- Mental Health
How to Stop Procrastination...Before Next Week
You are sitting at your desk typing away at a paper or project proposal and all of a sudden procrastination comes knocking on your doors. Before you know it, the time you take to have a break and sit and chat it up for a while, turns into an hour glass, with you on the bottom, and the sand dunes of backed-up work piling up on your head. Meanwhile, you become submerged in more and more responsibilities.
If you have ever put things off, (Be honest...we all have.), or simply could not find the energy to commit to a task, responsibility or goal, then you most certainly have welcomed procrastination into your doors. By now you realize that he wasn't an easy guest to get rid of then, and he most certainly is not going to leave now. After all, sucking up the time is what he is all about.
Even though it can be a difficult cycle to break, there are some ways to help get things going, get it over with and on to the next task. There is more than one way to tackle procrastination and rid ourselves from the temptation of its calling with a little thing called mind effort (will-power), organization and incentive.
-Breaking Big Pieces Into Small Portions-
Have your cake and eat it too. Easy now. Small portions. You don't want to find yourself at a choke. The same applies to those tedious tasks that most human beings have to face quite often in their lives. This tip applies to those tasks that require so much effort that it leaves you exhausted mentally and physically. You may decide that holding it off will temporarily make it better, or you are hoping that it will tire of waiting and complete itself. This is rarely the case. Since this is often not the best route towards completion, instead of scrambling at the last minute, (some may work great under pressure), it's still better to just take a bit at a time ahead of time, some of the time. The simple act of getting started actually takes the pressure off and makes you feel better in the long run. Segment times during the day or over the week to do work in steps. Even if you get run behind, and procrastination creeps up on your tail, at least you know that some of the effort was put in, and guess what? You are more ahead then you were before you did nothing at all, but this time with less stress, less work to complete at the last minute, more energy to spare by allowing yourself to have breaks in between, and a good sense of " almost there" fulfillment.
Sometimes to break away from procrastination, we must break away from those pesky temptations and interruptions that beg us constantly to put away our responsibilities and goals. Eliminating distractions requires will-power. To help anchor this into our lives, we can rely and stick to a time schedule, seek help from others to encourage this discipline, or by simply making neccessary sacrifices for the benefit of finishing which can reap huge rewards in the long-run. This means eliminating things that are not a necessity.
Speaking of rewards, what better way to discourage procrastination then by having something better to look forward to after everything is all done. Finishing exhausting tasks or getting started on a project that has been sitting around in your mind for years is a reward in itself. Now apply it in conjunction with the breaks and reward yourself for completing portions. When everything is done, you will not only have the satisfaction of completing early, you will also have that extra time to catch up on those things that you were enjoying while you were procrastinating. This time no pressure to stop, no last minute worries and even a treat for progressing ahead.
All will-power is will of the mind, and by consciously disciplining yourself, it becomes an easier habit to break over time. With these tips, it definitely becomes easier to manage by shear self-compromise and discipline for bigger and better results.
© 2011 Latasha N. Woods