Do you find yourself always procrastinating… putting things off when you shouldn’t or finding any other interesting excuse to just not do the things you want to do?
There’s a song that went viral a few weeks ago. And that was because of a statement the artist made:
“I know I fucked up. Who never fuck up hands in the air?”
Well, I’m going to be making the same statement now.
“I know I have procrastinated. Who hasn’t procrastinated, hands in the air?”
That’s because we are all guilty of this crime.
But does that make it okay?
How do you deal with Procrastination?
Since we all procrastinate, should we keep on even when we understand that it is making us less productive and unsuccessful?
I’d like to think your answer is a resounding “No.” That’s why you are here after all.
And when the time comes that I’ll ask, if you’ve stopped procrastinating, hands in the air.
I hope I see yours waving at me.
So here it is, five simple steps that can help you stop procrastinating and become more productive.
1. Start Now!
It is simple.
Do you have an assignment to do? A project topic to write? A business idea to develop? A book to publish?
Procrastination creeps in when you push it to a later date.
“I’ll do it later.” “I still have time.”
That’s how it starts, we permit ourselves to procrastinate.
To avoid this, start whatever task you have now. No matter the abundance of time.
Start now even if you have the whole year to finish it.
2. Start small
One of the reasons we procrastinate is a lack of motivation.
Some days, we feel so motivated and work so hard like Elon Musk.
Other days, we just want to curl up on our sofa and watch movies all day.
For a lot of us, the latter days are a lot more common than the Elon Musk days.
School work is voluminous.
Starting a business is hectic.
The thought of writing a fifty-page project is energy-draining already.
Writing is tedious.
And so, we keep pushing them forward hoping and waiting for those scarce Elon Musk days to meet us.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You don’t need to be motivated to breathe, do you?
What about eating? No?
Because they are habits. Things that you do because they don’t feel like work.
The same goes for that project. You can break it into smaller bits and take it little by little so it doesn’t seem like work.
One page a day doesn’t sound so bad.
Thirty minutes a day working on your business idea isn’t stressful, it’s just like breathing.
Taking it by bits requires little willpower. You won’t need motivation for that. It’s just like picking up a spoon. You don’t need the big muscles for that.
Whether you are motivated or not, you can still be productive.
3. Be consistent
Thirty minutes every day working on your business idea is three hours and thirty minutes a week.
Fourteen hours a month.
Imagine if you spent fourteen hours last month on that project you’ve been procrastinating. Maybe you’ll have made your first profit instead you are still thinking of how hectic starting that business is.
Or are you waiting for the Elon Musk days?
Start now, start small, and be consistent.
The trick is to do little each day.
When your brain doesn’t feel like it’s hard work reading one page a day, it won’t have any problem reading seven pages in seven days.
Consistency builds habits. And once it becomes a habit, you’ll be reading seven pages in one day.
See? Procrastination kicked to the curb. Productivity becomes the star of the match.
4. Set up a reward-punishment system
You know how we reward a child when he or she does well and in turn, punishes him or her for a wrong deed?
Yes, that’s what you need to do to yourself because deep down…you are still a child.
Set up a work plan.
When you complete that small task you set out to do today, reward yourself with your activity.
Of course in a healthy manner, else you ruin everything. It could be a favorite food, hobby, game, movie e.t.c.
But don’t also forget to deprive yourself of these things when you fail to meet up.
As a child, it keeps you motivated knowing there’s a reward at the end.
5. Avoid distractions
I’m very certain no one starts his or her day with a, “Oh well. Today seems like a good day to procrastinate.”
Honestly, we just want to get the job done.
But… We easily get distracted.
Just when you are about to read or work on that project, you see an interesting thread on social media.
Oh! I haven’t viewed my contacts’ WhatsApp status.
Hmm, what’s my friend up to, let me chat him or her up.
And….reading or business projects are postponed till further notice.
Take away anything that will act as a distraction when you are about to work.
You can talk to your friends, read the latest news, and check out the release date of a movie later on after you’ve finished what you set out to do.
How procrastination affects productivity?
You never complete tasks.
Getting started is the easy part. Many people are good at starting something new.
Finishing – that’s the hardest part.
You’re starting a task. You’re very excited and all (all sounds great until this point)
As time goes by, your excitement gets lower and soon after it disappears and the reality kicks in.
Unless you have a strong why and put in the right habits, it is close to impossible to stay motivated and endure the seductive voice of Procrastination.
You end up feeling sorry for yourself.
Procrastination keeps you stuck
You can choose to easily get out of procrastination by trusting yourself and your creative process.
Procrastination is a slow poison that eats at your productivity while making you believe all is well until the dying minutes.
To be productive, you have to be conscious of this poison.
Whenever you find yourself trying to push a task meant for now to a later date, stop and retrace your steps.
The road down procrastination ends in a lot of regrets and, “I know I fucked up. Who never fuck up hands in the air.”
I’m sure you don’t want to be a victim.