Have you ever wanted to start an assignment but find it difficult to execute it and you keep postponing and procrastinating? Isn’t it frustrating when you repeatedly say “I will do it” and yet you cannot really find the right time to do what you resolve to do? If that is a problem for you, relax, every problem has a solution. It’s just some simple rules to live by. These rules can help you bring more clarity, focus and expectations to your realities. These rules will help you achieve more in your life and stop procrastinating. These rules are tested principles and works.
1. Don’t give excuses.
First, don’t explain why you couldn’t do it. quit it! Procrastination is explaining a good reason for an unproductive behavior. When you procrastinate, you give yourself mental barriers as to why and how you can’t achieve a task and it keeps you that way. I love a popular saying, it goes: “If you want to do something, you will find a way, if you don’t want to do something, you will find an excuse” In overcoming procrastination, stop finding excuses and start finding the way to get your task done efficiently.
2. Develop what you want to do in your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious mind holds your memory. So If you want to spur yourself into action, you develop what is on your subconscious mind by visualizing it as accomplished. I mean to think in pictures. Just as you mentally visualize yourself before brushing your teeth. You can mentally visualize yourself accomplishing your tasks no matter what it is. In overcoming procrastination, see the processes in your mind’s eye as done.
3. Think on paper.
Think in advance but on a paper. I mean WRITE. Write your goals down. If you don’t have a goal, you can’t score. Set goals on how, when and why you must achieve those goals and if there may be obstacles, how to surmount them. A goal that is not written down is just a wish. But why should it be written? This is because writing is a psycho-neuro motor activity. This forces us to think and concentrate. It makes us to impress it in our subconscious mind. It improves our memory—the capacity to remember what we want to do. Thus, writing activates our mental power. Thus, in overcoming procrastination, it’s imperative to learn to ‘think’ on a paper.
4 . Think of the consequence of doing or not doing the task.
There are two motivators for human behavior. Fear and pleasure. We do things because of how it pleases us and we can also act as a result of fear. In overcoming procrastination, think about how doing that task will make you feel. Is it a pleasant feeling? Does it makes you feel excited? Does it makes you feel energized? Now, if getting the task done make us feel good, we are motivated to start the task, if not doing the task will make us feel bad, we are still motivated. Thinking about the consequence of doing and not doing a task can spur us into action. It will increase the intensity and desire to get the task done or in overcoming procrastination.
5. Start with a small proportion of your work
In overcoming procrastination,start a little part of your work. From the bread, take a slice of the bread. Let it be that you have started something. Are you dreaming of being a writer or an author but discouraged because the necessary bits and pieces are not available? Oh… Why not start anyway! Most writers don’t finish their book in a day or days. Write a little part of that book. Start that small part of the project. Start that bakery. Build that house. Spur yourself into action.
6. Do easier and exciting tasks first.
You have loads of task to do and you don’t even know where to begin. Let me help you. Start with the easiest task. Eat the chocolate first. What do I mean? I mean you should do the task that gives you more energy. It helps you to start other task that may be less exciting. Back in college, when I am preparing for an exam, I would often study more exciting courses to lesser exciting courses. It has really helped me in stimulating my mind to achieve my goals. You can do this too if you really want to break free from procrastinating. Do those pleasant task first.
7. Limit perfectionist tendencies.
The thoughts of wanting to get things almost 100 percent right before execution can hamper ones desire to start a worthwhile task.
Some years back, I struggled with this until I started applying this rule I am sharing with you on ‘Overcoming procrastination’. I struggled to get task done at the appropriate time because I wanted all my bits and pieces to be complete. I wanted to get my tools ready. Good as that seems to be, it’s a time waster. In as much as I love perfection, If it is not constantly weighed and controlled, it can really hinder progress. How did I get better? I understood that I couldn’t get my task done that way. I later understood that I didn’t need to be great to start but to start to be great. Make progress not perfect. Don’t be hard on yourself. Start. Now.
8. Set your goal with a deadline.
When your goal is time bound, It makes your subconscious mind to be compelled to get the task done at the time scheduled. Start by telling others that you will do a task at a particular time. It makes you accountable to them. Thinking about the people you are to report to in overcoming procrastination will spur you tremendously into action. You can also set alarms that will serve as a reminder for you in getting your task completed. We may find ourselves busy or a lot of things may distract us, thus, setting alarms as a reminder is another way of stopping procrastination.
9. Finish it!
Whenever you start a task, project or a course, cultivate the habit of finishing it. You may not finish it that day, however let it be imbedded in your subconscious mind that there is an uncompleted task that must be finished. For instance, If you have cultivated the habit of finishing a meal, you can as well finishing a task. But if you still struggle to finish a meal then you would have to start learning how to finish smaller tasks before you move on to more complex task. The last part of a task is usually the time most people are discouraged but that’s the time we should hold on and get the task Completed.
Now, if you are on a weight lift program, you should understand that when you are nearing your threshold as you lift the weight, your strength becomes weakened but that’s when you should hold on till the reps is over. You have to learn the art of Persistency. Tell yourself, “one more energy and I am done” In Overcoming Procrastination, don’t stop when you are tired, stop when you are through. Don’t take a break if you don’t really need to. Just finish it.
10. Reward yourself.
Give yourself a pat on the back, whenever you finish completing a task. Tell yourself ‘well-done’ when you are through with a task. A particular tribe in Africa eat meat after their main course meal? This is because in their culture, the meat is eaten last as a reward for finishing the meal and they all grew up with that culture. In that culture, no matter how slow you are in eating, you are trained to finish your meals. Now, if you complete a task, learn to reward yourself. Give yourself a nice treat, an hour of television,a shower,an outing, a nice sleep or anything that rewards you mentally. Doing this helps you in overcoming procrastination because your mind tells you there is a reward for it.
In conclusion, overcoming procrastinating has tremendous benefits and this can enhances your self-esteem, self-confidence work ethics and productivity levels for optimal success. Applying this principles can make you fulfill your work at anytime you want it.