Putting things off – we’ve all been guilty of it. “I’ll do it later”. You don’t like doing the job at hand, the task seems too OVERWHELMING, you’re a perfectionist, you don’t know where to begin, you are afraid of failing — there are lots of reasons for PROCRASTINATING. But overcoming procrastination is less about developing will-power, and more about creating an environment that is conducive to completing the task at hand.
You can’t make yourself do something you hate — but you can make yourself hate it a little bit less. So let’s take a moment to look at some ways you can curb your TENDENCY to procrastinate.
Below are several lists of specific, concrete things you can do to confront and change your own tendencies to procrastinate. Choose several suggestions from among the four lists and put them into practice. If these activities work, keep on with them; if not, try different ones. Persist.
Motivation is what gets you started
Habit is what keeps you going
~ Raveena Singh
1. Schedule your tasks for your project.
Write down a list of the tasks you must undertake to complete your project. Set priorities among these. Mark each one off as you complete it
Start with the most unpleasant task—to get it over with—and work down until you get to the easier ones.
Do something daily on your project, even if it is only for 5 minutes. Write down two or three things you can do toward your task which you can accomplish in 5 minutes and then do one of them
Schedule work on one of your avoided tasks so that it is contingent upon something you already normally do and enjoy. For example, “I’ll work on my term paper in the library half an hour before going to play racquetball.”
…and keep rewarding yourself as often as you succeed
2. Take action!
When it comes time to do your task and you are tempted to procrastinate, make yourself sit down for 5 minutes and think about what you are about to do. Envision the emotional and physical consequences of procrastinating—and of following through on your plan to work. After you think this over, go ahead and do what you judge best…with no apologies or second thoughts!
Imagine how you would behave in the next hour or day if you were NOT a procrastinator. Get a clear picture in your mind–and then act out that role, pretend, for the next hour or day, that you are not a procrastinator. When you are done, evaluate your “acting”: did you do a good job? How did it feel?
When you feel an impulse to work on your project, follow up on it: do it at the moment you think of it and keep at it until you don’t feel like it anymore.
Decide on a specific reward for success—and/or a punishment for failure—at working on your task. Make it realistic and follow through. For example, you might decide that you won’t take a bath on a day when you don’t work on your paper.
3. Use your friends!
Make a contract with a friend or partner to get a specific task done.
Make an appointment with a professional, tutor, or someone who can consult with you on your project. Ask for help and advice about proceeding.
Make a lunch or dinner date with a friend. Tell your friend that you want his or her support, that you want to talk about your feelings about your project, that you want him or her to encourage you. Ask your friend to hold you accountable!
4. Keep a journal!
Every day, write in your journal to give yourself credit for what you have accomplished, to genuinely forgive yourself for backsliding, and to plan your next anti-procrastination activity.
In your journal, identify rationalizations, confront yourself, and redirect yourself to your task.
Recognise negative attitudes and write out positive, encouraging attitudes. If you get mad, write out all your frustrations and anger in your journal. If you make a mistake, write out the interesting, beneficial things you learned from it.
That sounds like a good plan doesn’t it? There are also many books available to help you understand your reasons for procrastination and they provide you with solutions too.