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Don’t Get Stressed—Get Productive: How to Stop Procrastinating.
Definition: “To put off doing something (usually unpleasant or burdensome) until a future time, especially to postpone such actions habitually.
10 Tips to Overcoming Procrastination
Having an incomplete task hanging over our heads is not only tough emotionally; it creates challenges in our lives because we’re less productive and not doing what we’re supposed to. Here are 10 tips that will help you learn how to overcome procrastination and get more done:
1. Divide and conquer.
Do you feel like you look at your to-do list and immediately feel overwhelmed? Instead of viewing your daily tasks as one monstrous thing to accomplish, break up your duties into smaller, actionable items.
Add one or two of the sub-tasks to your daily action plan until the overall task is complete.
2. Manage your time efficiently.
Write down all the little 10-15 minute tasks that are involved to get your outcome. For instance, you know you have to go to the post office, grocery store and be online for a conference call. How can you group some of these items together so they’re less burdensome? Can you go to a grocery store that’s in closer proximity to the post office?
Arrange your tasks by efficiency and order of importance, so that you won’t have to think them through each time you find a small timeslot available.
3. Set deadlines.
Create and commit to a specific time limit for each segment of the task and schedule a block of time to work on one segment each day.
4. Gather all the information you need before you start working on a project.
You’ll feel more prepared and better able to overcome procrastination when you have all the necessary resources on hand.
That way, you avoid excuses to drift off because you’re missing something.
5. Think deeply about all the reasons why you could benefit by getting it done today!
Will you have more spare time to engage in a fun activity this weekend? If you knock this item off your to-do list now, will you be able to work on your passion project tonight?
6. Look for ways to reward yourself when you get the task done, and remove the reward if you fail to get it done.
The reward can be something as simple as treating yourself to an iced tea or watching an episode of your favorite show. Even having something small to externally motivate you will help to overcome procrastination.
7. The best way to get something done is to begin.
You can always find some little thing to get the task started: pull the files, write an outline, draft the introduction today and the conclusion tomorrow. Remember, begun is half done!
8. Get the unpleasant task done first (ideally at the beginning of the day) and stick with it until it gets done.
When you do this, the rest of the actions will look easier and less intimidating. Persistence is key.
9. Make your intentions public.
Tell someone else you are going to get the task or project done. Knowing that someone will be checking in on your progress will make you feel more compelled to complete it.
10. Handle each file or piece of paper only once.
When you pick it up, or open it on your computer, take action on it and set it aside when you’re finished.
Remember, action begets action. The way to land a bigger project or achieve your desired outcome done is to start small and start now. Once you begin to make progress, the momentum will keep growing—and you will achieve more and procrastinate less.