Procrastination is a highly counterproductive habit that can lead to catastrophic results, if not put in check. These results include – but are certainly not limited to – a completely disorganised day, high level of stress and awkward dealings with an upset boss or colleague at work. On a large scale, people have delayed the start of their businesses, needed career shifts or even marriages – yes, marriages – because of procrastination.
So how can we overcome this dangerous habit? Is it even possible? With a healthy dose of determination and the application of the following steps, we are sure you can nip procrastination in the bud once and for all.
1. Identify the root cause of your habit
It’s important to first determine why you procrastinate in the first place. For some, they dread the overwhelming nature of work that lies ahead. For others, the fear of failure – or even success – turns them off. Once this cause is identified, deal with it appropriately using motivational thoughts or materials and support from friends, family and colleagues.
2. Recognise when you’re about to procrastinate
The minute procrastination-inclined thoughts come up, replace them with positive alternatives. A typical example of such thoughts is “I don’t feel like doing this right now.” If it’s a task that has to be completed, respond immediately with the following statement: “I may not feel like doing X right now, but I will still get it done anyway.” Your thoughts guide your actions, so always be one step ahead in your mind.
3. Remove all distractions
Not much can be done if we’re constantly distracted by unproductive activities. While at work, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and BBM are just a few of the enemies of progress we have to deal with. A planned minute long text can turn into an hour long conversation, if care’s not taken – courtesy of social media and apps. It’s important to set time aside during the day to indulge in these. That way, all tasks have our full attention when they are sent our way.
4. See the end result
Visualisation is a powerful tool for getting things done. The great successes of our time used it to see the actualisation of their goals and aspirations. Imagine yourself successfully completing the task at hand, and allow your mind’s eye to lead you there. You will be shocked at what you can achieve – and how quickly you’re able to – with the help of a mental picture.
5. Just do it!
The Nike payoff line stands true in this case. Train yourself to get high priority tasks out of the way when they come up. It may take a while to get used to this, but with self-discipline and a sense of commitment, you’re bound to make this a new good habit.
One final suggestion – please, don’t procrastinate about stopping procrastination either!
About the Writer: Ify Halim is a young Creative and a promoter of values through the force that is writing. Follow her on twitter: @MissHalim