Procrastination affects everyone. It sneaks up on most people when they’re tired or bored, but for some, procrastination can be a full-fledged addiction.
Procrastination is fueled by excuses. We cannot expect to overcome procrastination and improve our health and productivity until we’re able to overcome the negative mental habits that lead us to procrastinate in the first place. What follows are the most troubling excuses we use to help us procrastinate. For each, here are some preventative strategies so you can overcome procrastination and get productive.
I don’t know where to begin
We often find ourselves frozen like a deer in headlights when confronted with a difficult task. As well, much like deer, the best thing we can do is move in any direction, fast. When a task is particularly difficult, you need all the time you are given to complete it. There’s no sense in wasting valuable time by allowing you to be overwhelmed by the complexity of the task.
The key here is to not allow fear of the whole to stop you from engaging in the parts. When something looks too difficult, simply break it down.
There are too many distractions
For most of us, getting started on a large project is a challenge. We stumble over all sorts of smaller, irrelevant tasks that distract us from the real assignment. We answer emails, make calls, check the news online...anything to avoid the elephant in the room.
Being busy is not the same as being productive. When you find yourself avoiding a particularly sizeable task, slow down and visualize what will happen if you continue to put off the task. Reminding yourself of what will happen if you continue procrastinating is a great way to make distractions less enchanting so that you can focus on your work.
I don’t like it
Sometimes, you just don’t want to do it. It can be very hard to get moving on a task in which you’re disinterested, much less despise.Rather than pushing these tasks to the back of your plate, make it a rule that you cannot touch any other project or task until you’ve finished the dreaded one. In this way, you are policing yourself by forcing yourself to ‘eat your vegetables before you can have dessert.’ The task itself might not be fun, but the game can be. Forbes