The desire to put something off for tomorrow that can be done today can be tempting. It’s easy to shrug off work, adding it to the “to do” list that is already brimming over with tasks. Procrastination can lead to a missed opportunities, sub-standard work and frustration. By finding ways to avoid putting off tasks, you can enjoy greater success and break the habit for good.
Just do Something
If a task seems overwhelming, the brain will attempt to persuade you to put it off because it’s unpleasant. The key to overcoming this is to do some part of the task, even if it is just a small part. If you’re supposed to clean out the attic this weekend, start by just cleaning out one small space. By doing this, you will show your brain that the task is not as unpleasant as you had imagined, and give yourself the motivation to complete it.
If you don’t feel like putting in an hour of exercise, just go and work out for 15 minutes. If that seems like too much, simply put on your fitness clothing and sit on the couch. Just starting this little act may be just what you need to get your task done.
Make Yourself Accountable
Tell your spouse that you are going to shovel the snow by noon, take a course at the community college or plant a garden, and you will almost be forced to do it. By making your intentions public, you will be less likely to start procrastinating and putting them off.
When you finally start and finish that dreaded task, reward yourself. Go for a refreshing walk in the park or treat yourself to an afternoon engaged in your favorite hobby. The reward itself doesn’t matter. The most important part is that you give yourself something that you enjoy to celebrate your new positive habit of giving up procrastination.
When it comes to completing a task, it can be tempting to put it off until later—or never. By rewarding yourself, making yourself accountable and just getting started, you will be more likely to get things done.