How to avoid procrastination
Are you one of those people that get things done, but it usually takes some time? Do you get the feeling at the back of your head that you need to do some important things, but there is never enough time for them? Do reasons along the line that you are tired from work, you prefer to meet with friends and family, you have kids to take care of sound familiar? Well, they do to me and the word for all these excuses is procrastination.
If you look up the definition of the word in the dictionary, it would tell you that procrastination is the act or habit of putting off or delaying. Well, don’t we all love to do that, including me? Yes we do, and those of us who don’t procrastinate are usually a bit more successful. So, why do we do it?
The answer is very complex and simple at the same time. For me, the reason for delaying things is simply human nature. We tend to get those tasks done that will bring us immediate or tangible satisfaction, and put off things that will help us in the long run, because they are hard to grasp and there is no sense of achievement in the presence.
The complexity of this issue comes from the question how to avoid procrastination. People are so different that it’s hard to find a solution for all. But I can share the things that get me going when I am so tempted to procrastinate.
The first and hardest thing to do is have balance in your life. Try to plan your days or weeks in such manner that will allow you to get all those things that you never have time for done. One technique that might help you comes from Stephen Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and I really liked it.
Take a piece of paper and draw a rectangle. Divide it to nine or twelve sections and put a part of your life in each, every aspect that is important to you. Put family, friends, work, development, spouse, kids, relaxation etc. Then start thinking how you can improve all of these sections. For example, have a schedule and spent a few hours a week reading, doing research, taking online classes, or something that helps you develop personally. Or set a goal to meet at least one friend a week, take your significant other on a date every month, spent alone time with your kids every weekend and teach them important facts about the world and so on.
After the planning is done, comes the question how would you make yourself actually do all these things? I have a few tips and first of them is set up a calendar event in your phone that will help you remember what you need to do and after a while, if you really follow your plan, it will become a habit.
Also, start visualizing what you will gain by trying to improve all your aspects of your life and go into details that will really help you see the benefits. Wake up every morning five minutes earlier and just think of your better self. This will set a positive mood for the rest of your day and you will be more productive.
And finally, motivate yourself by talking to the friends that inspire you, not to those that think what you are doing is foolish. Surround yourself with positive people that get things done and have the ability to enjoy your success. This way you will not only have the right support system, but also you can inspire and motivate them.