How to deal with procrastination: 5 effective ways
Procrastination is a dangerous thing. Especially in those moments when the deadline for the project is burning down, the term paper is not ready and the phone is torn due to calls from the boss. We will not even ask if you are familiar with such a situation. Because this pain is known to everyone. And the question of how to deal with procrastination arises in billions of heads every day.
What can I say, even while writing these lines, we are struggling with terrible bouts of procrastination. And we are helped by the principles that we will discuss in this article.
Procrastination is, in simple words, the constant postponing of things “for later". Or a distraction to less significant things, like YouTube videos or Wikipedia articles about drawings in wheat fields. In a word, this is a switch from useful to non-useful things.
Moreover, this is a pathological condition that occurs again and again. And it constantly affects the emotional state. Because it is closely related to guilt for missed deadlines or unfulfilled, but important things. That is why it is important to understand how to deal with procrastination and get rid of its negative effects.
1 Don’t Nurture Guilt
As we said before, procrastination is a warm swamp for dirty guilt. A person is distracted by VKontakte messages, talking with colleagues, watching videos with cats. And the job wasn’t done. And he develops a guilt complex.
He may want to do everything on time, but he does not know how. Fighting procrastination in such conditions is painful and excruciating. Therefore, we advise you not to drown yourself in this swamp, and to approach the issue of procrastination in a practical way.
Think about the fact that this is not a problem, but another condition that is better to put up with and make friends with. As, for example, humanity has done with sleep. think about it, we spend eight hours out of twenty-four lying with our eyes closed. We eat or just rest for four more hours.
We are programmed by nature to be lazy and have fun, and work seems to us something difficult and scary. And every time we overcome it, the brain subconsciously leads us back. But this is normal. And if you understand how this mechanism works for you personally, you will learn how to defeat procrastination.
2 Do not overestimate the importance of tasks
Laziness and procrastination work on the same principle. They stop us from doing what we don’t want to do. To many, this statement will seem controversial, but it is a fact. Remember what procrastination leads you to. You watch interesting pages on the Internet, watch interesting videos on YouTube and talk with interesting people.
But when an important, as it seems to us, task appears on the horizon, we force ourselves with the last of our strength. And we spend not only these forces, but also our own emotional stability. After all, each negative processing affects the general condition of the body.
Therefore, before deciding how to deal with procrastination, think about whether you need to deal with it. And we are not saying that you need to immediately quit work for the sake of entertainment. Not at all. Answer the question “what happens if I don’t do it today?”. And only if the answer to this question is not to your liking, proceed to action.
3 Use positive motivation
We have already noted that guilt is a disgusting thing. And people who are prone to the insidious attacks of procrastination suffer from it more than anyone else. To avoid this, procrastinators set themselves brutal deadlines and punish themselves for not completing work on time.
This is negative motivation. It does not provide an idea of how to deal with procrastination. Instead, it makes this fight harder and more dangerous for emotional stability. Therefore, neither doctors, nor businessmen, nor we advise relying on negative motivation for a long time.
It is better to come up with a positive motivation for yourself. Eat candy every time you complete a task. Watch short videos on YouTube, answer five messages. In a word, dose your distraction from work, creating a reward out of this, and not a reason for self-flagellation.
4 Turn off notifications
Procrastination is triggered. There is some kind of event that distracts us from the work process, and switches to a less important one. These are notifications in messengers, conversations with colleagues, a reminder in the calendar.
In simple words, this is a thing that does not apply to work, but requires urgent attention. Everyone has this thing, and everyone has it. Therefore, before starting work, turn off any notifications that are not useful during the workflow.
Perhaps, in this case, you don’t even have to fight procrastination, because it will not arise without accompanying triggers.
5 Make a realistic to-do list
Do not write lengthy paragraphs about all the work in an hour, about a five-year plan in three years and taking over the world with a knife and an extinguished match in the arsenal. Because not following these points will push you into an even greater pit of self-flagellation.
Therefore, it is better to make a list of small tasks. Or break up large tasks, and solve them gradually. With this approach, the workflow becomes not so viscous, and each completed item is a new achievement.
After all, it is better to fight not with procrastination, but with its cause. And the reason for procrastination is a lack of interest in what we are doing. And when we manage to build an interesting workflow, we simply do not want to be distracted from it.