We all are a victim of procrastination in a way or another. Procrastination doesn’t mean that someone is lazy or incapable. It is just an act of promise to do the things in the near future and that near future never turned till the last date of the given deadline. Soon it becomes an inevitable part of our lifestyle without knowing its consequences. It is a serious problem consistently pertaining to almost all ages of people. Sometimes it gets so overpowered that it may start the feeling of guilt, shame, anxiety, inability and even depression. It can harm personal as well as professional image in the long run if not treated.
The sooner we know about our procrastinating behavior better the chances to remove it. Let us understand what procrastination is actually about.
Meaning of Procrastination
It is a continuous habit of postponing any important task, assignment, project or decision. People delay activities more often and engage in other pleasure activities such as playing games, chit chat on social media, watching movies, hanging out with friends and even sleeping to give a proper justification for procrastination. These activities are not really bad until you are able to manage your important tasks with them.
Types of Procrastinators
Generally, people fall into two categories of procrastinators- Active and Passive.
- Active Procrastinators
Active procrastinators calculate definite time to complete the task just before the deadline and work accordingly. They prefer to work under pressure and manage to get good results. Most of the people who claim themselves that they don’t procrastinate fall into this category.
- Passive Procrastinators
Passive procrastinators postpone every important decision of their life to a promised future date and end up with missing deadlines or lower performance. They usually promise themselves not to procrastinate for the next due assignment and as usual fail again.
Now you have a clear vision of which category you fall into. Both active and passive procrastinators end up with burning efforts to run after the deadlines with anxiety and utmost pressure. Procrastination cannot be removed in a single day but it can be controlled and reduced to a larger extent by following an effective strategy. It doesn’t mean that you never tried to break the chain of procrastination but sometimes what you need a strong inspiration and a well-tested process to break any bad habit. I am very much sure by knowing these mantras you will definitely able to overcome the problem of procrastination. Let’s begin with the first mantra:
1. Make the deadlines visible
There are three most effective ways to make them visible so that there would be no chances that you missed any of them.
- Buy a whiteboard
Size can be your choice small or big according to your requirements and the suitability of your room. Place it on the wall of your room. Write down the deadlines whenever you get the notifications. Trust me it is really effective.
- Use a deadline poster
You can use a simple A-4 size sheet, give it a pleasant look and place it on your door or wall from where you can look it at most of the time.
- Use deadlines as wallpaper
You can make it as wallpaper for your mobile phone. Every time you unlock your phone you will be able to see them all.
2. Create an artificial deadline
Smart people mark the back dates and create artificial deadlines to be ahead in all the fields of life. Let’s take an example. Suppose the actual deadline to submit a project is 20th April. Change the date from 20th April to 15th April on whiteboard, poster and wallpaper set on your mobile phone. You will get more five days in case of any emergent situation due to which you couldn’t able to complete the task. Be cautious not to deliberately delay the artificial deadline just because you know that you are ahead of your final schedule. Forget the actual date till the task is not completed. You are already master at forgetting things so it won’t take extra time to forget.
3. Break down big tasks
Always remember no one can do all tasks in a single day. Making a huge list of “Things to do” will give you more stress and hence more procrastination. Focus on one task at a time. Break it into smaller chunks of easily managed work. Choose the task first which need immediate attention. Once it is accomplished, grab another task and again divide it into smaller pieces of work. Make a rough layout while dividing the task so that it will give you an idea about how much you can do in a single sitting. I would highly recommend not keeping larger gaps between the two tasks. Soon start working for your next deadline without making larger gaps to keep this habit. If there is no deadline ahead, then you will get more time to explore your hobbies or other goals of your life.
4. Focus with a timer
After dividing the tasks, decide a reasonable time for the smaller piece of work for one sitting. Set a timer or stopwatch for a decided time period. Keep your mobile phone in airplane mode if possible to avoid all the distractions. I would recommend not sitting beyond 40 minutes. Walk around for 10 minutes and get back to work for another 40 minutes. It is better to do work according to the designated time by setting a timer or a stopwatch. It will train your mind to do the work within a time frame rather than spending a whole evening in stress with unlimited time. Chose the work slot during the day when your energy is highest. Sit in a calm place, be relaxed and start converting your plans into actions.
5. Celebrate the milestones
Celebrate all the achievements no matter how big or small they are. You have done a wonderful job. Pat your shoulders, appreciate yourself, shout it loud and enjoy the milestones. Yes, you have done this. You are not any more behind than your ideals or competitors. It will give you more self-confidence and better control of your life. Your stress will be automatically reduced with fresh and positive vibes with a sense of pride and achievement. Trust yourself and follow the strategy again for another deadline. Soon you will be getting habitual and ready to meet the bigger goals whenever they arise.
Always spread positivity around you. Share this article with your friends and loved ones to bring a positive change in someone’s life.
Bless your hearts !!