Procrastination is defined as “putting off something intentionally or habitually.” The definition is very simple, because if we look at this activity, it is actually quite easy to undertake.
However, the simplicity of the concept does not reveal the extent of the damage that procrastination can cause in a person’s personal life or professional life (or both).
Timeliness is one of the aged pillars of success in our day and age. Being timely means you are responsible for your actions, and you are also capable of bringing in results when others are counting on you. When you procrastinate, you ignore the needs of others. You choose to perpetuate your personal standards and beliefs, and this in turn affects your ability to take action when others need you to take action.
If you think you have developed a habit of procrastinating, the first thing that you should do is to breathe a sigh of relief. Why? You are on your way to resolving this issue, because you acknowledge it! People who deny that they have a problem are usually the ones who do not want to face the fact that they have a problem. Acknowledgement of the behavior is the first giant step to discarding the unwanted behavior for good.
I will now be sharing with you the primary steps that you can take to gain control over your procrastination habit. Use these guidelines and techniques to make yourself more productive.
Remember, the earlier you address your habitual procrastination, the better. Once you are becoming more productive and timely again, you will realize that the world is much more than just a source of stress and pressure. Are you ready? Here are the steps that you can take to take control of your procrastination:
1. Cut out the distractions. Humans were biologically designed to deal with only one thing at a time. You must never force yourself to pay attention to two or more things at once. You will only become distracted, and once your mind disengages from that important task that you should be doing, you will have to exert extra effort to “get back in the saddle.”
2. Take care of the behemoths first. I call difficult and complex tasks behemoths. Some GTD (getting things done) enthusiasts call them frogs and elephants.
Regardless of your own personal description of these tasks and responsibilities, you should always try your best to deal with these big tasks before anything else. If you don’t, you will never have the opportunity to do so again, because more tasks are coming in every day.
That’s how it has always been especially if you are dealing with work-related responsibilities. You cannot finish everything all at once, but you can focus on finishing the most important ones first. As for the other, lesser tasks? Well they can just wait for their turn.
3. Create that momentum and ride it. Momentum is a wonderful thing when you are working hard on something really difficult. Momentum is the manifestation of self-sustaining energy and, like a wave, you can ride momentum when you are working, so you won’t have to exert a lot of effort to get things done.
4. Learn to refuse and move on. You can’t always be there for everyone. So, if your to-do list or schedule is already full, and someone asks you to do something for them, learn to say no. Don’t make yourself “available” to everyone, even if your time no longer allows it.
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