We’ve all been there before.
A deadline is fast approaching, but instead of getting to work, you’re doing some inane thing — going on Reddit, watching some Buzzfeed video of Americans reacting to Korean food, or just lying in bed, doing nothing.
You know that deadline isn’t going away, but you just don’t feel like doing anything. Occasionally procrastinating probably won’t have severe consequences on your life, but when it becomes a chronic problem, you’re squandering time you would’ve otherwise spent meeting your obligations instead of going in panic mode, which usually affects the quality of your work. One study found that as much as 20 percent of the population is affected by chronic procrastination.
If left unfixed, chronic procrastination can be a terrible cycle that eats away at your life, causing you to miss opportunities that could’ve helped your career grow. Below are a few common-sense tips to beat procrastination, starting today.
Break Your Work Down into Little Goals
When you look at a task with an approaching deadline, getting started can seem overwhelming, and so we put it off. The key to getting started is to break the task down into little goals, focusing on one part at a time. This approach makes your to-do much simpler and easier, and the more goals you reach, the more you feel good about your productivity, which lets you build a steady rhythm.
Change Your Working Environment
Between working in your bedroom and working in a comfortable, well-lit café, where do you think you’d be more productive? Look at the desk in your bedroom — is it conducive to getting work done? If not, changing your work environment or workspace might be the solution.
Work environments are powerful enough to inspire you to work hard, but don’t forget this effect will soon fade, in which case it’s time to make another change.
Eliminate the Things that Make You Procrastinate
If you know you’re a procrastinator, you can probably identify what things make you procrastinate. Is it your phone? Put it away while you’re working. Is it your email client’s notifications? Disable it. Is it social media sites and forums? Ban them temporarily.
The point is to eliminate as many distractions as you can.
Get Started, NOW
If you’re still waiting for the “perfect” time to stop procrastinating, then stop. There’s never going to be a perfect time. NOW is the best time to get started, and if you don’t do so right away, you will never get around to accomplishing anything.
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