You’re not alone if you procrastinate. We all do it at some time or other, some of us become masters of procrastination, however, some of us develop ways to deal with procrastination better than others. You don’t have to remain a master at procrastination. You can choose to become a master of productivity!
Getting things done can be challenging. It’s much more challenging than not getting things done, in the short (very short) term.
However, procrastination has a steep price. It creates a lot of stress. Even while you’re avoiding a task, you’re stressed and anxious. You’ll also be much more stressed at the end when your deadline approaches.
Try these unusual ways to deal with procrastination:
1. Put your procrastination to good use. Consider what you do when you procrastinate. You perform one activity in lieu of performing another activity that you should be doing. Create list that includes a couple of reasonable, but awful, tasks that you can add to your to-do list. You’ll then procrastinate on those tasks and perform the tasks you need to accomplish.
- It might sound silly, but this technique is highly regarded by many productivity professionals. You’re willing to do any unpleasant task if you can avoid something even more unpleasant.
2. Get to a new location. Head to the library, park, or coffee shop. You could even move to a different area of the house or find a vacant office at your workplace. A change of scenery can often minimize the tendency to procrastinate. Part of your brain associates procrastination with your usual hangouts, like your desk.
3. Use a timer and a very short time frame. Getting started is often the most challenging part. It’s surprising how easy it is to complete a task versus taking the first step. Set a timer for five minutes and see how much you can get done. Five minutes is too much? Try two minutes.
- Have a list of steps and begin on the first one. When you have a list, you won’t waste any mental energy trying to figure out what to do first.
4. Try working at an unusual time. Get out of bed at 4 AM and see how much you can get done before your normal wakeup time. Try staying up late and see what happens. Shake up your routine and you’ll be less likely to engage in your old habits.
5. Focus on enhancing your mood. You procrastinate when you feel bad, and the thought of performing the task makes you feel even worse. You’ll do just about anything that you think will make you feel better. Work on enhancing your mood and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate.
- Think happy thoughts, eat a healthy snack, or listen to music that lightens your mood. Once you feel better, get started on your task without overthinking it.
6. Give your friend money. You may have enlisted the assistance of a friend in the past, but did you do it in the most effective way? Instead of telling your friend that you’ll give them $50 if you don’t complete your to-do list by Friday, give her the money upfront. You only get your money back if you’re successful. It changes the dynamic significantly.
7. Give yourself a big reward. Make completing the task as positive as possible. Instead of viewing a task as painful, you’ll begin to view it as desirable. Promise yourself a day off, a meal at your favorite restaurant, or a massage.
Procrastination occurs when not performing a task is perceived as less miserable than performing the task. When you procrastinate too much, you ultimately fail to live up to the reasonable expectations of others.
The best way to deal with procrastination is to tackle it head on. Dig in your heels and try these strategies. Start today. You’ll discover that you can beat procrastination and get things done.
What unsual ways do you use to deal with procrastination?
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Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor