Posted on: March 24, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 2

Let’s face it: everybody has procrastinated to some extent in his or her life. Some people procrastinate almost every single unpleasant task, whereas others tend to procrastinate one or two things in particular.

Unfortunately, this tendency can get people into a world of trouble. If you are constantly putting off or avoiding tasks at work, school, or home, you are sacrificing your potential to succeed in the long run. Procrastinating too much can also leave you feeling guilty on a regular basis, ultimately affecting your self-esteem. It also leaves you under a great deal of pressure when crunch time comes around.

Procrastination, put simply, is the act of putting something off. People have a natural tendency to want to avoid unpleasant tasks, like homework, for example. However, in the real world, such tasks are typically necessary, and therefore unavoidable. This is why it is so important to try to make a change in terms of your tendency to postpone tasks.

In order to stop putting a damper on your potential to succeed in certain aspects of life, take a look at the following tips to help you get rid of your procrastination.

1. Write things down.

It’s amazing how writing down what activities you need to complete can take pressure off of your mind. Having the tasks written down in front of you will give you a sense of relief, as they will no longer be taking over your mind. You will also become free of worrying that you are forgetting something.

It’s quite satisfying to cross tasks off of a written-down list. Keep your list organized and precise. Every time you complete something on it, cross it off! You will feel great, and will want to continue being productive.

2. Make a schedule.

Making yourself a schedule is a great way to boost your motivation. Set yourself some very specific deadlines for certain tasks.

It’s important that your schedule is realistic. If it’s not, this method will just leave you feeling discouraged. To keep you schedule realistic, be sure to include time for a rest or break. Also, think realistically about how long it will take you to do something. Be honest! You should have a fairly good idea of what this answer is.

Using a calendar booklet to make your schedule is a great visual tool to keep you on track. Try purchasing a booklet with specific time slots, not just daily options.

Try your best to stick to your schedule, and allow yourself few exceptions. If you’ve made your plan realistic, there is no reason why you can’t follow through!

3. Celebrate the small things.

Each task (or part task) is worth praising. Humans naturally respond to positive reinforcement, so give yourself some love! Your motivation to complete activities on time will naturally increase as a result.

Break down larger-scale tasks in order to remain encouraged. Tackling a multi-day, or multi-week project is not at all easy. Sometimes just thinking about the entire thing can make you want to procrastinate that much more. Because of this, it is essential to break things down, and have mini-celebrations along the way. Let’s say, for instance, you are to create a 20 page report for your work. Look at the task in terms of five tasks in four page stages, and celebrate accordingly.

Giving yourself praise can be as simple as telling yourself you did a good job. Or, acknowledging that you are proud of yourself.

You may also choose to celebrate by doing an activity that you enjoy, or cooking your favorite meal.

4. Keep reminders everywhere.

Having a physical reminder of what you need to accomplish will force your mind to face reality. Procrastination, in a sense, involves some denial.

With a constant reminder of what you should be doing, your mind simply can’t choose to forget.

Let’s say you have a tendency to procrastinate your homework. If this is the case, keep your workbooks somewhere you can see them at all times. You may also choose to write yourself little notes, and leave them in common places like the refrigerator, or above your bed.

5. Work in the right environment.

Not many of us enjoy work. Whether it’s work for school, work for the office, or at home chores, most of us aren’t too motivated to complete such tasks.

Unfortunately, for most of us, work is a part of life. It has to be done. So, when you buckle down to complete something, it’s important to avoid distractions.

We naturally move ourselves towards distractions while we are working. Distractions are a huge part of procrastination, as they give our mind an excuse to think about something else. With modern technology easily available to many, this issue has only continued to worsen.

Be sure that your workspace is clean and cleared of any clutter. Many people use the need to clean as an excuse to lose focus. Also, clear the space of distracting technologies. Put your cell phone in the next room or in a place that is not easily accessible.

If you notice yourself becoming distracted by something, simply remove it from the area. Remember, this is your area for work. There is a time and place for other, more enjoyable activities.

6. Practice positive thoughts.

Procrastination can sometimes stem from a lack of belief in your abilities. If we think that we aren’t going to be able to do something, we wonder if there’s any point in even trying.

Practice positive self-thinking. Remind yourself that you are capable.

If this is difficult for you, it may help to write down things that you are good at. This is an excellent confidence booster.

Remember that everything is a learning experience. Even if you don’t succeed the first time, you have taken some great steps toward improvement. Thinking this way will take the pressure off of your mind, making your mind less tempted to move towards procrastination.

Procrastination can easily spiral out of control. If we continue to delay tasks that we should be facing head-on, the consequences can be quite damaging. Fortunately, there are many ways to get rid of procrastination. Try out the following tips in your life, and you will be on your way to a more productive lifestyle!

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