A brief guide on how to stop procrastinating
February 12, 2020
Everyone on this earth, walking around, is the victim of procrastination.
No one has escaped the procrastination phase because it is what our brain likes. To procrastinate and refrain us from doing new things.
But there are people who have stopped being the victim of procrastination and have achieved their goals and others who are in the process of getting out of the procrastination phase.
We set out to be productive, to be more efficient and do our tasks on time and always daydream about the higher self we could be.
But we fail to reach that point in our life.
One of the main reasons is Procrastination.
What does Procrastination mean?
It’s the basic tendency for a human to procrastinate and we have been dealing with this for centuries.
According to Wikipedia, “Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished by a certain deadline”
In simple language, postponing or delaying a task that needs to be done.
Why do we procrastinate?
The word we can emphasize on the above definition is “postponing”
Why do we postpone?
Why do we delay the work or avoid doing it?
Why don’t we get things done?
The reason is we like the situation we are in or being comfortable or we just don’t have clarity on the goal we want to achieve.
Let’s see how our brain thinks when we do something out of the comfort zone –
We want to wake up early and go for a walk. Your brain nudges you to sleep more and roll into the blanket.
We want to eat healthily. Our brain tempts us to eat more junk food.
We want to exercise 3 times a week. Our brain holds us back from doing something we have never tried doing.
Our brain has been wired in a comfortable way and halts us from a growth mindset unless and until we don’t make it a habit.
To break those patterns, those bad habits, and procrastination, we need to set a clear goal and start changing our behavior by taking small steps.
Techniques to help you get out of procrastination
The techniques depend upon the individual and how they like to learn and do things. When do we work in a more efficient manner? Is it morning or at night? When do we feel more energetic? Which tasks do we like to do? Which don’t?
There are certain techniques that will help you with avoiding procrastination and cross off your checklists.
- Technique 1: Set Achievable Tasks
We dream of achieving or reaching a position for ourselves which is too far away.
The future self we dream about brings up the motivation for our present self but to get the result, to reach that dream we have to give our present self small easy tasks to reach that dream.
That big dream we are setting out to achieve, let’s make a mini dream of and create a full-fledged plan, a roadmap.
Break down your big goal into small actionable goals.
Every-day put at least 15 mins towards that goal.
- Technique 2: Balance Rewards and Tasks
Another technique you can follow is to do tasks and gain immediate rewards.
Take it this way,
Listen to music while sending out your emails.
Read a book while having breakfast.
Listen to audiobooks while running or exercising.
Do more of what makes you relax with easy tasks to get done.
- Technique 3: Pomodoro Technique
Developed by Francesco Cirillo is a Pomodoro Technique for time management.
Basically put 20 minutes on a timer and do the work with no distractions whatsoever. Solely dedicate your time for that one task for 20 minutes and then take a break of 5.
You can also put in the timing for 40 min to the extent of your maximum concentration per time.
Remember to devote less time to a break and more time to get the task done.
- Technique 4: 5 Seconds Rule
This technique is so effective to use once you get started with it.
5 seconds rule is a technique that is perfect to avoid procrastination.
You have woken up early but not out of bed yet.
This moment is very crucial to the next step you are going to take.
You can either go back to sleeping or get out of bed and get to work on your dreams.
An easy and simple thing to do is as soon as you open your eyes just count 5..4..3..2..1 and get out of bed.
You don’t have to think. Just count and get out of the bed and get away from the bed.
Count to another 5 seconds and freshen up.
Do it consistently for a week without thinking and your brain will automatically wire itself to make you wake up and work early in the morning.
This is one way of how you can avoid procrastination.
Be it any work, small or big and you feel like doing later on which should be completed in the immediate effect then count 5..4..3..2..1 and go.
Other things you can do to avoid procrastination is:
1. Build your environment
Your environment affects your mood, your energy and the possibility of doing things.
You can’t work while having food all over your desk.
You can’t be healthy if you don’t have a plan or any idea how to achieve it.
Thinking about the environment affects you the most, which challenges you to do more, inspires you and motivates you.
For your workspace, try hanging motivational quotes or your idol person’s photo
For a healthy lifestyle, keep a big bowl of fruits in the middle of the living room.
For building the habit of drinking more water, keep one bottle in each of your rooms.
The more things are in front of you, the more you will try to take action towards it.
2. 5 minutes
When you feel unmotivated to do the task, just spend time doing it for 5 minutes.
Nothing more. Just 5 minutes.
Once you complete that 5 minutes without overthinking on it, you will tend to work for more than 15 minutes and then you will complete it and reach a certain level of satisfaction.
3. 3 tasks a day
A day before in the night write 3 tasks you want to accomplish the next day.
And only focus on those 3 tasks.
While starting the first tasks on that list, just focus on the first task. Don’t look over or think about the other two tasks. Give your whole attention to the first task and after completing it moves towards the second task.
Our brain if sees there are more than 10 tasks in a day to be completed, we procrastinate more and give up before starting anything.
We take too much pressure on the work we have left to do and feel not so energetic to complete the tasks and postpone it to the next day and then the work piles up.
Prioritize your tasks according to your end goal and work on one task at a time.
The reason we procrastinate so much is we are so infatuated with our Future Self that we forget what needs to be done in the present.
Hope you got some answers and helpful tips from this guide.