Procrastination. We’ve all been there. You have a project due, a house to clean, kids to bathe, or any number of tasks that just need to get done RIGHT NOW. So naturally, we find something else to do to avoid that task looming in the back of our mind.
Regardless of your why or what the task is that you’re putting off so expertly, eventually you have to finish the job. Whether you’re dreading it or just have other things on your mind, it's going to have to happen eventually.
Today, we are going to be talking about simple tips to overcome procrastination and hopefully help you get your stuff together. Anything you can do to avoid all those icky feelings of dread and guilt that go along with putting off your responsibilities is a step in the right direction.
- Remove distractions: This one is pretty obvious. If you get easily distracted by things, such as falling down YouTube rabbit holes when you really just wanted to listen to music, use another music app or device to get you in the groove for work. Listening to music or podcasts can help you stay focused but too much entertainment while working is only going to distract you more.
- Reward yourself immediately: Set a goal, achieve it, get a treat. It’s pretty simple and a really good motivator. Finish writing that article*, reward yourself with some chocolate or an episode of your favorite show.
- Immediate consequences: Just the opposite of immediate rewards, consequences help give you that motivation to get your task done so you don’t have to deal with the consequences. Example: Inviting a friend to work out or go for a walk in the morning means you can’t flake out without looking like a jerk.
- Temptation building: Another suggested way to overcome procrastination is by making it fun. The basic format for this technique is: Only do [THING YOU LOVE] while doing [THING YOU PROCRASTINATE ON]. For example: Only watch your favorite YouTuber while working out. This is basically a form of immediate rewards also but they are happening at the same time.
- Use the “Two-minute rule”: also known as making tasks achievable. This seems pretty straight-forward but a lot of us get caught up on the big picture and forget that the big picture takes time to create and has many layers. If you have something big that needs to get done, break it down into small and achievable goals so you can feel that sense of accomplishment over a period of time.
- Sprints of activity: Set aside a certain amount of time to be free from distractions where you ONLY focus on the task at hand. Set a timer for 20 minutes to work on your project, work out, clean something, etc and give it 110% of your effort. Once 20 minutes is over, take a break, have a snack, watch a video - whatever you want to do to TREAT YO SELF because you just achieved a goal!
*If you think I’m referring to myself right at this very moment, you are 100% correct.