Top 7 Ways to Avoid Procrastination

No matter how well-organized and committed you are, chances are you have found yourself spending hours on meaningless activities like watching TV, scrolling social media or shopping online, when you should have been spending that time ticking off tasks on your growing to-do list!

Fortunately, there are a number of different things you can do to fight procrastination and start getting things done on time.  We have listed the top seven ways to help you avoid procrastination and start maximizing your productivity.

Here are 7 easy ways to avoid procrastination!

1. Assess the situation and rationale behind your procrastination. 

The first step to take when overcoming procrastination is knowing the rationale behind it. Ask yourself three things:

  1. Why am I procrastinating? 
  2. When or in what situations do I usually do it? 
  3. How do I procrastinate? 

By evaluating yourself, you will have a better idea on the reasons that cause you to postpone doing things and on how you can better avoid procrastination. 

2. Get rid of distractions.

An important thing to do before doing any task is getting rid of all distractions. You need to close out all social media and email tabs, turn off or silence your phone, and put it in another room where it will be easier for you to ignore. 

This is because you cannot resist the temptation of receiving a new notification so if there are no notifications, you will not be tempted to check your phone or answer emails during this time. 

If there is nothing around to distract you then it will be much easier for there’s nothing around to distract you from working on the task at hand.

3. Don’t try to multitask. Finish a task before starting another one.

One of the top tips to avoid procrastination is to focus on one task at a time. Many people believe they are capable of multitasking and accomplish more by doing so, but this is actually not true. 

Studies have shown that multitasking can decrease your productivity by as much as 40%. If you’re sitting down to write an essay, close your email and turn off your phone. Don’t start vacuuming in between paragraphs or trying to fold laundry with one hand. Focus on the task at hand, finish it before taking a break, and then start on another task once you feel refreshed from your break.

4. Break up big tasks into small, more manageable ones.

You should consider breaking up the task into smaller and more manageable steps. For example, let’s say you have to write a report to submit to your boss but you have a lot of other things that need your attention as well, one effective way to get started is by writing down all of the steps you need to take in order to finish the report, from beginning to end. This can help you gain clarity about what needs to be done, what parts of the process are confusing, and where you may run into problems.

5. Be realistic about how long each task will take to complete.

You must be realistic about the time that each task will take to complete. The biggest cause of stress and procrastination is planning too many tasks in one day. Plan only what you can get done, and give yourself enough time for each task: There is no point planning to write a report if you have only 30 minutes in which to do it. If a task is more important than others, make sure you allocate more time to its completion.

6. Reward yourself for completing your work.

A great way to stay motivated to get your work done is to promise yourself a reward afterwards. Try rewarding yourself with something you enjoy, such as going out for drinks with friends or watching a favorite show. You can also reward yourself with a well-deserved rest, or with a healthy snack — those are definitely things you deserve!

7. Don’t feel like you have to do things perfectly.

Remember, it’s better to finish the project rather than spend months trying to perfect it. This can be a tough habit to break, but don’t worry about polishing each section of your project before moving on. Just keep going until you can’t go anymore and then come back and take care of the details.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them! Making mistakes is part of the learning process that helps you grow a person.

If you want to read more resources about self-development and mental health, check out our workplace happiness and team building resources here. 

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