We’ve all been there. We’re about to get started on that new project or important task, but suddenly a much more interesting activity comes up. It’s OK if we postpone work to go have some fun, right? After all, the deadline is still a long way away.
This situation goes on and on, until one day we realize that the deadline is almost upon us, and it will be extremely difficult to finish everything we have to do. Although some may handle this last-minute pressure well, this is not the case for the vast majority of people. This is followed by feelings of regret and self-criticism, as we are left wondering how did we let the situation reach this point.
But this is not inevitable. Here are some tips on how to avoid procrastination and complete your duties in a timely, worry-free manner.
1. Don’t Let the Size of the Task Overwhelm You
Sometimes we start out with great intentions, but once we realize the amount of work there is to be done, we are crushed by it and quickly become demotivated.
The trick here is to analyze what you have to do and break it down into small, manageable pieces. Try writing down those pieces with an intuitive task manager app like BubblesPlanner. You can even divide those pieces further into sub-tasks. Every time you tick something off the list you feel like you got some work done, and before you know it you’ll be halfway there.
2. Stop Waiting for Motivation to Arrive
If we are not in the mood to start working at a given moment, we may tend to postpone it to a later time. We think that a time will come when we will feel super motivated, and that will be the ideal moment to start working.
The thing is, that moment will probably never arrive. The sooner you start working on your tasks, the better. Realize that there might be some resistance at first, but motivation will come naturally as you begin getting results and ticking items off your list.
3. Get Rid of Distractions
If we have a natural tendency to procrastinate, it will be near impossible to resist any distractions if they are right in front of us. Try to pause your email notifications, put your smartphone away from you or in silence mode, and ignore Facebook for a while. You can return to these later.
You are setting yourself up for failure if you leave all these temptations within your brain’s reach when you know it is extremely hard to resist them. There is nothing to resist if no distractions are available.