Procrastination is the subtle enemy of all professionals. Whether you’re an accountant looking to meet deadlines or a writer dealing with mental blocks, procrastination might seem like a tempting way to take the edge off. This has become especially prevalent with remote workers during the pandemic.
Remote work has taken a toll on some of the workers around the world. Together, let’s overcome the challenges of the remote workforce and stop procrastinating. Remote workers enjoy so many benefits that an office job can’t, but procrastination is the first thing they must overcome.
Of course, it’s not just remote workers who need to stay mindful. Office workers may find their impatience and distance from home a factor in their procrastination. Today, we’ll be discussing how to stop procrastinating with these simple but effective strategies.
Procrastination isn’t Laziness
While the results may appear the same, it’s important to note procrastination is different from laziness in how it stems. Laziness is the apathy towards activity. It stems from not wanting to do anything at all.
On the other hand, procrastination is different. Procrastination isn’t laziness because a lot of people actually have the energy and attention span to focus on tasks. It’s just that they don’t have their priorities straight.
Instead of focusing on the tasks they should be doing, they find another task that’s easier and more engaging for them, even if the first task is much more important. The dangerous part of procrastinating is that it’s an impulse that gaslights you into thinking it’s important. The guilt of procrastination reduces overall productivity.
The more you procrastinate, the more your body recognizes it as a habit. This leads to general lethargy, demotivation, and possibly outright scorn for your work. The effects of procrastination are far more insidious than a few missed deadlines.
Strategies to Overcome Procrastination
Motivating yourself might be daunting at first, however, there are plenty of ways to combat procrastination:
1. Call Yourself Out
Stay aware. There may be times where you do have a genuinely good reason for putting off a task you are supposed to be doing. However, if this becomes consistent, or you notice yourself actively pursuing other tasks of lower priority, you are definitely procrastinating.
In such cases, call yourself out immediately. Make an active decision to say that you are procrastinating and you need to stop. There is no “right mood” because you’re actively hindering yourself.
2. Ask Yourself Why
Next, think about why you’re procrastinating in the first place. Is the task something you find incredibly unengaging? Are there limitations that you simply refuse to deal with flat out? It’s important to point out which parts of the task are not to your liking and find a way to deal with it.
3. Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself
If you have procrastinated in the past, don’t let that send you into a spiral. Studies show that forgiving yourself for past mistakes lets you tackle your current tasks more effectively.
4. Get Peer Pressured
Pressure is an effective taskmaster. While you shouldn’t be asking people to berate you or anything extreme, you do need someone to call you out when you aren’t working. A lot of people lack self-awareness when stressed out. An external friendly face telling you to stop distracting yourself is a great way to start working.
Read more: How to master productivity in 7 easy steps
5. Tackle Things Head-on
One of the reasons people procrastinate is workload. Burnout is a very real danger when you let tasks pile up. As soon as a task comes up, settle it first before moving onto other tasks. If it’s an easy and low priority task, even better, because that means less tasks to worry about once you reach the really important ones.
6. Choose to Do Things
This is one of the most important things you need to internalize. Learn when to detach yourself from work. Don’t think of tasks as something you need to do or have to do. Giving tasks too much power makes you less likely to want to confront them. Instead, internalize choosing to do the task. It was your choice. You were not forced by stress or deadlines, you decided to do it because you chose to.
Everybody has their own personal way of dealing with procrastination. However, the strategies listed here are easy to integrate into any existing routine you have. In fact, you might be using some of them subconsciously already.
Procrastination is a mindset, and just like any mental block, you just have to train yourself to stop doing it. Recognize that you’re procrastinating, find out why you’re putting off the tasks you need to be doing, and tackle the issues head-on. Procrastination is a stubborn habit, so the only way to defeat it is by being more stubborn.
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