Procrastination is not a disease; it’s a habit. Some people feel like they do their best work under pressure while others just have trouble getting started. Whatever your reason, the answer is yes. Procrastination is curable. Here’s what you need to do to correct the personal habits that are holding you back.
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Why Do You Procrastinate?
People who procrastinate have many reasons for doing so. Some just can’t function until they feel the pressure of a deadline, while others don’t prioritize their tasks and just randomly do one thing at a time. A lot of people are just so unorganized it’s impossible to get things done on time, much less early.
Understanding why you procrastinate is key to making a change. Procrastination is just like any other bad habit — difficult to quit. You will need to create a strategy to overcome your ‘lazy’ side and to motivate yourself to get moving.
Do you find you regularly try to put off the tasks and chores you don’t like ? For example, do you stay on top of work tasks but put off household chores, like washing the dishes, because there’s no set deadline and you just don’t like doing it?
The only way to overcome this challenge is to move those tasks you don’t like to the top of your priority list. Tackle them when you have a clear mind and plenty of energy. Get those chores out of the way and the rest of your day will be smooth sailing.
A lot of people procrastinate because they are unorganized. A lack of organization can make you feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Keep all the items you need for a specific task together and make sure you include the task on your planner., which should be within reach at all times. Yes, even those pesky dishes get a slot in your daily schedule. You’ll eventually find joy in crossing off a task and calling it done.
Trick Yourself Into Meeting Earlier Deadlines
This was a personal issue for a close friend of mine. As a writer, she always received deadlines from her clients. She didn’t really have any leeway when it came to the due dates, but she was always working on her assigned articles at the last minute. Why? Because she could.
The problem was the last-minute work was causing her stress, especially if she found a task was harder or required more research than she originally anticipated. Now she creates her own soft deadlines and puts them on her calendar, making sure she’s working on the piece at least 24-48 hours before the deadline. She still procrastinates, but only to her first deadline. She doesn’t stress nearly as much over the client’s expectations, but this strategy still takes discipline. You have to believe that your personal deadline is the end-all-be-all or you’ll simply skip over it anyway.
Choose something to reward yourself between tasks. Maybe you’d enjoy reading a chapter in a fun book, going outside to sit in the sun or taking a relaxing coffee break. Delay the reward to keep yourself focused on the task at hand until it is finished.
Remember, don’t allow yourself a reward until you’ve started working. It’s easy to slip into procrastination mode by thinking you can take “just 15 more minutes” or “just one more cup of coffee” before you get started. Curing the habits that contribute to procrastination can be difficult but you’ll be glad you took action when you see how much more relaxed and productive you can be.