The panic and stress of having to complete a task at the last minute will be all-too-familiar to chronic procrastinators. You know you should be working, but you just can't help yourself from doing everything aside from working.
Read on to find out our 10 tips on how to stop procrastinating!
#1 Break down tasks into smaller tasks
Often, we find ourselves procrastinating because we’re overwhelmed or intimidated by a task and delay making the first step because we're not sure how to go about completing the task.
The way to overcome this is to break down a big task into small sections. You can focus on each section as individual tasks, which will feel considerably less stressful and make you more motivated to complete it.
#2 Start with something extremely easy
If you're a hardcore procrastinator and #1 doesn't work for you, you can break down your tasks even further until it's so easy, you couldn't possibly put it off.
For example, if you plan to go to the gym, make a to-do list with simple steps like change into your gym clothes and wear your gym shoes. While a workout session sounds like something you want to procrastinate and eventually skip out on, changing clothes and wearing shoes sound like much easier tasks.
Once you've completed the first basic steps, it will be much easier for you to feel motivated to fully carry out the task.
#3 Give yourself multiple deadlines
When there is only one final deadline, this creates the perfect environment for you to procrastinate. Without any indication of how the process should be carried out, the task doesn't seem as urgent at the start of the project and we assume that everything can be done at the last minute.
In addition to breaking down a task into smaller tasks, create a timeline and add in specific deadlines for each of these smaller tasks.
#4 Give yourself a break after 10 minutes
Sometimes, a task can be so unpleasant or boring that we never get around to doing it. Tackle this by giving yourself a 2-minute break with just 10 minutes of work. 10 minutes sounds like an easy and short amount of time to suffer. After your break, go in for another 10 minutes of work, take a 2-minute break and repeat until the task is completed.
Chances are, you'll feel more motivated to work after a few 10-minute sessions and you can increase it to 15 or 20 minutes before taking a 2-minute break. If 10 minutes still sounds like a drag, you can reduce it to 5 or 3 minutes, then increase it gradually.
This method distracts you from thinking about the number of hours you have to work and makes you focus on the little breaks in-between.
#5 Promise yourself a reward
Before starting a task, choose something you really like as a reward that you'll give yourself once it's completed. For example, promise yourself a bite of your favourite snack every time you complete a section of work!
#6 Listen to instrumental music
Music can help drown out distracting noises, but you may be singing along to your favourite songs unconsciously instead of being fully focused on your work. Make a playlist of songs that don't have lyrics like movie soundtracks or instrumental covers of your favourite songs.
#7 Get rid of electronic distractions
Being in an environment with distractions only makes it easier for you to procrastinate. If putting away your phone isn't practical and deleting apps sounds too drastic for you, you can mute chats and turn off notifications so you're less tempted to check your phone.
#8 Work in the right environment
If you procrastinate by taking unnecessary naps or lazing around the house, try not to work or study in your bedroom or living room as the sight of comfortable furniture like sofas and beds can be too tempting!
#9 Hang out with a non-procrastinator
When it's time to get a job done, the last thing you want to do is group with fellow procrastinators. Being around people with the same behaviour may make you feel less urgent to curb your procrastination habits. You can always hang out with them when the work is done and it's time to relax.
Instead, look for the go-getters and hard workers in your social circle who inspire you to get things done. After hanging out with such people, you'll feed off their drive and inculcate their spirit too.
#10 Don't link your success to your self-worth
The belief that your work performance defines your worth or superiority as a person can lead to procrastination as a task that isn't done can't be a failure.
Remind yourself that your work or studies are not only a small part of who you are. There’s so much more to you than your accomplishments like your personality, identity, passions, beliefs, experiences and more.
That being said, procrastination may not always be a bad thing. We all know that one classmate who did nothing all semester and only started studying days before the exams, and yet did better than everyone else. Some people are more productive under high-pressure situations like when the deadline is very close. If that's the case,
Share this post with your friends who need help with their procrastinating habits!
Text by: GirlStyle SG