widespread “let-it-be” attitude.
Let us be frank: each of us knows perfectly well what procrastination is. Most are even able to courageously admit that we sometimes deliberately (or not?) delay making important decisions that can affect our lives. This may be a visit to the dentist, a big or small task that is pending, or the trivial cleaning of the house. Today, we will try to find out in which situations you should be alert and what can help in the guerrilla struggle against the unfavorable human quality.
1. Decide whether you really want to do it
Perhaps the reason for your procrastination is the absence of a good reason to take action. The work that you hate, or something else you have not liked since childhood and have always wanted to get rid of – this is quite another category, in which there are dreams and real goals.
In such situations, you must firstly assess the task ahead critically: why should you waste time on something that you really do not like, if there are many other tasks that are pleasant to take up?
2. Have a little “reconnaissance in force”
Find out which tasks are idle, take one of them and make a small part of it to understand the level of its complexity. Using the experience obtained in the process, decide whether you require assistance.
We often overload ourselves with the thoughts about how many things we need to put into practice, and then we cannot start, imagining the endless list of problems: there are a lot of them, and the worker, i.e. you, has to deal with them alone. This approach is certainly wrong. What if you give 15 minutes or half an hour to an urgent issue? It is likely that you will admire such work, thus making a confident start.
3. Listen to yourself. And do the opposite
How to stop postponing things for later: try to tune yourself in a new way
Your best friend may be “I will do tomorrow” or “I do not want to do it.” If your soul gets rebellious, you must deal with this decisively and firmly. After all, if you cannot resist the desire to do nothing, what will happen next? That’s right, nothing.
So, before you take up something that cannot be avoided, try to get tuned in a new way: meditate, take a walk on foot or resort to another method that is effective.
4. Order is of primary importance
The surrounding situation can both successfully contribute to procrastination and help combat it. Give a cursory glance at your desktop, home decoration or any other place where you have to work.
Surely not everything around you is in perfect order, so find the strength to tidy it: get rid of garbage, set everything in its place. Maybe, looking at your tidy interior, you will work more effectively.
By the way, thoughts come easier after a little cleaning. Check it yourself.
5. Train yourself to think: it will always be this way
As a rule, the first steps in anything, be it sports or new job responsibilities, are always difficult to make. Perhaps the simplest example is the situation in which each of us happened to be at least once in his/her life. Do you remember the magic Snooze button on the alarm clock? So, you cannot resist the temptation of this kind, listening to your inner voice that calls to postpone all the affairs indefinitely.
6. Tell the person you trust about your important decision
This can be your business partner, a husband or your best friend – anyone whom you inform. Tell this person about your intentions, outline the key points, and set the dates and deadlines. Ask him/her to control you as an experiment.
It may well be that your ally in the fight for productivity also requires assistance and additional motivation in life. Therefore, we urge you to be honest with each other: gently but firmly point to the things that, in your opinion, need special attention. Start to act.
7. Do not let yourself be a victim of circumstances
Do you wonder why the expression “to be a victim of circumstances” is so popular? Why do the stories told by losers and victims collect crowds of sympathizers? The answer is simple: people want to be sure that there are always those who are weaker, out of luck, and unhappier than themselves.
Let’s think productively: digging into your own problems will not help in finding solutions. Cheer up! Try to get rid of the gloom and convince yourself that everything is fine. Then everything should work well.
8. Apology is not accepted
In general, it is necessary to apologize as little as possible. In fact, to apologize means to forgive yourself, that is our main enemy. If you forgive yourself now and then, in the end you will get dumber and live guided only by instincts and natural needs. Is this the life you want?
The reasons to agree with yourself and follow the line of least resistance may be infinite. Eradicate the slightest signs of this bad habit.
9. Learn to focus quickly
If you want to be successful, you need to learn to manage your time. Start small: get used to being concentrated for short periods of time required to perform a given task. Having mastered this technique perfectly well, you can move to long-term planning.
10. Listen to the Indian mantras
Even if you’re not a frequenter at ethnic festivals and have never thought about a trip to Nepal and Goa, pay attention to the national music of the country of elephants and curry sauce. Mantras develop a positive attitude; listening to them and meditating, you can have peace of mind and tune yourself in the desired way. The first thing to learn is to control the breath. When it is within your power, you can begin to comprehend more complex conditions and focus on what you need.
By the way, there are many mantras. You can experiment and choose the one you like and the one that works.
11. Leave the comfort zone
Our eternal enemy is the inner voice. If you allow it to sound, it quietly convinces you that it is right. And we know for sure that it is often mistaken. Try to escape from it by any means known to you.
Most often, you hear your inner voice in the moments when you are inclined to doubt your abilities. Therefore, if you are not sure whether you can reach the distant end of the road, try to mute the words of doubt with a positive attitude: “I will cope, I will reach, I will do.”
12. Visualize the goal. Visualize success
Visualization is a powerful tool for achieving your goals. It has been proven many times that this technique helps to kill procrastination when it just appears, motivating you to succeed.
Looking to the future helps to focus on the ultimate goals, as well as how their achievement will be reflected in the quality of your future life. Get a “board of wishes,” if you want to succeed as soon as possible.
13. Create a little problem for yourself
Or a lot of problems. It depends on how much one needs. The fact is that suffering and distress of various kinds are also sources of motivation: a sense of insecurity pushes us forward, and we have to change jobs, move, and learn something new.
After reaching a certain point in becoming aware of the situation, which we do not like, a normal person starts to act. So, if you still sit on the same place and prefer not to think about the problem, it means that you are definitely satisfied.
In general, you are the wizard who can help yourself cope with everything. As the wise Mahatma Gandhi taught us, if you want a change to happen in the future, be this change in the present.
14. He, who dares, wins
Defeat your fear! Fear of anything is the most faithful accomplice of procrastination. Just say to yourself that you are not afraid of anything and that you will succeed. Repeat it often, write it down on a piece of paper and hang it in a prominent place – we’ve talked about the benefits of visualizing thoughts in point 12. If you take control of your fear at least once, you will succeed in doing so in future.
How to do it? Talk to yourself. After all, everyone has done this at least once in life. So why not make this a good and useful habit? When alone with your thoughts, try not to be hypocritical and do not look for excuses to explain your negative traits: fear, laziness, unwillingness to change anything. Try to identify your problem areas and start to deal with them.
15. Work on self-discipline
To be honest, the choice is often not so great: either to pluck all your will and courage and choose the path of change today, or to reap the bitter fruits of disappointment in an already foreseeable future. It is too simple to postpone the solution of important problems for later, but, unfortunately, it is completely ineffective.
Many know the saying: “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” Charge yourself with the right thoughts and acquire good habits because everything is in your hands.
Actually, all of us are nothing but a set of habits and lifestyles. Teach yourself to do absolutely everything. Take advantage of this feature of human consciousness to your advantage!
16. The balance must be correct, and the time should be observable
It is easy to make promises, isn’t it? This subject was raised in a lot of songs, and even more words have been said about it. The same applies to the deadline. It takes half a minute to assign them, but it may take weeks or months to accomplish the tasks.
How to act? Let’s think strategically: imagine that you will be punished for disrupting the work schedule and you will be unable to… drink coffee for a month! Not a very happy prospect, isn’t it?
17. Fight perfectionism
In fact, there is absolutely nothing good in it. To begin with, let us turn to the definition. Perfectionism is the belief that the best result can (or should) be achieved. There seems to be nothing wrong in it, but thinking in a similar way we are infinitely moving away from the true goal, which is to get sh*t done.
The main mistake that many people tend to do is when they substitute the key concepts. Perfectionism has nothing to do with high quality. Whatever is said on this issue, the answer is simple: time is money. Learn to manage it as well as an experienced military leader controls his army.
18. Do not forget to reward yourself
It happens that we do not have enough reward for the business we perform successfully. We must not forget about reward, which is one of the strongest sources of intrinsic motivation. That is why it is important to celebrate our victories, both large and small. Arrange an extra holiday, pamper yourself with a purchase, which has long been dreamed of, and get inspired by the joy of triumph!
Eventually, the struggle with procrastination is not easy. A famous American speaker and business coach Jim Rohn wrote in his book “Vitamins for the mind»:
There are two types of pain you will go through in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.
Are you exposed to procrastination? What and why do you tend to postpone again and again? Share your opinion and successful experience in dealing with this scourge!