Why do we need to overcome procrastination? We have all procrastinated at some point or the other in our life. We need to overcome procrastination because it has never been a good experience struggling with avoiding and delaying the issues that matter to us. Just in case you aren’t familiar with procrastination, it is an act of postponing tasks. It is a result of acting against your better judgment i.e. you know that doing something is going to be fruitful for you, but you still delay doing it. From the meaning itself, it is clear that it might affect your productivity.
The reason behind procrastination given by Behavioural psychology research is a phenomenon called “time inconsistency.” Our brain tends to value immediate rewards more than future rewards. For example, eating a bowl of ice cream and not following your diet plan is an immediate reward. In this scenario, following your diet consistently to lose weight is your future reward. Your brain might value future reward more than immediate reward, but when it comes to action, it ends up falling for immediate reward.
Another thing which you might have also noticed is procrastination works only till you start with the work. Once you touch the line of action, it is easier to complete the task than to pause in the middle and fall back into the procrastinating stage. So we know that the problem is starting with the work than doing it.
Tips to Overcome Procrastination
Tip 1: Plan your tasks in advance
One reason why procrastination comes back over and over again is that you don’t have a clear plan of action to follow. You have not decided nor prioritized what to do, which makes you an easy target to fall into the eternal loop of thinking and doing nothing. To overcome procrastination you must avoid this and for that, you must plan for the following day in advance.
- At the end of the day, write down 5-6 most important tasks you will like to finish the next day and prioritize them.
- On the next day, you have a plan ready.
- Start with the first task, and don’t start with the next one until you finish the previous one.
- Focus on one task at a time and follow them in the sequential order only.
- At the end of the day, make a list of tasks for the next day similarly and add the remaining tasks of the current day (if any) at the top of the list.
- You can also make a todo list (which acts as a visual cue) for the same to give you a sense of achievement as you finish your tasks.
Tip 2: Keep your task more achievable
This one is simple. You have to keep your tasks concise and This one is simple. You have to keep your tasks concise and achievable. Instead of having a task like reading one novel a week, set reading 50 pages a day.
Also remember, when you are starting with putting on a habit, it is tough to get started and stay consistent at the beginning. For this use, the 2 Minute Rule, which is that when you start a new habit, you should keep it two minutes short. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to start, and then once you start doing it, continuing becomes easier.
Tip 3: Immediate rewards for actions
Since we have already understood our bias towards immediate rewards, why not set them ourselves? For example, if you follow your diet chart throughout the day, you reward yourself by watching an episode of your favorite tv series. You can also incorporate your task with the reward like you can do the laundry while listening to your favorite songs.
Tip 4: Set immediate punishments as well
Usually, the bad results of procrastination are seen later. Like, if you skip exercise, you won’t immediately gain weight, but the result would be seen after a few months or maybe weeks. But if you set a punishment with every task, then you will be motivated to finish your tasks.
There is a service by the name “Stickk” which you can use. In this, you place a bet for what you will do, and if you fail to do so, then the money would go to a charity you don’t like. This is a bit rough if you are strong at your procrastination game but helpful to get you out of it.
Tip 5: Pre-plan your future actions
This one is to stop you or keep you away from indulging in any actions which might affect the completion of your tasks. One example most of us can relate to is scrolling down aimlessly on social media. What can be done? You can pre-plan for situations like these by making appropriate adjustments.
So if you know you fall for aimless scrolling, delete those apps or use the app usage tracking apps. If you end up overeating, cook in proper proportions or while buying buy separate packs instead of bulk.
Sleep too much? This might happen because of inefficient night sleep or irregular sleeping schedule. Check “How to Sleep Better” so you feel refreshed during the day. The action that you need to plan depends on what problems you face, which affect your efficiency.
We hope you found this article on tips to overcome procrastination useful. We recommend you to get off the screen once you are done reading this and make a list of tasks and follow it.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe