Procrastinating... we all do it in one way or another. Sometimes more consciously and sometimes more unconscious. It can be a matter of a day within which we don't manage to finish all our tasks, or pushing aside a different task over the span of days/ weeks/ months. Usually it's about something uncomfortable. But whenever we wake up from procrastinating we feel worse for it... Everyone does it and mind you I initially started writing this post 4 weeks ago :)
So here are some facts on what procrastination is psychologically (and what it is not). And further down I will share some ways I have learned to break through it or methods that are generally recommended. And then you can decide whether you want to call yourself a chronic procrastinator - like 20% of the US population - or maybe you're just a person who is looking for the right moment and inspiration!
- Procrastinating is something you learned at home. So if it's something you picked up, you can drop it again. Yes, really!
- Procrastinating is actually bad for your health. Being immobile, which is usually the way of dealing with things, weakens your immune system and can cause gastrointestinal problems and even insomnia.
- It is not poor time management or planning. You are simple a little bit more "optimistic" with your time.
- Are you trying to piss someone off? Because they may take it that way...
Now here's what to do:
- Find someone to jump-start you. It takes extra effort to come back to discipline, so find someone who will nag you repeatedly. When it's done, take them out for brunch. This year...
- Make a list and then do the hard stuff first. No task is so hard you can't find a way to motivate yourself. Be nice to yourself.
- Focus on one thing at a time and turn off distractions. Instant gratification of counting your Instagram or Facebook likes is awesome. But imagine how much greater it will be when you check back later and suddenly the number of likes is double digits instead of individual.
- Schedule breaks and how long they should last (!). Then if it's a longer project schedule the end time and reward yourself. Now go check your likes and have some ice cream.