Actions to take
- Don’t be too harsh on yourself.
- Block some time every day to cover pending things.
- Plan before you get started.
- Get started.
- Value your time and avoid distractions.
You create a rough structure of the day in your head or in your scheduler of choice. You are set on a plan, but you miss out on a time slot. You kept aside this time for a task but you still haven’t made any significant progress. Now, you either need to skip that task and schedule it for later. Maybe, you can keep something else aside and squeeze some time for that task.
No matter what you do with that task, the problem is this happens more often than you want. Don’t worry, it is not just you. It happens with everyone, no matter how efficient one is with their schedule.
Let us look at some of the action points that can help us overcome procrastination.
It is important to be mindful
You need to make sure that you are aware of this slacking and the reason behind it. It is important to identify whether you can control the reason or not. If you can, make sure you tackle it, if it is something not in your direct control, let go of it and tweak the schedule.
A bit of self-forgiveness can help, it will not only help you stay positive but also help you feel better about yourself. Your mindset will shift from self-punishment mode to self-acceptance mode. This can help you motivate yourself and overcome procrastination.
What is taking your time?
Time is finite, if you are giving something time you are striving something else of that time. That is what happens when you are procrastinating, you are giving distractions your time and not letting the important things utilize that time.
Distractions are one of the major parts of procrastination. Distractions are interesting, they entertain you and don’t take much mental energy. On the other hand, the task that you are procrastinating on will take some of your mental energy. This results in your mind telling yourself that you are not feeling like working on it.
This feeling of “not feeling like working on it” continues and keeps you away from the worries as you try to fill your mind with distractions.
One of the things that help me is not worrying about finishing the task and instead focusing on making some progress.
Add some room
Keep some room for the unplanned.
Be mentally prepared to get distracted, don’t plan for the perfect day.Tweet
You can use this time as a buffer if any of the tasks take longer than expected or use this time to reflect on your progress. There are so many ways you can utilize this time but the important thing is to set some time aside. Keep in mind there will be many days when things don’t go according to the plan or something unexpected comes up that you can’t ignore.
When you are already struggling with procrastination and wanting to get back to your productive ways, try with small goals for the day.
You can’t magically shift from feeling low and procrastinating to being highly productive.
Give yourself some time, build some momentum. Keep a few important things that you need to get done in the day and overestimate the time you will need to get it done.
Once you start with the flow of achieving things, try incrementally increasing the number of things that you need to do. You can also practice this when you find yourself inclining toward procrastination. This will help shift your focus towards overcoming procrastination before the feeling to procrastinate becomes stronger.
One of the key parts of procrastination is overthinking. You make the task complicated in your head, up to an extent that you don’t feel like doing it.
You start looking at the task for its uncertainty and complexity. You start thinking about how big the task is and building scenarios about what if you are not able to get it done. It is this fear of failure that stops you from getting started with that task and keep it for later.
With all this thought process that went into your head and the doubt you have built on your ability to get the task done, you need some quick motivation. And this is where things start, some start looking for inspiration and some start watching something to lift their mood. This makes things worse as you might be able to lift up your mood but you can’t cover for the lost time.
In many scenarios, this is the time where you will start to dig a deeper hole of procrastination. There is still no clarity on the task, and in your head, it is becoming more complicated as now you have even less time to get it done.
To overcome procrastination from this situation, one of the easy things you can do it to plan. Don’t make any progress on the task, just have a look at what needs to be done and what steps you will have to take to get it done. By doing this, your thinking will change from destructive to constructive because now your thoughts will look for the missing pieces in the plan.
Try going back to the basics
Sometimes just the difficulty of the task makes us procrastinate. It is good to read or explore more about the topic, maybe just watch a few videos about that topic to increase your understanding.
Before you make a plan, you need to know about the topic enough to create an action plan for yourself. Try to go through the basics of the topic, you might already be way ahead of the basics but it helps. If it seems familiar, it can boost your self-confidence, tell yourself how far you have come on this topic and maybe you will find some unexplored nuggets of information. This will be a revision to strengthen your fundamentals and will get you some momentum on the topic.
You are still off schedule and still procrastinating but your thought process is in right place.
It is okay to be off the schedule
There will be times when things will just keep piling. Don’t mindlessly push yourself. Maybe it is the right time to reset. Try a new plan, maybe the plans are not working out and it is time to reflect and come up with a different plan.
Having a fresh look at things or a fresh way of working on the same things can help in overcoming procrastination. There will be a fresh feeling about the task and you will feel much more engaged.
Overcoming procrastination is easy if we start thinking constructively about the thing that we are procrastinating on. We have to get it done, if not now, we will still have to get it done later. Time is finite, don’t fill the time of an important task with a distraction. It is okay once in a while but be mindful that it doesn’t become a habit to escape from difficult tasks.