We have all been there – you need to do something, you don’t want to do it, you doodle your time away and by the time you start to do that task, you barely have enough time to complete it.
Yes, this is the world of procrastinating. While we have to admit that procrastinating in itself is not exactly a bad thing – you can only get its benefits if you are an expert in performing this stunt.
A stunt is defined as “an unusual or difficult activity” and since you will need to complete a whole bunch of tasks at a very limited time. If you procrastinate you will be required to do this very thing – do a difficult activity which is completing a whole sleuth of exercise and tasks within a very limited time which can lead to disastrous outcomes.
But that brings a question – since the outcome of procrastination is rather bad but and somehow we still love to do it- how can we stop procrastinating?
Well, the answers are rather simple to say but hard to execute. Kind of like calming down when we are angry and someone says “calm down”. But still, there are some methods that, if you apply them into everyday lives, can indeed help you to stop procrastinating.
Let’s get started.
Step 1: Realize that you are procrastinating
This is one of the hardest steps in the entire process to stop procrastinating. The thing is, while many of us do procrastinate, a lot of us don’t realize that we are procrastinating. Heck a lot of us don’t even know what procrastinating is.
Procrastinating in simple terms is intentionally delaying a task. So if you are reading this article instead of reading for your exams that is tomorrow or instead of working during work hours – you are delaying your task and are procrastinating.
In order to stop procrastinating, you first need to realize and acknowledge that you are delaying a task intentionally. Without realizing that, you won’t be able to apply any of the proceeding steps.
Step 2: Know why you are procrastinating!
Now once you know that you are procrastinating, the next step is to know the reasons why. While we are no experts in any shape on forms in this subject, we have done our fair share of procrastinating to know that there is a whole sleuth of reasons for procrastinating.
Maybe the task is boring, or repetitive, or if the task is too hard for you. Any of these reasons can be your reason. This is especially true if you are in a job where you do the same thing day in and day out. You are so used to the task that it feels mundane and as a result, you would want to delay doing those tasks for as long as you can.
Another common reason for procrastinating is when the task is not important and can be skipped or done at a later date. In this case, procrastinating is not harmful at all but will increase your workload for a later date.
Regardless the point of this step is to figure out the reasons so you can find the measure to eliminate the reasons and stop procrastinating.
Step 3: Anti-Procrastination Methods
Once you have figured out that you are procrastinating and the reason behind it, the hardest part is over. Now all you need to do is adopt some anti-procrastinating methods and boom you should be able to stop procrastinating or at the very least, procrastinate the procrastinating.
*procrastinate the procrastinating is a play of words which essentially means you delay procrastinating and finish the task at hand so you can idle your time away later.
There are a wide number of anti-procrastination methods out there that you can use to stop procrastinating. But you do have to keep in mind that while these methods are indeed effective and rather easy to apply, you will need to steel your will for it will take a while to get used to using them. Some of the most practical anti-procrastination methods are:
1) Prioritization and scheduling
Prioritization helps you to know the important tasks and scheduling helps you to plan the tasks. When you combine both of them you will naturally get a plan for the tasks based on their importance. Not only does this means that you will know the importance of certain tasks but also know the amount of time you get for each task along with your free time as well.
This anti-procrastinating method is a great one to put a small pressure on yourself to drive you while waiting for that reward of free time which makes this method one of the best ways to stop procrastinating.
2) Pressure and Reward
While we got a whiff of pressure and reward in the previous method, this one is more directly related to the concept of pressure and reward. The basic concept of this method is rather simple – give yourself a reward for completing tasks within a limited amount of time.
While the general concept is rather simple you can make this process a bit more fun by turning it into a game. For instance, you can categorize your tasks into groups depending on difficulty or priority where the tasks within a group will give you a certain number of points. Then keep a list of rewards that you can buy with the points from the completed tasks. The more tasks you complete the bigger reward you can give yourself.
This is one of the best methods to stop procrastinating because this method will literally make your life like an RPG game where tasks are missions and points are the currency that you can use to get upgrades. Believe us when we say this, this method will make your life a lot more fun than it already is.
3) Reduce distractions
This is by far the simplest of things that you can do to stop procrastinating and one of the hardest things to do. It is one of those things that is easier said and done. The concept of this method is simple – if you don’t have anything to be distracted on, then you won’t have any reasons to not complete tasks.
But the thing is- there is no way to keep the distractions at bay- most of us work on our computers and a lot of us use the internet to study. These are devices that are filled with distractions. So unless you practice extreme self-control and stop yourself from goofing off your main task window, it is easier said than done to reduce distractions.
That being said it isn’t impossible to do so. Just keep your social media on mute, music on low volume, and phone on vibrate mode. This will get rid of most distractions. If the distractions are people, then all you need to do is shove some earphones in and look serious or pissed – that always works to keep people at bay.
3) Finish as you get them
Finishing tasks as soon as we get them is what we should be doing in the first place. Most of us procrastinate about the tasks that we have piled up. So if we have no tasks piled up, there would be no need to learn how to stop procrastinating. But for you to do implement this method, you first need to know how to procrastinate and set a proper mindset.
If you are someone who is already used to procrastinating, then you may need to use the first or the second method to get used to completing tasks as you go. But once you see the plus side of doing this, you won’t need to keep on giving yourself rewards as the extra time you get between the tasks is will naturally be more than the time you get while you procrastinate – minus the stress of work.
While this three-step process is by far not the only way to stop procrastinating – it sure is an effective one. In fact, we have been using this process for a while (at least a few of us have) to stay motivated and focus on our tasks at hand.
As for the methods to stop procrastinating, if we are to recommend one, we would recommend combining the first and the second one. By combining both of them not only will your life be more fun because of the subtle RPG structure that you have for tasks, but you will also get to know the important things in your life.
Hope you found this helpful. If you have any suggestions for us, do let us know in the comments below. And as always, thank you for reading till the end.