We have all been there. Doing numerous other things before that one thing we actually need to do. A lot of us will get up early tomorrow to study or go on a diet on Monday. However, there is no need to panic as there are effective ways of fighting the procrastination disease.
Leave the past behind
Burdening yourself with thoughts of being a loser for procrastinating in the past will not get you anywhere. In fact, they are just another way of procrastinating. You are wasting your time on non-productive thoughts. Instead, use this time and the thoughts to target the issues which led you to procrastinate. Once you know where you wasted your time, you will be able to avoid falling into the same pitfalls over and over again
Change your attitude
People usually get put off certain tasks because of the negative attitude they have toward them. The attitude is usually based on the quality of the experience. Completion of certain tasks can improve our lifestyle, budget, or grades. The reward that is waiting for you, as little or as big, it may be is worth the time you spend being bored or tired. Even if you were in pain for the length of the time, everything is easier to endure if you know that there is an end to it. It is much more agreeable than the stress caused by procrastination, which could go on forever.
Create a plan
A good plan and time management skills get a lot of work done. Write an outline of your tasks or even a simple well-prioritized to-do list. For more advanced tasks, a mind map will be of a great help. Keep your plan fairly flexible and not too ambitious. If you know your starting point and your route, you are more likely to get to the finish line. Depending on what you do, the key is in knowing yourself and the tasks ahead. Set deadlines for everything you do. This will create a feeling of urgency.
Do it now or set a date
The best solution to put a stop to procrastination is doing everything immediately like it is a matter of a top priority. However, since there are usually plenty of reasons we can think of, why now is not the right moment, the most orthodox procrastinators should set a date. If it is on your calendar, it has to be done. You have obviously cleared your schedule for it and you have allowed yourself some time to prepare for it.
Make it or break it
Every decision in life is a ‘make it or break it’ point. Decide to make a decision. Give yourself a deadline for this. A lot of people justify their procrastination by “wanting to make an informed decision”. The process of getting informed can also be infinitely procrastinated, this is why the deadline is a good idea. Don’t fear the consequences but deal with them. The consequences of not acting can sometimes be worse than those of acting, so bear that in mind the next time you procrastinate.
Create a chain of dependence
In this sense, a chain of dependence would mean that there is someone who cannot do their work unless you have completed yours. Knowing that there is someone waiting for you and that you are no longer responsible only to yourself, or even worse, that you could get someone else in trouble, will get most people started. Alternatively, if the previous is not doable, find someone you will be accountable to. Someone you can share your plans with and who can check on you. People concisely and subconsciously tend to conceal their faults and failures, which is exactly why you will do your best to keep your word.
Break up big tasks and use checklists
Bigger tasks take more time. The period of time required could be prolonged by the fact that you find a particular task to be tedious. This is why you will benefit from breaking up those big tasks into smaller ones. Smaller ones are quicker to do and you will easily fit them into your schedule. Add the small tasks to your to-do list, in place of the big ones, and use it as a checklist. Putting a check next to tasks once they are completed, or crossing them out, gives a visual representation of how hard you have worked and evokes a sense of accomplishment.
Find the right environment
You need to think about setting the right environment. The environment should have no distractions. The distractions vary from person to person and you are well aware of the things distracting you. Make the room you work in well lit, make sure the air is fresh and you are getting the right amount of oxygen. Also, you should be neither hot nor cold. If you have a home office you might want to get some of the popular air conditioning units and they will do the job of keeping the air quality perfect for your focus.
Stay in good shape
This is the part where you need to focus on the physical influences that may affect your mind. You need to stay focused and energized. If you are energetic, you will have the zeal and the right attitude crucial for completion of certain tasks. You need to sleep well, eat well and exercise to keep your body and your mind in a good shape. Not having one of these met, however, does not mean you should procrastinate. A good personal trainer will help you achieve this and fit it into your schedule.
The final word of wisdom is that practice makes perfect. If you call yourself a perfectionist, strive to achieve perfection, instead of waiting for it to happen. Do not wait for perfect conditions, but do things. Even if you sometimes make mistakes, they will only help you get to the desired perfection.