“Okay! It’s 7:47, I will browse the web till 8 and get back to work.”
*Looks at the watch*
“Oh! I missed 8 and now it is 8:07. I will get back to work at 8:15”.
And you miss 8.15 as well. The same process traps you in a vicious loop till you miss the deadline. It leaves you with no option, but to bite your lips in vexation. If you have the habit of putting off significant tasks, the procrastination club is waiting for you. Sadly there is no merriment in the club, rather it is full of plights and quandaries.
What exactly is procrastination?
An individual procrastinates when he/she delays important tasks and focuses on doing enjoyable or comfortable activities. Sometimes, it takes place at the “last minute” before a deadline. Technically, it is a gap between intention and action.
Don’t overlook it
You may believe that you don’t procrastinate while you are actually involved in it. Mentioned below are times when procrastination goes unnoticed.
- Your daily task list is filled with low priority work.
- Reading e-mails, chat messages, notifications and so on repeatedly without taking any action.
- Planning to start an important work but immediately getting up to, let’s say, making coffee or talking to a co-worker.
- Intentionally leaving or prolonging a vital task on your To-Do List.
- Waiting for the right mood or the right time to undertake critical tasks.
Tips to overcome procrastination
Mentioned below are some time management tips for procrastinators, which will help not only in overcoming it, but also in increasing your productivity.
- Jump on the work: Everything will flow smooth if you make up your mind and begin your work. It is the simplest method, but it depends largely on your willpower so you are not distracted by other unimportant things.
- Set a timer: Set an alarm or a timer for a short duration and try to complete the task within the stipulated time.
- Get rid of distractions: If your phone is distracting you, keep it away from you or hand it over to a friend/co-worker and instruct them to not give it back until you finish your work. If TV distracts you, ask someone to hide the remote. These small yet effective steps will help you in staying focused.
- Race with someone: If the task involves writing something, solving an equation, cleaning your room and so on, try looking for someone who is about to do the same job. Compete with that person and see who finishes it first. Competing with others is a great way to keep procrastination at bay.
- Adopt agile methodology: If the size or importance of the task is making you procrastinate, then break it up into small milestones. Such an approach will also help you maintain the quality of the work.
A world beyond procrastination
Once you stop procrastinating, you will realize that you are surrounded by a plethora of benefits such as:
- Ample time: As you managed your time efficiently, you now have lots of it to invest in other resourceful activities or on your hobbies.
- Improvement in quality: Concentrating and focusing on a sole activity without getting distracted helps maintain consistency in the quality of work.
- No fear of missing deadlines: You are unlikely to miss a deadline when you keep procrastination at bay.
Never put off something for tomorrow when you can do it today
Procrastination is like overusing a credit card. It is fun until you get the bill. So be it academics, personal or professional life, make it a habit to stay focused without pushing important tasks for later. Remember there is no better time than right now! It is especially important for working professionals or distance education learners who may have a lot on their plate and need to make the most of their time. Try the above mentioned tips to find a more efficient and productive you!
What are some of the steps you’ve tried to keep procrastination away? Tell us in the comments section below.