And 5 Ways To Overcome It
We’ve all fallen victim to procrastination. It’s so easy to fall into the trap, especially when it comes to doing the things we don’t like to or we’re not excited about, and things we know will be difficult or time consuming. The excuses not to do something are there, tugging at us in the back of our minds. So, how do we resist? How do we overcome procrastination?
The best thing to do is find what works for ourselves. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, we all need a place to start. So, here are 5 actions we can take when trying to beat procrastination.
Dedicate Our Time
One thing an article from the Harvard Business Review suggests is to dedicate shorter periods of time to complete the task or project. This is great to do, particularly in the beginning, and then as sessions go by, we can even gradually increase the time spent during each interval. The author says it’s like preparing to run a marathon; we can’t just decide one day to run a 5K - it takes practice and training to work up to it!
Block Our CalendarsIntentionally carve out time on the calendar. Block a chunk of time in the day, say 30 minutes, to focus on the task, and resist letting anything else take it over. Once the time is set in place on the calendar, it’s harder to keep pushing it back, delaying it over and over again. Chances are, we will feel more inclined to just complete the task rather than making the effort to reschedule!
Make Our ListsThat's an easy one! Write down everything we mean to do that day or the next few days. This isn’t necessarily meant to overwhelm, rather put things into perspective so we know exactly what’s on our plate. Then comes the fun part - cross items off as you complete them! Everyone should have the opportunity to feel the extreme satisfaction of putting a check in a box, and marking something as done!
Prioritize Our TasksHere’s how we can take that list one step further: organize the items in priority order. This can take a few forms, such as organizing by deadline, things that have been asked of us specifically, a task that needs to be completed in order to do something else down the road, etc. When we know that a task is due soon, the deadline can really weigh us down, especially when we know that task is particularly important. Let’s get those things done to take some weight off of our shoulders!
Plan Our DaysA Lifehack article suggests we plan our days in advance, such as taking a few minutes before we log off or doze off at night, to plan or create an agenda for the next day. We should start with the one big thing that must be done that day. Is there a big task or project we’re working on that needs attention? Next, establish our non-negotiables, the no matter whats. These are the things that must happen, and they don’t have to be work related! This could simply be that we must eat lunch or spend time with family. What’s important to us that we’re not willing to give up?
Procrastination doesn’t have to be this cloud-forming, doom-looming thing. It’s difficult to beat it and not let it get in our way, but that doesn’t mean it's impossible to work against it. As we said, there is not an answer or action that works for everyone, but these are a great place to start, so we can all find what works for us!
How do these actions work out for you? Is there something not on the list that more people should know? Tell us in the comments!