I was, and still is, an avid procrastinator. I enjoyed scrolling through my social media feed rather than getting things done. I’d rather watch the newest YouTube video than doing this very post, making this post delayed by 4 days—it’s supposed to be published on Monday! But somehow I realized that it needs to change. I realized that life is finite, that we are a mortal being and time is so precious it shouldn’t be wasted. Last night, I browsed through the internet on how to stop procrastinating. I’m trying to do all those things now. And I think it’s a very good findings to share with you.
1. Identify Why and How You Procrastinate To stop procrastinate, you should know why you do it in the first place. Maybe you’re bored with your task, so you decide to scroll through your social media feed for a while. Maybe you’re too afraid with your task so you decide not to do it altogether. Or maybe you’re just hungry so you keep going to the pantry. Whatever it is, you should identify the reason behind your procrastination. Once you know the “why” you can avoid it so that you can stop procrastinating. Knowing how you procrastinate is also helpful. For example, if you procrastinate by watching those cute kitten video, you may add YouTube to your blacklist so whenever you try to access it your browser blocks it for you. Or if you tend to go to the water cooler every 5 minutes, why don’t you just bring a water bottle into your desk? Well, you can do pretty much anything if you know how you procrastinate.
2. Procrastinate Now to Avoid Procrastinating Later Once you did the number 1, you can satisfy your needs now to avoid procrastinating later. For example, if you know you’re hungry why don’t you just cook something and fill your stomach? That way you’ll be full and you have the energy to concentrate on your task. Or maybe you’re just bored, then you can play some games or watch some videos first. One tip for this: if you want to procrastinate now to avoid procrastinating later, make sure you have a timer set for 10 or 15 minutes so you remember to go back into your task instead of procrastinating for too long.
3. Break Task into Smaller Chunks If you’re overwhelmed with your task, you may tend to avoid it altogether. If this is the case, you can try to break your big task into smaller parts so it feels more do-able. This trick also helps for a task with long deadline. If you tend to procrastinate because the deadline seems so far away, you can break the task into smaller parts with closer deadline.
4. Consider The Effect of Your Procrastination If you consider the effect of your procrastination, you may be uncomfortable with it and do your task right away. Think about the stress you’ll get if you get closer to the deadline. If you procrastinate now you may get a lower quality work in the end and you may get lower score in class or maybe your boss will be disappointed. Whatever it is, think of something scary enough to make you stop procrastinating.
Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin. —Victor Kiam
5. Reward Yourself When You Stop Procrastinating If all else fails, you may try to reward yourself if you get your things done. It may be a nice coffee in the weekend. Or a ticket to the movie if you like. Rewarding yourself may give you more motivation to do your task since human’s brain works to get rewards.
6. Just Do It Well, this is the last tip from me. Whatever it is you’re going to do, just do it! You’ll never get your things done if you never work on it. You’ll keep procrastinating if you don’t start. Sometimes, just starting out will give you the momentum to get things done. This is what I did with this post. It’s been on my draft for 4 long day and if I didn’t start on it I may never start on it. Once I start writing, I can’t stop! Okay that’s all. I hope this post helps you stop your procrastination. If you’ve got some more tricks to stop procrastinating, share it in the comment below!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Finite Creatures.”