5 Tips On How To Avoid Procrastination
We all procrastinate as part of the human behavior and create incredible lies.
Without being aware of it, we all procrastinate every single day. The reason why is quite simple; we are humans.
Procrastination exists because we decide to let it exist, which is a result of our emotional level. If we have duties to do that we know must be done but at the same time we find the task very boring, immediately a voice somewhere tells us that there are more “important” things to do right now. For sure the task we try to procrastinate is more important, but the emotion you have creates an extraordinary lie you are willing to accept as the truth.
A good example could be cleaning the house after a party. Probably you recognize a situation like that, where whatever task is more important than cleaning up the house.
In my marathon training, I find it sometimes tough to jump out of bed very early in the morning and to get out there running. All possible excuses go through my head trying to convince me that I should cancel the training this morning.
When I’m doing my weekly long run, sometimes a strong voice tells me after 15K that it is enough instead of continue and do the 26K according to the plan.
How often has it happened that you have to execute a certain job with you computer, finding yourself after several hours answering e-mails or surfing around on websites having nothing to do with the task you were supposed to do?….or even worse, playing games recently downloaded.
The list of examples could be endless but, it all comes down to one main point:
The emotions win over rationality.
There are many articles about procrastination, but one of the best I have seen is a blog post written by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels, where they explain the behavior by “paying the price” by avoiding pain and continue in the comfort zone.
Be A Cheater Or Be Cheated
With the risk of being repetitive, my marathon training often teaches me a lot and gives tips on how to handle any situation in life. That little voice behind my ear telling me that it’s enough with 15K instead of the planned 26K appears when the legs start to be tired when you slowly start to run out of energy and the first signs of pain show up. That little voice tries to appeal to the way you are suffering and your low level of defense at that very moment.
The way I have solved the running issue is to run 13K and turn around back home again. That little trick makes it impossible to quiet after half the distance, as you must take the way back home again. There is no other choice.
Applying this to the daily work would be to shut down all applications that do not have to do with the job you are planning to do. Yes, including you e-mails. This is an easy way only to concentrate on the actual task and not being disturbed of anything else.
- Only focus on the task to do
Look after to get the task to do clearly,
- Identified in writing and give it a deadline.
Without a daily written “what to do” in my marathon training, I would never come to the starting blocks properly trained.
If the work to do is of a certain size or complexity,
- break it down into various sub- tasks.
It’s always easier to fulfill the entire task with many smaller tasks, and as each sub-task gets fulfilled it’s easier to jump over to the next one as all the victories along the road encourage and motivate to continue.
Everything in life has a purpose and all tasks, no matter how boring they are or whatever excuse we come up with to procrastinate, and a good way of getting things done is to visualize the result of getting the task properly executed
- Visualize the victory,
of when it’s all ready. The pride you will feel that you now can celebrate what you have accomplished.
One of the most frequent excuses to procrastinate is to blame others or circumstances for not getting things done. How easy wouldn’t it be to convince myself that today I should absolutely cancel my training when it’s raining and the temperature is below what is normal for the season. The circumstances take the decision for me. But that missing training session will influence in my final result and if repeated with a certain frequency, it will make it hard to fulfill the 26.2 miles marathon race I’m training for.
- Always make yourself accountable.
This is probably the strongest argument against procrastination, and you have to be accustom to it. Remember:
No one else than yourself is responsible for your destiny.
These 5 tips on how to eliminate procrastination are pretty simple, and probably no new science to you. However, from talking to doing the road often can be both long and windy, and it all comes down to be a cheater for that little voice behind your ear that constantly boost procrastination into your life.
How often haven’t you promised yourself, your family or friends that your life is going to change? You are going to earn more money. You are going to have more time for friends and family. You are going to have more freedom. One of the main reason that the change doesn’t take place is because of….yes, guess what…
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