Tips to stop yourself procrastinating
Do you find yourself delaying important tasks and leaving responsibilities to the last possible minute? Whether it’s studying, applying to a job, or tidying your room, you are most likely procrastinating.
Procrastination is the act of irrationally putting off and deferring essential chores, caused by a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, procrastination can lead to unproductivity, which in turn contributes to a lack of success, stress, and anxiety alongside other negative feelings.
If you’re struggling with this, read on to find out my top tips to stop yourself procrastinating.
You should organise your tasks at the beginning of the day, perhaps in the form of a to-do list. It is important to not set yourself too much to do, as this is when you may become overwhelmed and begin to procrastinate. Keeping track of all of your deadlines and important tasks, as well as less important tasks, makes it easier to prioritise and set a day-to-day list with small targets to complete by the end of the day. Don’t worry if you don’t complete everything on your list, do not feel disheartened! It’s an accomplishment to be even the slightest bit productive in a day no matter how many things you do.
When you are settling down to complete a piece of work, you should eliminate all distractions before you start. Place your phone somewhere out of reach to avoid the temptation to scroll through TikTok, sit up at a desk rather than your bed and try not to ‘multi-task’ with the TV on in the background. Disciplining yourself by removing distractions before you start will help avoid this possibility of procrastinating. Working with friends can sometimes influence you to be productive alongside them yet can also become a site for distraction if you begin chatting. Figure out what distracts you and what helps you focus to construct the best working environment to get your chores done.
Take regular breaks and reward yourself every once in a while. If you don’t take breaks you may become burnt out quickly, and more likely to procrastinate. Breaks also act as an incentive to complete a task or create your own rewards such as treating yourself with a cake, meeting friends or watching a film on Netflix once you have completed your tasks. Trying this out for a day and succeeding will build your confidence and motivate yourself to be productive again as you know it’s possible!
Set yourself your own deadlines. I often found that if a piece of work was due in a week’s time, I would procrastinate by telling myself I’ll do it tomorrow. This then became relentless as I filled my time with unimportant, easier tasks until it would suddenly be the night before the deadline, and I had barely started the assignment. This causes unnecessary stress and regret, yet it is easy to fall into this rut unless you actively do something about it. By setting yourself your own (earlier) deadlines and splitting the task up into smaller, achievable chunks, you’ll find it a lot easier and less daunting to complete.
Just remember, you are not lazy! Procrastination can stem from a number of things, whether you’re a worrier and stress about upcoming deadlines so put them off until the last minute, whether you’re a perfectionist and cannot cope with something not being the best it can be so therefore avoiding it, or perhaps you subconsciously feel as if you need the last-minute pressure to have the motivation to work. But trust me, following these tips can help you procrastinate less and be more productive in your day-to-day life.