Procrastination happens to everyone. Whether we like it or not, our brains naturally distract ourselves from things we would rather not do. Whether it is putting off grocery shopping until the point that the only thing to eat for dinner is that box of pasta sitting in the back of the cupboard, or spending your first 10 minutes of the morning talking to co-workers rather than diving into the long list of things you need to start; Everyone does it.
Although it is a completely normal thing to procrastinate, it also causes stress and anxiety that is completely unnecessary.
Luckily, there are ways to fight procrastination.
1. Be realistic.
Don't set yourself up for unrealistic goals that you won't be able to achieve. Set reasonable targets and goals that are achievable. Doing this will help improve drive, because it is possible to meet your goals.
2. Schedule and Plan
Agendas and lists scare most people away, but in reality they are extremely helpful in productivity. Organizing your time will ensure that you will have enough time to complete your tasks, as well as schedule an exact time to do it so you cant use the, "I'm way too busy today to think about that," excuse. There are even many scheduling apps you can download which will help organize your days/time.
3. Remove distractions
In any sort of situation, whether it is at work or home, it is extremely important to remove any and all distractions to stay productive. For example, if Netflix is on in the background when you are trying to do something, you will most likely focus on the TV rather than whatever it is you are doing. The same goes for your phone, or even other people.
4. Break down tasks
When breaking down tasks into smaller parts, it makes the work you're doing more appealing to do. Almost everything you could ever hope to do in life can be broken down into smaller parts, which you can then tackle head-on. Small tasks are easier to complete, require less time, and are less daunting to attempt. Therefore, you are less likely to procrastinate, and you feel more accomplished.
Procrastination can occur from feeling overwhelmed with how much you have to do. If you prioritize your work by urgency or importance, you will feel less overwhelmed. Having a clear start to what you have to do will make the tasks seem more 'do-able'.
6. Take breaks
Although this may seem like doing the exact thing you are trying to avoid, taking breaks can actually make you more productive. Breaks work as a refresher, they can clear your head and get you re-motivated in the task you are doing. If you try to push through with no breaks you are more likely to begin procrastinating because your brain knows it needs a break. If you're worried about getting too comfortable in your breaks and them lasting too long, set a timer for how long you want to take a break for and when it goes off, go back to work.
7. Reward yourself
Although it may seem childish or silly, rewarding yourself actually will help with your productivity. This can be something as little as, "When I complete this task I can binge-watch my favourite show." This will give you the drive to complete your task so you can reward yourself when it's finished.
8. Stop making excuses
"I'll wait until I have less on my plate," "I'm not really in the mood," "It can probably wait until tomorrow." You can always make excuses but it is best to be honest with yourself and realize that they are just excuses, and move past them. Because sure, it would be nice to clean the house when you're in the mood, but when will you ever be in the mood for that? Making excuses leads to becoming eventually overwhelmed and stressed, when the list of tasks that you have been putting off all seem to start piling up.