It is a familiar situation – you have a task to do which you find difficult, arduous, time consuming or just boring. You would rather be doing something else (or even nothing) so you decide to do this arduous or boring task later; by the simple expedient of procrastination.
Here are some tips to help you stop procrastinating and to get on with doing things-
1. Think of reasons why you should do the job. It is going to make you some money, probably earn you kudos from the boss and respect from co-workers? Think of why this task is important in the general scheme of things; this will help you get serious about the task and will make it seem a little bit more attractive.
Put in the context of a task that needs doing at home, consider how much nicer a mown lawn looks or how much better the garage will look with a fresh coat of paint.
2. Then think of the consequences of not doing the job. If there are going to be repercussions such as negative reactions from the boss and coworkers, losing respect, perhaps missing a work related bonus, a poor status report and other tangible consequences then this should also spur you on to get cracking at the task.
In the home context, ignoring chores and putting them off will only make them more difficult to tackle later. The lawn will get wilder and more difficult to mow and soon the garage may need more than just a coat of paint.
3. Motivate yourself. Will it help you achieve a private goal and make you feel better and satisfied at the end? Will it give you a sense of accomplishment and also smooth the path for future projects making them simpler and easier?
4. Ask yourself why you are procrastinating; what are the hurdles that you see standing in your way of getting the job done. If it is disinterest try and find at least something that you may enjoy, if it is resources that you lack then try and redress that lack- that will be a great first step.
5. Break the task up into several smaller tasks and create a timeline for each. The task may appear arduous if taken as a whole, but breaking it into several smaller parts will make it seem much less so. One step at a time and each step on time should be the mantra.
6. Promise yourself a reward. This may sound a bit like bribing yourself, but if you promise yourself a little weekend getaway, some spa pampering or even a good meal at your favorite restaurant after the job is successfully done, this may act as a motivating factor.
7. Be single minded. Make a start and then don’t let yourself be sidetracked from the schedule that you have set for yourself. If you stick to the program, you may be surprised at how quickly you get things done.
8. Ask for help if you really cannot manage. Who knows, when others are part of the project, it may be a lot less arduous and even fun.