Healthy Living

Eight Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Eight Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Key Takeaways

  • Begin your day by making a list of items that you wish to accomplish by the end of the day. 
  • Start with something that you know can be quickly completed.
  • Reward yourself for every task you accomplish.

Are you thinking of ways to overcome procrastination? Well, you have landed in the right place. Procrastination is something every person does. Even a well-organized person does it. It is a bad, yet a hard habit to break. Have you been putting things off lately? Are your deadlines getting closer and closer, and yet you keep putting it off to do it later, and in the last minute, you feel the stress and pain to complete it? If you are a procrastinator, you have to read this article. If you put your mind to it, you can overcome procrastination easily. There are some tips that you can try to overcome procrastination. Scroll down the page to learn these life-changing tips.

1. Make a to-do list

Most successful people begin their day by making a to-do list and check them off after completing each item. Thus, start your day by making a list of items that you wish to accomplish by the end of the day. Include everything whether big or small and as you go through the day, check off everything that you have just completed. In this way, you will have so much satisfaction and pride as you look back on how much work you have managed to complete that day. 

However, keep in mind about the following things when making your to-do list:

  • Include the things that you usually put off, and not the ones that you do on a regular basis.
  • Add a time frame to do a particular task e.g., “Start working on your project at 10 am.”
  • Put the highest priority task at the start of your list.
  • Do the less time-consuming tasks first so that you can quickly check those points off your to-do list, thus, making the list shorter.
  • Have a notebook by your side, and note down everything that you feel like doing at that moment. Don't do them, just write them down and continue to work according to your to-do list. Doing so will help you to stay away from the procrastination zone.

2. Get rid of the easy tasks first

Having a long to-do list itself can make you procrastinate and put things off. So, how can you avoid such thing to happen? Allocate how long you might need to complete each task on your list and then pick out the ones that you can quickly finish and do it immediately. This will make your list shorter and will give you enthusiasm to check off the rest of the list as well.

3. Start with baby steps

Start with something that you know can be quickly completed. If it is a project that you have been longing to do, break it down into small steps and go step-by-step. As you complete each step, you will feel motivated to do the rest. This will keep you motivated and moving until you are finished. One important reminder is to keep these steps small and achievable. Small steps will take you a long way.

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step!

4. Reward yourself

The sense of satisfaction and pride you feel after completing a task itself is a great reward. However, you can give yourself a bigger reward for completing a set of tasks. These rewards could be small, something like a bar of chocolate or it could be even something big like going out for a movie, or having some fun time with your friends.

Even just the thought of your tasks may cause you to procrastinate, but the thought of the reward may motivate you to get started.

5. Get rid of the distractions

It is going to be hard to pay attention your work if you are continuously distracted by what’s going on the television or on Facebook. Set yourself a period of time where you only stick to your task and keep all your distractions turned off such as your television and phone.

There are several apps such as "Forest" that you can use to keep you away from distractions like Facebook and Instagram.

6. Don’t try to be a perfectionist

Don’t wait for the perfect time and for the perfect supplies. If you do that, you will only put your task off completely. Therefore, start your work, the best way you can. After you have finished everything, go back and make it perfect as you wish.

7. Find something to keep you motivated

Many people procrastinate because they say that they work best under pressure. But what if your project does not have a deadline? Are you never going to do it? Make your own deadline and plan to complete the project before a set date and if you fail to accomplish it before that date, punish yourself. If you manage to complete it before the deadline, give yourself a reward. Positive reinforcement is the best way to motivate you to keep going.

You can try negative reinforcement as well. Here, for every task you manage to complete, you will take out something bad from your to-do list. For example, if you manage to complete one essay before the deadline, you won’t have to do your chores or anything that you do not want to do.

If you feel like reinforcement is no help for you, then punish yourself for every task that you fail to complete. If you fail to complete your essay before the set deadline, deprive yourself of that tasty dinner or don’t let yourself take that most wanted nap.

Another important tip that you can try is to give someone you trust a certain amount of money, let’s say $100. That person could be your best friend or any family member and tell them to spend that money on themselves if you fail to complete your task before a set date. Through this way, you will make sure that you complete your work before the deadline to save your hard-earned money.

8. Focus on the end result

Last but not least, keep your eyes on your target. Think about your end result. Think about the joy and pride that you will feel once you accomplish great results. Always keep in mind that if you work hard, you will see favorable results. Focus on where you want to go and what you want to accomplish. Work hard and you will definitely succeed!