Procrastination has been around a long time – it’s rooted in the Latin word for “to put off for tomorrow.”
Experts have studied our baffling tendency to engage in this behaviour that we know is self-defeating and sends us toward enticements that provide diversion but ultimately little satisfaction.
Most of us know when we’re procrastinating; we just can’t figure out exactly why or how to stop. Let’s leave the “why” to the professionals. And let’s accept that everyone procrastinates from time to time, so it’s not about stopping so much as about correcting course when it happens.
EIGHT PROCRASTINATION BUSTERS
Try these EIGHT ways to prevail over procrastination:
Are you expecting too much of yourself?
It’s hard to execute if you expect yourself to get everything right. Give yourself a little reality check that you’re no more or less human than anyone else.
Are you doing the wrong things at the wrong time?
If you’re trying to do high-focus work at low-focus times, procrastination can signal the mismatch.
Are you doing enough of one thing at one time?
If you’re procrastinating because you don’t feel you can make real progress in the time you have, try to shift your schedule to free up the chunk of time you need to make the work worth starting.
Break tasks into increments.
Break projects into ridiculously small steps, as you’ll get ridiculously happy when you finish each step – and can’t wait to do more. A task breakdown also helps you match tasks to time and focus level.
Withdraw stimulus, impose consequences or rewards, make pacts.
These tactics engage the deep-down you that hates procrastinating and yearns to get stuff done.
Tune in to your body.
If your attention’s wandering, maybe your brain or body is running on empty and you really do need to do something else for a little while.
Remember your purpose.
When something seems like a slog, remembering the larger goal can inspire, prompt, encourage, or egg you on.
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