How to Stop Procrastinating
Imagine this situation: you have a test in two days that you should be studying for. Problem is, the weather outside is perfect, you cannot focus on your work, and if that were not enough, you just do not feel like studying right now. After all, you have two days to prepare for the test.
How hard can it be? Almost everyone has been in this situation at some point in their lives. While some actually work better at the last minute, it is not a habit that you should practice. Like all things, procrastination in moderation is a way for the brain to re-energize and refocus. Too much procrastination, though, and you could find yourself over-worked, over-stressed and quickly burnt out.
How can you finish your work on time and still enjoy yourself in the process? The following are a few tips that should help you to get off the road to perpetual procrastination and help you get back on the road to effective productivity.
Step 1: Make a schedule for yourself of what is due and when it is due.
If you have a gage of when everything is due, you will be less likely to put it off until the last minute. Additionally, the presence of due dates on a calendar will serve as a reminder to you, as well as an organizational tool. By breaking down your responsibilities and their deadlines into terms of what and when is due, you will be less stressed when you finally do begin to do the work.
When you are less stressed, you generally tend to be happier and more relaxed. Despite what you may believe, the relaxation experienced when you are procrastinating is a false one. Many people, despite the fact that they appear to be worry-free are, in fact, subconsciously concerned about the very things that they are putting off.
Step 2: Prioritize.
Separate your work into piles of “urgent” and “can wait.” No one likes to find themselves surrounded by excessive amounts of work and bills; however, by putting the most important ones first, you can eliminate some of the stress involved. Your “important” work should include items that are due soon and large projects that will time-consuming.
On the other hand, your pile should include items that are not conducive to you that do not need to be addressed immediately, such as writing letters to friends, finishing the latest pop culture magazine, or re-organizing your CD collection, all of which further contribute to your procrastination.
The use of Post-It notes or other organizational supplies are heavily recommended, as they provide a more vibrant and therefore more forceful reminder of what needs to be done and when it should be done.
Step 3: Focus.
All of the organizational materials in the world will not help you if you aren't willing to help yourself. Sit down, choose one task to focus on at a time, and begin working on it until you are finished, then move on to the next task. Before you know it, your work will be completed, and you will actually be able to feel relatively stress - free without the looming worry of work owed.