Procrastination is that friend of yours who serves no good, always gets you in trouble, and yet is almost impossible to cut out of your life.
It does help you experience the pleasures of life. But that’s the whole part of it. This friend doesn’t bother about your career, health, and other relationships. And there’s everything wrong with that.
You can still choose to ignore those real-life sticky and unwanted friends. But ignoring procrastination is no option. You must get it out of your life. How? Read on!
Here Are 5 Ways to Get Rid of the Friend You Never Wanted – Procrastination
- Question yourself – Discover the ‘why’.
When you set out to do something, figure out the reason why you wish to do it. Maybe the work excites you. Maybe it helps you grow your skills, which will further help you increase your income. Or maybe, it’s something new for you, and you love that.
Whatever the reason, make sure you have one. If you start off with a task without the ‘why’, your subconscious mind will know that you don’t really want to do it.
The brain thinks of such things as pain and not pleasure. The problem with that we have evolved to avoid painful situations.
Anything that does not bring short-term happiness is a waste of energy. And we don’t have the patience for waiting for long term pleasures, do we? So, you are bound to procrastinate on this task because your head wants to find something more fun to do.
Knowing why you are doing stuff also helps to prioritize your to-do list. If there’s something that doesn’t excite you and you know that beforehand, you can delegate that task or eliminate it from your to-do list.
So, find a ‘why’!
It’s anyway, useless to spend your time and energy on a task that brings you no good whatsoever.
- Break the task down.
Most of the time, when you delay your work, it’s because the task in front of you is humongous. There’s no way you will be able to write that 5000-word essay when you haven’t written more than 1000 words ever.
But you can definitely write 500 words now. And then 500 words later. Just repeat writing 500 words ten times, and voila, you will have your full-fledged 5000-word essay soon.
Breaking down a task makes it easier. For specific tasks, it also helps to bring more clarity to the process. Plus, breaking down the project and doing the tasks one by one helps to keep you motivated all through the project as well.
All you need to do is set some milestones. List the steps required to reach those milestones, and break them further down. Also, make sure the first two steps you start with take no longer than 5 minutes. Why so? Well, read on, and you will have your curiosity served.
- Visualize the end result.
If you don’t know what you are working for, there’s little chance that you will get into action for it. So, imagine how the end result feels. Visualize what you want to achieve and how you will feel once you get it.
Attach a positive emotion with this end result. So, your mind knows it is something of pleasure and will motivate you towards completing the task so that you reach the visualized state faster.
The positive emotion can be excitement, joy, curiosity, pride, happiness, or gratitude.
Doing this speeds up the completion of the task – because happier minds work faster. Plus, this adds to your confidence and self-esteem.
- Use the 5-minute technique.
Starting an important task is the toughest part of the process. This is especially true for the newer generations who have lived most of their life with phones and laptops.
That’s because technology has led to a time period in which there are millions of things you can be doing in a given moment other than the necessary work.
The moment you feel bored, you can choose to scroll on Instagram, watch a short video on Youtube, a documentary on Netflix, or even a ten season TV series. The variety of options and access has led to our attention span reduce to merely 8 seconds. Even less than that of a goldfish.
Owing to all this, it is pretty obvious now why we tend to procrastinate on tasks that are not so pleasurable as the other options we have today.
The 5-minute technique is the solution you need to stop being a slave to technology today!
Using this technique and creating a habit of ‘I will do it now’ will help you ease into this troublesome part of starting tasks.
Let me explain.
When you need to begin with a task, tell yourself – ‘I will do it NOW!’. Then commit to working for 5 minutes straight without thinking twice.
You see, once you begin a task, there’s little chance that you will stop. You are more likely to continue after the 5 minutes you committed to. You may get a chunk of work done without procrastinating and without wasting your energy to convince yourself to do the task.
Also, repeat the phrase ‘I will do it now’ as an affirmation. It will help you make the 5-minute technique a habit. And once you are used to starting on tasks, your projects will bring significant results in less time.
- Create an environment that encourages you to do things.
If you have a work environment full of stuff that reminds you to procrastinate, you are sure to do that. If, on the other hand, your environment motivates you to work and get better, you are more likely to work and forget your friend – procrastination.
Here’s what you must do. Remove all distracting apps from your phone and computer. Use website blocking apps and chrome extensions like Stayfocusd. These limit your time spent on not-so-useful websites in order to avoid falling into the distraction flow.
Distraction flow is a situation you fall into when you forget your agenda and start engaging in a series of distractions.
Keep some motivational posters on the wall in front of your desk. A vision board is even better. Stick notes that keep reminding you to stay on track. You can even set digital reminders to ensure you are working and not procrastinating.
Additionally, use white noise to keep yourself focused on the task at hand. Also, try putting your phone on airplane mode or ‘do not disturb’ mode whenever you start working. Doing this will ensure no loopholes are allowing even bits of distractions.
Those were the five ways through which you can bid a happy farewell to procrastination.
Which of these are you going to start with?
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