Six Steps to Stop Procrastination
Six Steps to Stop Procrastination
People tend to put things off to the end due to many reasons. Procrastination is an active process because you choose to do something else other than the important task you have to complete. A person who is procrastinating is aware of that fact. So it is important to stop it right at the moment you notice yourself putting things off. In the video, Frank explains how to stop procrastination using six steps.
Forgive Yourself for Any Prior Procrastination
Researcher Timothy Phyohyl, has examined the role of guilt in procrastination and the forgiveness of that guilt. If you are a chronic procrastinator, forgive yourself. Also realize that moving forward there will never be a perfect time to study. We think that in the future things are going to be perfect and we will be in a better position to get to work. The present moment might be imperfect but it is enough for you to get to work and make some progress.
Redefine what Success Means to Fit Your Present Circumstances
Imagine if you are late on an homework assignment and that we have put things off to the point that it is now unrealistic to finish and submit in the original due date. There is a chance that even if you work really hard you are most likely to fail. Studies have shown that part of temporal motivation theory or the procrastination equation is expectancy. When you don’t have an expectation that you will achieve the goal, you are more likely to procrastinate. When you expect yourself to fail you are not motivated to work. Sit down and define a new version of success. If the original deadline is unrealistic, set a deadline. When you set a new goal, make sure this goal is fulfilling and challenging. If it is too easy, it will be less motivating for different reasons. Even if you achieve it, you might not feel good because it was too easy.
These are the two mental steps that will get the brain in the right place to get the work done.
Remove Potential Short-term Distractions
Clear your workspace- close all the tabs and programs unrelated to the given work, clear the desk. Make a clean workspace. If your workspace is not suitable, try to find a new space like a library or a café. Don’t spend too much time trying to find a workspace, you will lose time and there is no such thing as a perfect workspace. Get the workspace optimized for one task.
While working, if you find yourself distracted by the thoughts of things you still have to do, note it down in a piece of paper. Do the small tasks when you are free.
Dedicate time to take care of your biological needs. Keep a healthy snack or drink near your table to eat when you are hungry. If you are feeling tired, go for a walk or take a break for 5 minutes.
Ask yourself- do I need the internet or phone. If it is not crucial to the task at hand,, keep them away as it will only be a distraction to the work that has to be done.
Break the Project into Sub-tasks
Divide your project into small steps. Focus and finish one step at a time. Thinking of the work as a whole might make you anxious and stressed out. The work will be easier to complete when it is a small task.
Reframe Tasks as Input Based Rather than Output Based
Ask yourself to work for 20 minutes rather than focusing on the work that has to be done. This might make you less reluctant to do the work. You can use the pomodoro technique where you set a timer 25 minutes and work only for those 25 minutes and take a break for 5 minutes. This will help you to get in the zone.
Spend Your First Session “Setting Up” the Task
If you use the pomodoro technique, instead of diving in and working on the parts of the project, use the first 25 minutes to set the things necessary for the task. Once this is done, you only have to focus on the work ahead.
Barbara Oakley’s A Mind For Numbers is an excellent book that will help to overcome procrastination. It states that ‘procrastination can be avoided if you have a mind for it.’ Following those six steps will help you to achieve your goals and avoid procrastination.
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