So many people can relate to the struggle of wanting to achieve more but not doing so due to procrastination.
Procrastination is simply when you postpone a task you’re meant to do and instead do something of less importance.
So for instance you have an assignment due in 3 days, rather than doing the assignment right away, you cave into the illusion of there being time and watch movies instead or something else of less importance. When the day comes, you now find yourself scrambling to accomplish the task and sometimes, people miss the intended deadline.
Overcoming procrastination will always be such an important topic to address.
Many have missed out on opportunities; a scholarship deadline, a test or exam that one didn’t properly study for because he/she felt there was time, a project deadline at work, and so many other examples.
And the act of procrastinating often dampens productivity.
So how can one overcome procrastination?
What distinguishes the productive days, weeks and months from the ones that weren’t as productive?
Here are some tested and proven methods to overcoming procrastination and being more productive;
- Create a to-do list: It’s one thing to have certain tasks to accomplish in a day, it’s another thing to remember them all. Have you ever been in a situation where there was something important to do but you sincerely forgot? It happens. Sometimes things pop up unexpectedly that are quite important, but other things are going on so it becomes hard keep track.
Writing out your goals isn’t just to avoid forgetting them, it also helps to give perspective.
When you properly list out all the tasks you have to achieve, it helps you to be more conscious of your time, and to take better advantage of it and thus making you more productive.
When creating a to do list, you can do it digitally with apps that help and we’re created for that purpose, or you can have a to do list journal. This is highly effective. Properly list out all the activities you want to get done and set deadlines for them. Also when writing out tasks you need to get done, do so with deadlines. For example if you need to make a presentation at a meeting on Monday, don’t wait till Monday to begin preparing, depending on the time you have available set your deadline a day or two prior to Monday.
Give allowance for tasks that may take longer, so as not to be caught unaware when a task takes longer than anticipated.
- Have reminders: Set alarms to remind you of tasks that need to be accomplished.
- Create the right environment: Paste words that encourage you to be productive around you.
- Reward yourself:Rather than watching a movie or scrolling through social media, or reading a novel, when you’re meant to be doing something important, allocate time to do so when you’ve accomplished your important tasks.
- Forgive yourself: This is so important, you will make mistakes on your journey in overcoming procrastination, be ready to forgive yourself and carry on in the journey of productivity!
- Keep on going: “It is often the small steps not the giant leaps that make a world of difference” is one of my favorite quotes and it’s from the queen of England. She was making a particular point but I love the quote so much because it’s similar to tiny drops of water make a mighty ocean. Don’t downplay your small acts of productivity, keep on with it. The reality is- your goal to end procrastination and increase productivity won’t be achieved in a day. Every single day you make a choice to be productive, and when you do this often enough, it becomes your default response. Such that when the opportunity to postpone something important comes up no matter how exciting what you would rather do is, you will chose productivity, and like we learnt in number 4, it’s better to make out time to reward yourself.
This certainly isn’t exhaustive but it will definitely keep you soaring. You don’t need to wait for the last minute to achieve those goals or miss an important deadline or deliver sloppy work, you can be the best version of yourself.
Many times people don’t want to procrastinate, but they find themselves doing so. One has to be intentional if they are going to be productive, it won’t happen just because you so badly want to be productive and stop procrastinating, but because you take conscious steps daily in that direction.