You can Stop Procrastinating Right Now
Imagine this situation: you have a exam in three days that you need to study for.
And here’s the problem. The weather outside is perfect, you cannot focus on your work. And if that were not enough, you just don’t feel like studying right now. After all, you have a whole three days to prepare for the test.
How hard can it be? Surely, you can do it later. I felt exactly this way some time ago when I had to write my exam for a re-certification. I buckled down and studied a little each day for a week ahead and aced the exam.
You ever feel like this? I think almost everyone has been in this situation at some point in their lives. While some actually work better at the last minute, it is not a habit that you should practice.
Like all things, procrastination in moderation is a way for the brain to re-energize and refocus. Too much procrastination, though, and you could find yourself over-worked, over-stressed and quickly burnt out. The stress of not getting things done can weigh heavily on your attitude.
So, how can you finish your work on time and still enjoy yourself in the process?
The following are a few tips that should help you to get off the road of perpetual procrastination and help you get back on the road to effective goal producing activity.
Step 1: Set a schedule for yourself of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.
If you know when everything is due, you will be less likely to put it off until the last minute. Additionally, the presence of due dates on a calendar will serve as a reminder to you, as well.
By breaking down your responsibilities and their deadlines into terms of what is due when, you will be less stressed when you finally begin to do the work. And you will have a schedule planned for it’s successful completion.
When you are less stressed, you generally tend to be happier and more relaxed. Despite what you may believe, the relaxation experienced when you are procrastinating is a false one. Many people, despite the fact that they appear to be worry-free are, in fact, subconsciously concerned about the very things that they are putting off. Do not fall into this trap. Don’t let that be you…
Step 2: Prioritize Ruthlessly.
Seriously, separate your work into piles of “urgent” and “can wait.” No one likes to be surrounded by excessive amounts of work; however, by putting the most important tasks first, you can eliminate much of the stress involved.
Your “important” work should include items that are due soon and large projects that will be time-consuming. Schedule block time for major time consuming important, but not urgent tasks, and refuse to be interrupted.
On the other hand, another pile should include items that do not need to be addressed immediately, such as writing letters to friends, finishing the latest pop culture magazine, or re-organizing your CD collection, all of which further contribute to your procrastination.
The use of Post-It notes or other organizational supplies are heavily recommended, as they provide a more vibrant and therefore more forceful reminder of what needs to be done and when it should be done. Remember that out of sight usually means out of mind, so keep all important and urgent tasks where you can view them frequently. I usually put them where I have to “run into them”. Works for me…
Step 3: Focus. Concentrate on your task and what it will mean to you to have it completed on time.
All of the organizational materials in the world will not help you if you aren’t willing to help yourself. Sit down, choose one task to focus on at a time, and begin working on it until you are finished. Then move on to the next task.
Successful people are very good at focusing single mindedly at a task until they have a completion. No distractions are allowed.
Take it in 15 minutes increments if you have to, but begin it.
Therein lies your power. A task begun, is considered half done. 🙂
Before you know it, your work will be completed, and you will actually be able to feel relatively stress – free without the looming worry of work owed. This is a feeling you will like to get used to. I guarantee it!
Create the habit of getting things done the first time and not only your conscience, but your heart will thank you.