5 Simple Ways to Punch Procrastination in the Gut
Regardless of how thick-shelled your work routine may be, you’re bound to be infected by the procrastination bug once in a while. It can break your work pace and disturb your schedule in just one blow. Unfortunately, science hasn’t come up with a quick fix pill for dallying yet. This leaves us with remedial measures.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into some simple ways that can help you beat procrastination at its game:
1. Address the root of the problem
As in the case of any other concern, learn what is at the core of the problem. Figure out why you’re putting things off. For instance, you may have a rigid work schedule to blame. Or, you may have a task on your to-do list that you dislike but have to get it done anyway.
Once you discover the ‘why,’ you will be able to manage your situation better. For example, you may be dreading doing the accounts every month. Instances such as these are the most fertile areas for procrastination to grow.
So what should you do? Outsourcing the work to someone else is a viable option. Or, seek help from somebody. In the example included here, you can use accounting apps or hire someone to do the work for you.
2. Change your usual work spot
One thing that’s pretty common about procrastination is that it attacks when we are pressed for time. You’ve two solutions for that. Either you move the deadline a bit, or you punch procrastination.
Let’s be clear here though. Not everyone is their own boss. And, even if they are, they can’t keep pushing deadlines around like a six-year-old playing with the food on his plate to avoid eating it. This leaves us with the need to deal with procrastination.
An effective way to deal with it is to change your working spot. Squeezing into one place all day long can take a toll on your energy levels and productivity, leaving welcome ground for procrastination. It can also make work boring. So, change your work location.
3. Get more sunlight or walk around a little
While this may or may not work instantly for you, you’ll understand what I am suggesting in a bit. Natural light is a mood booster, which means if you’re humming and hawing because you feel blue or agitated, then sunlight may rescue you from the procrastination trap.
Several studies agree that natural light is more helpful to your productivity than any other light source. Moreover, fluorescent light may promote an increased stress response among certain people.
At the same time, taking a walk can also help breakthrough a stagnant stage in your work. It boosts your creativity as well. Not so surprisingly, creativity puts up a good battle with procrastination. Aren’t we the most productive when our creative bulbs are at their brightest?
Multiple studies confirm that walking amps up your creative output by 60%. These findings are in contrast with people who keep sitting, waiting for an idea or two to surface. No wonder the co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, used to conduct meetings while walking.
4. Take small steps
One of the best ways to stop kicking the can down the road is taking small steps at a time. Say, you have to complete project X by the coming week, and you’re short on time. Not to mention, you can’t get started.
To beat that, work by dividing the project into three medium-sized tasks. Divide those tasks further to make it easy to accomplish things one by one. A case in point is writing a blog post for your business blog.
Divide the work into research, drafting, and editing. Next, divide the research into reading, writing bullet points of what you have in mind, and gathering some stats and quotes on the topic. Similarly, divide the drafting work into creating a solid outline, writing the first half, and completing the second-half.
Lastly, divide the third task of editing to reading and checking errors, formatting the work and adding pictures, and finally publishing the post. You can use such an approach in getting all sorts of tasks done.
5. Take a break and rest
Sometimes, procrastination knocks on your door when you have been working extensively and need a break. In such instances, it is okay to breathe a little and take care of yourself.
In an interview with Entrepreneur.com, Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of Huffington Post, stressed the need for paying attention to our health.
Simply put… let yourself relax.
When I don’t feel like working, I don’t push myself if I don’t have the needed fuel to work further. Instead, I do things that typically charge me. Reading works well for me. So does music or getting a pedicure. You can do the same. Self-care can help you power your engines. The next thing you know, in only a few hours, you’ll be ready to get things done and crush your goals.
Although procrastination can be tough to handle, it’s not impossible to deal with it. Give yourself a much-needed break or divide your work into small, digestible, easy-to-handle tasks to get the task done. Alternatively, address the reason behind the delay and solve it to beat procrastination.
About The Author
Masooma Memon is a freelance writer by day and a novel nerd by night. She crafts research-backed content in the health and small business niches on topics ranging from productivity to mindfulness, mental well-being, and dementia. You can connect with her on Twitter or read her thoughts at Ink and Copy