12 Procrastination Cures That Will Amp Up Productivity
Incorporating procrastination cures into one’s work or study schedule is great if you’re the type who struggles with the desire to put things off. We all do procrastinate to some extent, so don’t feel bad if that describes you. Just be aware of this particular weakness, and figure out how to use it to your advantage.
In the following article, we will share 12 procrastination cures sure to help you through the rough patches. Let’s begin!
1. Remember the Past Is Past
Stop thinking of yourself in the present as a procrastinator. This type of defeating self-talk can set you up to fail from the outset. A better step is to acknowledge you have procrastinated in the past, but this is a new day.
Be mindful of the ways that you’ve tricked yourself into putting things off, but do not be subservient to them. Use that knowledge to develop new approaches and workarounds. Avoid the temptation of putting things off.
2. Commit Yourself to the Outcome
When a new project settles over your work schedule, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details. You do this because you are focusing more on all the little things you have to do instead of the outcome itself.
Focusing more on the end goal will help you fight back against this mindset. By being results-oriented, you can free your mind up to follow new paths that can save time and affect the outcome you’re shooting for. Furthermore, you don’t get discouraged by the size of the project.
3. Dangle the Carrot
Motivate yourself with some type of reward as you go along. You might establish lots of little “rewards” for each step along the way and a bigger reward for accomplishing the overall objective.
Individuals who are motivated by rewards tend to fare better with procrastination because they always have something new to look forward to. This can actually make working on a project energizing.
4. Get an Accountability Buddy
Many people left to their own devices find it easy to get sucked into distractions. Working with a partner in these cases can help. The two of you might even find a mutually beneficial arrangement.
You motivate them, and they motivate you. Think of them as an “accountability buddy,” and maybe even use your accountability buddy to enforce consequences for not accomplishing something by your deadline.
5. Cut Out Distractions
Distractions are all around us. They come in the form of video game systems, binge-worthy television, and smartphones. They can be people or books or anything else that takes your mind (and time) off the target.
Name what your distractions are. Doing so will empower you to take action and eliminate those distractions before they have a chance to blindside you during a project or study time.
If you have to, go to a secluded location free from distractions to work. Otherwise, do your work in another part of the house or building where you live.
6. Start With the Unpleasant
Some call it swallowing a frog. The idea is to pick the one thing you don’t want to do the most and apply initial efforts to taking that to-do item down once and for all.
When you start with the most challenging objective, you’re in the thick of what really needs to be done right away. You haven’t had a chance to deplete your energy stores. You can bring top-tier you to the table so that the objective is met to the best of your ability.
7. Create Your System
An anti-procrastination system will help you stay on task. This could take the form of a 5-minute journal where you take some time to organize your thoughts and to-do list. It could mean going to a specific place before you begin.
It could even mean reserving specific work for specific days. Whichever method you use to approach a problem, be methodical about it. Doing so will give you a blueprint for what to do next.
8. Act Without Thinking
We’re not telling you to turn off your thinking altogether. Just maybe avoid overthinking something before you begin working on it. Sometimes it’s best to jump right into the work. Getting a few things knocked out as they come at you can help you build momentum for other objectives.
It can also get you to a place where it’s easier to organize your thoughts. We do have to caveat this by stating that if you’re approaching an advanced project that has many moving parts and requires abundant brainpower, you might want to slow down and think of how you’re going to approach it. Otherwise, let your creativity take control and sort out the rest.
9. Eliminate Perfection
Perfection is a noble-sounding word, but it also keeps you from getting things done. You can become so consumed with doing things right that you freeze up and fail to take the first step.
You need to remove perfectionist tendencies from your work habits. They will do more harm than good because no one is perfect. The quicker you can realize your own imperfections, the easier it will be to roll up your sleeves and do the next right thing.
10. Rephrase Internal Dialogue and Perceptions
“I’m such a procrastinator.” “I don’t know where to begin.” “I know how to do this, this, and this, but I don’t know enough to complete this project in a satisfactory manner.”
Notice how negative all those statements sound? If that’s what is going through your brain, no wonder you don’t want to get started.
Be aware of these internal dialogues and perceptions. Each time you notice one creeping up in your subconscious, task yourself with rephrasing in a more positive manner. Examples:
“There’s nothing wrong with being a procrastinator if I use that time to think about how best to approach the problem.” “When you don’t know where to begin, begin with something you know.” “I know how to do several parts of this project, so let’s do those and pinpoint the best resources available for tackling what I don’t know.”
Negativity can be hard to avoid. However, it can also lead you to a more positive way of looking at your weaknesses.
11. Resist the Rabbit Holes
There will be temptations as you work online to leave your objective for the first interesting thing that comes up unrelated to what you are supposed to be doing. Rather than follow those rabbit holes as they occur, make a note to come back to them later when you’re not working on the project.
Pausing briefly to create a list of things you’d like to research further may not be preferable to uninterrupted work. However, it makes a deal between your need to get things done and your inner procrastinator.
12. Realize That Some Things Can Wait
Sometimes, it’s okay to procrastinate! That’s right. You’re not always doing something wrong when you put things off because some things don’t need to be attended to right away. If you’re able to put something off long enough without it affecting the things you need to get done, then you have to start asking whether those things are worth doing in the first place.
Make a point of not jumping on every last task that gets thrown your way. Before you know it, you’ll have a real sense of what matters, what doesn’t, and what can be dealt with satisfactorily at a later time.
These Procrastination Cures Will Help You Get More Done
We hope these procrastination cures will shed some light on how to deal with the urge to put things off. Again, being a procrastinator is not the worst thing in the world if you know how to call out distractions, avoid them, and manage priorities. Best of luck as you set out to control your inner procrastinator!
[Featured Image by Flickr Creative Commons]