It’s been days the task was assigned to you at work, and since the deadline is long, you felt you had all the time in the world to complete it. But now, the clock is ticking … the deadline is only but few hours away. You are now working with a sense of urgency, furiously trying to have the task completed before the four o’clock deadline, while silently cursing and blaming yourself for not starting the task much sooner.
What went wrong? What made you lose focus?
Then you remembered how you stole some time to contribute to a fascinating post on social media, how you spent hours reading and checking your e-mails. What about those other tasks you spent a lot of time doing, which you could have saved for next week?
Do all these sound familiar to you? If so, it isn’t a problem peculiar to you only as procrastination is an issue that a lot of us contend with.
95% of us do procrastinate to some extent, according to research. Though you may find it comforting to know you aren’t alone, when you realize just how much the bad habit of procrastination can hold (and is holding) you back, it can be sobering.
In this article, I am taking a look at some strategies you can adopt to manage this problem and learn to prioritize your workload more effectively.
Admit That You Are Procrastinating
You might need to put off a task since you feel it is necessary to re-prioritize your workload. If you are delaying a crucial task, briefly, for a genuine and logical reason, then you are not actually procrastinating.
But if you start putting off important work activities indefinitely, or lose your focus because you are trying to avoid doing a task, then you may be a procrastinator. Most times, we know when we are procrastinating. Once you recognize this problem, overcoming it is easier.
Try to Plan out Your Day
The truth is that to stop this habit, you need to be disciplined. Create a plan for your activities for the day and stick to it. I like keeping a journal and writing out key things to focus on and separating my tasks, which are most important, for the day.
Try celebrating your successes throughout the day: Celebrate small things such as getting positive feedback at work and significant achievements like winning your dream client. If you aren’t able to finish any task planned for that day, you shouldn’t beat yourself up.
You can look for a way to fit it into the plan you will make for the next day and ensure that you make it a priority.
Use Anti-Procrastination Strategies
Procrastination is a habit, which is a pattern of behavior that is deeply ingrained in how you do things. This implies breaking it overnight might not be achievable. You can adopt some of the strategies outlined below to help you avoid practising the habits and, hence, eventually breaking them:
- Try to forgive yourself for any past cases of procrastination: According to research, self-forgiveness can be of help in making you feel more positive about yourself and in reducing the likelihood of procrastinating in carrying out future tasks.
- Be committed to the task: Discipline yourself to focus on getting things done, not putting them off for later or avoiding. Write down those tasks you need to do and state a time or deadline for completing them. This will help you tackle the work, proactively.
- Reward yourself: You can promise yourself a reward for completing a task on time. And honor this pledge when you have done the work. You can consider increasing the reward for carrying out more complicated For instance, when you carry out a difficult task on time, you can reward yourself with a nice treat, like having a coffee or a slice of cake from your best coffee shop. You would notice how good it feels to complete tasks on time!
- Get Someone to Help You Stay on Track: Peer pressure is quite helpful in this regard. Dealing with the habit of procrastination is easier if you surround yourself with positive-minded and proactive people that are trying to overcome the same problem as you. You can join our Facebook self-help group to keep yourself accountable and stay on course!
Overcoming the bad habit of procrastination can help you become more productive and stay focused. It can also improve your self-confidence.