In the last 14 days, honestly, how many of you put off something that needed to be done? Who tends to wait until the last minute to handle obligations that you are not too fond of, or does not hold much of your interest?
Don’t feel bad - everybody procrastinates sometimes, but it can become s habit to chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions. But these distractions are increasingly available to us, from our cell phones, to TV, to social activities.
People typically don’t like to do things that are unpleasant, and we would MUCH rather do things that are fun. Am I right?
The bright side?
It is definitely possible to overcome procrastination with effort. Procrastinators may say they perform better under pressure. Is that you? What do you think of this theory?
Understand that each time we procrastinate, we strengthen that conditioning. In other words, the more we avoid, the more we want to avoid.
So how do you break the cycle?
Here are three suggestions:
- Prioritize (break it up a bit)
Break up the task into smaller, more manageable parts. The idea is that the smaller tasks is less overwhelming and more manageable. It is less punishing, so we are less likely to avoid it.
For bigger projects, complete them in multiple sessions over several days, weeks or even months. For smaller projects or a project that needs to be done in one day, take meaningful breaks. This way you never demand too much of yourself.
- Find meaning in the task
If you attach meaning or significance to an unpleasant task, it becomes much less punishing.
- Reward yourself!
Whether it’s treating yourself to something special or just doing a happy dance, this step is key. By doing this, you will feel less accomplished, excited for yourself, and excited to move on to the next part of your task.
So I have a challenge for all the readers. Comment below with something in the last 2 weeks that you procrastinated with. Do not be shy, this is “No-Judgement” zone. We want you to let us know what you procrastinated on, and explain the experience. Did you wind up getting it done on time, was it done correctly? Was it stressful? And what was the outcome? What will you do differently next time?
Let me know if this blog post sparked some motivation or ideas to break the “I’ll do it later” cycle. Let’s help each other to break habits and be better everyday!