Conquering Procrastination and Taking Initiative

What are you waiting for? Do you struggle with waiting until the last-minute to complete tasks? When  you’re on the losing side in the battle against procrastination, it doesn’t matter the amount of time or effort required for that task. You just wait until its crunch time no matter what. Consequently, your work and reputation suffers. But you are not alone. If you find yourself guilty of procrastination, know that it can be quite common. A staggering 95 percent of people admit to putting off work.

attention management procrastination

Why do we procrastinate?

According to Tim Pychyl, author of Solving the Procrastination Puzzle, there are seven triggers that contribute to procrastination.  These are:

  • The task is boring
  • The task is frustrating
  • The task is difficult
  • The instructions or processes are ambiguous
  • The task is unstructured
  • The task is not intrinsically rewarding
  • The task has no personal meaning

Dig a little deeper into your brain and try to see what triggers you to procrastinate.

Is it based on your emotions? Or are you simply unmotivated? Procrastination can be based on fears, unhappiness, or a career you may find boring.

Overcoming Procrastination

There are ways to overcome procrastination. Consequently, it doesn’t have to control you or define you and your work ethic. There are many ways you can try to beat the procrastination habit.

  1. Start by making a goal for yourself.
  2. Visualize what you need to do and the steps you need to take
  3. Set milestones—this will help you have small wins on your journey.
  4. Set deadlines—if you fail to give yourself an end point, how will you know when you’ve reached it?

Deadlines and goals need to be realistic. If your core reason for procrastinating comes from feeling that you can’t possibly reach the goal set in front of you, then you may end up failing before you even begin.

Give yourself positive praise. Build yourself up and celebrate when you do hit a deadline or a goal.

Taking Initiative

Pause for a moment and think about all the things you have going on in your near future. It can be overwhelming to see everything laid out in front of you like that. To help you stop procrastinating, break it down and simplify it.

Instead of viewing all your to-do’s by the month, break them down into a weekly view or even a daily view. Breaking down those important and urgent items into a simpler process may help ease that anxiousness or fear of actually starting them.

Each morning, try to view your day and prioritize the tasks that are a “must” to get done versus the tasks that can be done later.

To overcome procrastination, you just have to start. So, the key is taking initiative.  If you don’t start, then you won’t overcome. If you can’t overcome, then your cycle of procrastination will continue to repeat.

It is possible to prioritize and conquer procrastination. Make a plan, set a goal, and reward yourself for obtaining that goal. Then, repeat.

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