Are You a Chronic Procrastinator? Here’s How to Beat It

Once or twice, we have all fallen victim to procrastination. Maybe your procrastination has become a core part of your lifestyle. You are struggling with the detrimental consequences in your life. It’s a few hours to your deadline, you’re furiously and quickly trying to finish a task that was assigned a week ago. At this moment, you are overwhelmed with pressure, wondering whether you should request for a deadline extension or whether you should just give up. 

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What was I doing all week? What do I tell my boss? How do I recover from this? You might not have an answer to such difficult questions. It’s called procrastination. Perhaps you spent many hours on social media, watching movies, or preparing to start working, you ended up wasting time you could have slowly done your tasks without pressure. The good news is that anyone can beat procrastination. Here’s how:

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Identify Why

Why do you procrastinate? Understand why you avoid undertaking tasks or doing your work safely without procrastinating. Are you struggling with fear? Are you feeling lost or you just don’t understand the work? 

Once you identify the reasons why you are a procrastinator, you can start dealing with them step by step. Dealing with the underlying problem is the best way to solve an issue.

Self-compassion

Nobody likes being identifying as a procrastinator. Beating procrastination needs you to forgive yourself for your past. Dwelling on your past and engaging in negative and destructive self-talk doesn’t help. 

“I wish I had started this work earlier, what’s wrong with me?” is an example of self-talk that cloud your mind with negative thoughts. Exercise self-compassion by letting go of the past and making a choice to address the problem. 

Ditch the Usual Excuses Already

One common characteristic of procrastinators is the habit of always having excuses. Perhaps you can relate to statements such as: “I am trying to find the ideal mood.” “I’m just watching one last episode now” Or “I’m the type of person who works best under extreme pressure.” These are typical examples of excuses that fuel your procrastination. Ditch the excuses now! 

Even though it might be true that a good mood or pressure helps you complete your tasks effectively but aren’t they also excuses that hinder you from staring your work in a good time? Just stop!

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Plan/Organize

If you’re having difficulties prioritizing your daily activities, consider organizing your schedule. It is possible that you are procrastinating because you overload your daily to-do list with tasks that you expect to complete at the end of the day. But do you need to accomplish all of them in a day? 

Scheduling your entire day without breaks may also increase your chances of procrastination. Just prepare a manageable or achievable plan that gives room for relaxation and flexibility.  De-schedule the activities that are not a priority for your day and schedule reasonable and important tasks. 

Break Down Your Tasks

Closely linked to organizing your day is breaking down tasks into smaller realistic ones. The ability to focus is an important aspect of dealing with procrastination. Sometimes you procrastinate because of your inability to focus on a task until it’s complete. Try committing to one of the tasks that have been on top of your procrastination list. 

Breaking down tasks into smaller and shorter tasks will make it easier for you to actually start and complete them. This way you’ll make small progress while gaining momentum and motivation to continue with the other tasks. Create short and manageable deadlines for the tasks. Incentivize yourself with rewards after completing every task. It could anything you love, that you will look forward to enjoying when you complete your work. Reward stimulus is great for your mindset. It is a healthy and easy way of creating habits.

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Just Get Started today

Do anything today. Just start doing something already. One of the obstacles you could be facing is starting. A small accomplishment is still an accomplishment. If you have a project to be completed in a week, just doing one thing today is better than doing nothing at all. The initial hump of embarking on the task makes it easier to progress to the next. 

Perhaps the project looks intimidating, try starting with the most appealing aspects of the task. You don’t necessarily have to begin with the parts you consider difficult. Find what’s appealing about your work and start with it. It may not be as difficult as you think. 

Change Your Environment

Do you have procrastination triggers or temptations? Is there a place or something that distracts you and encourages you to procrastinate? Maybe it’s your phone or your work environment. Are you working from your bedroom where you’re constantly thinking about sleep? Get rid of anything that diminishes your attention or simply distance yourself from it. 

The urge to pay attention to entertaining and fun things may make it difficult to get rid of them, do it anyway if you want to beat procrastination. Find the conducive environment that motivates you to work and prevents your procrastination from flourishing. 

Find Yourself an Accountability Partner

Keeping yourself in check while trying to beat procrastination requires finding a friend or colleague who can keep track of your progress. Having someone to ensure accountability when dealing with procrastination is important. The thought that there’s someone supervising you indirectly will reduce your chances of procrastinating. 

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The fact that someone will hold you accountable for failing to accomplish your tasks is a motivation to set goals and take action towards achieving them. Share your daily goals with your trusted friend who can check with you at the end of every task whether you have realized your goals. At the same time, your accountability partner can cheer you on as you improve your procrastination levels. They also need to be able to call you out when you do nothing about it. 

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