The war against procrastination is an ongoing one for many people. Because of procrastination, your workday can end up becoming hours lost to drifting thoughts, distractions and diversions. Your days task is incomplete. Suddenly you realise that an entire day has been wasted and you have to set out another day to do the same work.
Procrastination divides your attention and prevents concentration.
Why We Procrastination
In general we procrastinate because of one or more of the following reasons:
- The need to avoid anxiety
- The inability to control our impulses to engage in enjoyable activities
- The need to avoid a stressful task or assignment
- The inability to maintain focus
- The need to avoid failure or success
Thankfully, there are a number of effective ways to combat procrastination. Here are 7 useful methods to defeat procrastination:
By taking away the availability of objects or activities that might distract you and stop you from focusing on the task at hand, you will become more productive and reduce procrastination. In fact, it has been shown that people can only reach peak productivity by focusing on one activity at a time.
Distractions not only cause you to procrastinate while being distracted, but it also means that you have to re-focus on the task every time you are distracted.
In order to defeat procrastination, set aside some time when you will only concentrate on the one activity that needs to be done. Put away any object that might distract you from what you need to get done.
#2. Reward Yourself
Rewarding yourself for sustained productivity is a great way to combat procrastination. By setting yourself a goal and choosing a reward that will keep you motivated, you are more likely to stay focused with the reward at the back of your mind.
While many employees may have set rewards, it is more difficult for leaders as you may have to come up with novel ways of rewarding yourself. So next time that you have a task you need to complete, set yourself a suitable but enticing reward for not procrastinating and work towards attaining your goal with that reward in mind.
#3. Separate Work and Play Areas
By separating the areas where you work from those that you engage in other activities, you can cut down on the amount of procrastination that you do. Instead of working in a number of different places, ensure that you have a dedicated office or area where you work. All other activities such as watching television and socialising on social media should be avoided from your dedicated work area. By doing this, you automatically switch to “work mode” whenever you enter your work area. This also gives you a place to go whenever you need to be productive.
Having others encourage you to stay productive will go a long way in beating procrastination. This type of positive peer pressure will keep you more focused. This is because someone is watching and monitoring your progress. Your productivity buddy becomes a valuable resource to support and encourage you to increase your productivity and avoid procrastination.
Making a schedule of activities that need to be done may prove to be effective in beating procrastination. The University of Oregon recommends scheduling tasks such as creating a list of activities to be completed and planning a realistic weekly schedule.
Many people who procrastinate do so because they underestimate the amount of time that they have to complete tasks or underestimate how much time each task should take. By scheduling your tasks, you can better estimate exactly how much you need to get done daily and also ensure that you don’t spend too much or too little time on each task.
Organising your tasks by priority will ensure that you reach maximum productivity. Even if you spend your entire day working, you would not reach peak productivity if you saved the most important tasks for last, leading you to rush the work and commit errors. By prioritising and separating tasks according to their urgency, you can ensure that you reach peak productivity and dedicate more time to the most important and urgent tasks.
#7. Just do it
By starting on tasks as quickly as possible, you can limit the amount of procrastination you are subject to. According to the University of California, people are less likely to procrastinate on tasks that they have already started, because of their inherent drive to finish tasks that are already underway. Instead of waiting to start that project or paper, clear your desk and begin working on it now.
Even though procrastination may feel good while you’re doing it, it can lead to stress, headache, and broken deadlines. By following these 7 ways to combat procrastination, you too can beat procrastination and chart a highly productive course for your life and business.
Why not leave a comment and tell me about your experience at combatting procrastination.