7 Ways to Avoid Procrastination

by Paige Ryan   Ulticareer  | Advice  | Life lesson  | Work tips  | Productivity  | 

Everyone has procrastinated a task at some point in their lives. It’s important to keep in mind that procrastination is not laziness and there are several reasons people procrastinate. Sometimes a task is too daunting to begin. Sometimes people do not know where to start and get stuck in the planning process. Use these tips to learn how to stop procrastinating and accomplish all your goals in life.

1.    Create a goal with a deadline

 The first step in completing a task is having a task to begin with. Whether it is writing a novel, applying for a job, or simply just cleaning your room you just need to have an end goal. Give yourself a deadline in correlation to the goal. You’re going to need much more time to write a novel than to clean your room so set the end date accordingly. A deadline for each task is essential because without one, the task can be put off indefinitely.

2.    Break down the goal

The grander the goal the greater the intimidation seems to be intimidating. Thinking about the result can be overwhelming, so in order to take some of that pressure off, break the task down into steps. Keep each step simple and achievable with a deadline for each one. Multiple deadlines are significantly more feasible than one large one. Keep in mind you do not need to plan out every step along the way right from the start. Further steps will be come clearer the closer you get to the goal.

3.    Act daily starting today

Yes, there is always tomorrow, but this mentality only adds to the work you will have to do the next day. Daunting tasks may make you want to put it off, but you will feel better once you start even if it is something small. Do not over complicate it, there will never be a perfect time to start working and if you are waiting for one, then you will be waiting forever.  Nothing needs to be perfect the first time around. Mistakes will happen no matter how much you plan, so do not let fear of failure hold you back from starting. Remember, you can’t fix anything if you haven’t started in the first place. Working a little bit every day to reach each one of the deadlines set.

4.    Set a reward system

There is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself throughout your progress. In fact, it will make you more likely to finish the tasks you set for yourself in a timely manner. You will become more motivated to work rather than push it off if something is at stake. Allow yourself to watch your favorite show, get ice cream, or play video games when you accomplish what you set for yourself.

5.    Take breaks

Don’t overwork yourself and avoid burning yourself out. Setting timers for yourself will help keep your mind sharp and more focused. Plan to work for an hour before taking a 10-15 minute break. Step away from what you’re working on and take a breather. Go take a walk, grab a snack, respond to some text messages, whatever it takes to get your mind off work for a little while. This will reset your mind and allow you to work productively and less begrudgingly.

6.    Eliminate distractions

It is much easier to procrastinate if you have things around you that are more desirable to do than the work at hand. Find a location where your distractions are limited. It helps to get out of the house, so you are less likely to be tempted to turn on the TV or lay in bed. Turn off notifications on your phone and computer so you can only be reached for emergencies.

7.    Have a support system

It is always a good idea to surround yourself with people who are proud of you and encourage you to work harder, especially when you feel like you are in a rut. It is also a good idea to work with people who inspire you. Being in the same room as someone who inspires you, while they are working on their own goals, tends to motivate you to be productive. Lastly, being around someone who is aware of your goals makes you accountable and discourages putting tasks off.

Procrastinating is a common problem, but hopefully these tips can help prevent you from delaying your goals. What are some ways you’ve used to stop procrastinating? Share your experience on UltiCareer to let others know what worked for you. 

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