You know there are things you must attend to but instead of working to meet that looming deadline, you find yourself watching a hilarious video about a cat in YouTube or the top 10 things to do in Latvia. You know you should be working but your concentration would much rather do something else. Sounds familiar? Yep, you are procrastinating.
The thing with procrastinating is that it is often so much easier to do than what you must actually be doing at that moment. But it is not an excuse to squander away precious time that affects you in so many ways. It’s a bad habit that must be addressed.
Here are some things you could do to avoid procrastination:
1. Write down your must-finish work in small steps
Sometimes, looking at your planner and seeing the huge projects you need to finish tend to be overwhelming that the instant reaction is to keep at it on a later time. To avoid this, write down steps to achieve your work. Instead of jotting down “write book report” why not divide it in small tasks and instead write, “1) choose a topic,” “2) research,” “3) make an outline,” “4) write body of paper,” etc. This way, you are able to finish small tasks that leads to your finishing a bigger project at hand.
2. Make a deadline for yourself
So you need to submit your report to your boss on Wednesday and you know that your tendency is to create the report on the day it must be submitted. So instead of doing this, make a deadline for yourself for the things you must do so that you could make the time to attend to it. One good idea is to set a timer for the small things you must do on a daily basis so you know that you are actually getting it done.
3. Get rid of distractions
Minimize if not remove all tabs that do not have anything to do with the report you must finish in your computer. Set your phone on silent mode so that you don’t get distracted every time it produces a small “ding” sound. Switch off the television while you are writing your report. You know that you get easily distracted so take away anything that will keep your focus away on what you must do.
Sometimes, what gets people doing nothing is that they get overwhelmed with the number of tasks they must do. To avoid this, prioritize your deliverables in order of priority. Other less urgent tasks could be addressed and attended to some other time.
5. Just do it
At the end of the day, the best cure to procrastination is to just start the task at hand and do whatever you can to finish it.