Many of us procrastinate. It’s human nature. Believe me, I know. I thought I was the Queen of Procrastination until I met some of my students! It was hard to see the difficulties some of my best procrastinators faced due to putting things off and waiting until the last minute. Often times I could see the problems coming from a mile away but could do nothing to help.
Beating procastination is something that comes with time. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, it’s likely that you’ll continue putting things off until it becomes too uncomfortable or too much of a problem for you. If you’d like to take matters into your own hands to begin learning to end the cycle of procastination, here are some tips you may find useful.
Personalize the Task
So often, the things we put off just seem like another thing we have to do. When you look at it in those terms, it’s bound to be difficult to avoid procrastinating. Even if the task is not high on your list of fun things to do, think about how it will benefit you. Will it help you move toward your goals? Think about how you’ll feel once you finally put it behind you.
Make It Public
Tell your friends and others you come into contact with regularly about your task. Make it known that you have a big deadline or a project to complete. By doing so, you may gain cheerleaders to help motivate you. Making your intentions known also helps to hold you accountable. It’s harder to back out of doing something once you’ve said you will.
Break It Down
So often the hardest part is just getting started. Bite the bullet and sit down to the dreaded task at hand for just ten to fifteen minutes. At least it’s a start, and you may just find yourself working longer once you actually get moving. Give it a try. And don’t forget about time management; be sure to tackle those top priorities first.
Give Yourself a Prize
Set goals to tackle procrastination, and reward yourself for meeting them. For example, tell yourself you’ll study your Spanish for one hour; when the hour’s up, go watch one TV show with your neighbor. Just be sure to set a reasonable limit so you don’t end up chatting all night and getting nothing accomplished.
All of these suggestions are ways of creatively moving you in the right direction toward completing the things on your to-do list. What really matters is that you do something. Breaking the procrastination habit takes work, but the more you practice, the better you’ll get at being more in control of your time.