Picture source: Innovative Publishing
Procrastination is nothing new, but why do we do it? Studies show procrastination happens due to at least three factors: lack of good habits and systems (poor discipline), inability to tolerate specific emotions (such as anxiety or boredom), and our own misinformed ways of thinking. Procrastination can be the thief of progress and success. It can also be a source of stress during the last-minute turmoil it creates, and it can rob you of your sense of esteem when it comes to achievement. Conventional wisdom has always suggested that deadlines could be a solution to procrastination, but new research suggests that may not be the case. What we think we know about how to get things done can actually get in our way.
Procrastination occurs for many reasons, mostly because people have an aversion to the task they need to accomplish. Here are some keys to procrastinating less and doing more for the betterment of your work:
1. Remember your goals. When tasks get boring, you're more likely to procrastinate, so remember how they connect to a more meaningful goal. You complete a project at work because you want a promotion, or you pack convenient and healthy snacks for the week because you want to be healthy.
2. Make your tasks part of your identity. You are more likely to act when the task is part of who you are. You fill out reports for your colleagues because you are responsible and successful, or you go to the gym because you value fitness. Integrate your efforts into your self-esteem and you'll find them to be a more meaningful way to use your time.
3. Reduce distractions. Procrastination is aggravated by distraction. Manage your environment by turning off unnecessary screens or media, and reduce distractions that might get in your way. Close the conference room door at work or move your laptop to a quiet place in your home so you can focus on your tasks. Or set your device aside so you can focus on cleaning or household chores.
4. Break down the responsibility. People often don't start because they don't know what to do. Give direction to your efforts by specifying what needs to be accomplished in incremental steps. Instead of reinventing the customer experience, clarify what you need to get from the customer report, organize the feedback, isolate key topics, and hold a team meeting to review them and deliver the results. plan out. When the smaller stages are clear, they are easier to conquer.
5. Link the tasks. Sometimes it can be helpful to link a task that you tend to procrastinate with a task that has become a habit. For example, if you aim to do push-ups every day, you can do them right after brushing your teeth every morning. Or if you're afraid to fill out your timesheet at work, you can incorporate it into your regular email routine first thing in the morning.
6. Track your progress. You can increase your sense of accomplishment and improve your chances of staying on top of your tasks over time as you document your success. Use an app to track your cycling cycle, or cross out calendar days as you complete a year-long project at work. It may sound childish, but witnessing progressive accumulation across a timeline (real or virtual) can be surprisingly motivating.
7. Bring others in. When you need to do something, it can help to get others involved in your process. Tell family members that you have to do your best to get on a project for work or let a friend know that you're hitting the gym. Sometimes just being clear about your intentions and having someone else remind you of them can help you get through it.
8. Be empathetic. Consider your influence on others. If you submit a report late, you can force your teammates to work on weekends. Or if you delay preparing dinner, your son may not have time to prepare food before football practice. When you consider your influence on those you care about, it can also motivate you to take positive action.
Source: Harvard Business Review, Forbes