You know it’s not fair to be called “lazy” for putting off tasks, such as re-organising your closet.
According to Dr Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, procrastination isn’t a character flaw or an affliction to your time management ability. It is actually a coping mechanism with negative emotions brought by specific tasks. These emotions include anxiety, frustration, resentment, insecurity, boredom, and self-doubt.
Therefore, procrastination is a problem with emotion regulation rather than time management.
So, how should we deal with it? We collected some practical tips from experts.
Create a List
Creating a to-do list will help clear your headspace and give you more direction. Write down everything you want to accomplish and set a deadline for each task. Calculate the time it needs to complete each task and add at least 50% of that number. You can avoid getting frustrated not being able to finish on time by doing this.
Break Down Your Goals into Smaller Tasks
When faced with an enormous goal, we tend to become intimidated, hopeless, and even scared. Sometimes we deal with these emotions by postponing the work—which only adds to our frustration.
The best way to tackle something big is to break it down into smaller pieces and tackle them one at a time. As you accomplish each task, you become more confident. Before you know it, you’ve completed your task and can move onto the next one!
Recognise Procrastination Before It Begins
Watch out for thoughts of procrastination. While working, thoughts like “I can do this later” or “I’m not in the mood to do this” can slowly creep into your mind.
Shut down the temptation right away. Force yourself to focus on what you’re currently doing. Most often, tasks are surprisingly easier to complete than you thought. Meditation could help!
Eliminate Potential Distractions
It’s challenging to get certain things done when your attention is constantly drawn by the television, social media, etc.
Find a place where you work in peace. Designate a specific time for checking your phone or talking to a coworker. You might be surprised by your speed when you direct all your attention to the task at hand.
Check out these tips on how to improve your focus.
Don’t Forget to Reward Yourself
“It is natural for humans to seek rewards. The more we feel rewarded, the more we strive. But of course, you have to equate the reward with the task. Avoid over-indulging in anything.”, says Alister Clare, director of employee development at Credit Capital.
Once you’ve completed a task, allow yourself to indulge in something enjoyable. It can be a tasty snack, an episode of your favourite TV show, or just browsing on social media.
Mastering how to beat procrastination can do wonders not only to your professional career but to your personal life as well.
Find more ways on how to improve focus and increase productivity at Redwolf + Rosch. We also offer recruitment and HR consulting services to large enterprises, start-ups, and agencies. Start the conversation with the best IT recruitment consultants in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane by emailing email@example.com or calling 1300 544 652.
Author: Jett Hayes