5 Ways to Help Manage Procrastination by: Frances Bridges
Everyone procrastinates, because we all have things we simply do not want to do. But like all of life’s obstacles, life is not about the challenges you face, it is about how you face the challenges. Do not let your life be defined by the fact you procrastinate, let it be defined by how you manage your procrastination. Here are five ways to help you gain control of your procrastination:
Acknowledge Why You’re Procrastinating
Often times you’re procrastinating because you don’t want to do something for a variety of reasons: it’s tedious, it’s difficult or because you’re afraid and ashamed. Start by identifying why you’re procrastinating, so you better know how to manage it. If you are distracting yourself with surfing the web or social media, then install software like Freedom or SelfControl to make sure you focus. If you’re afraid of failure, or ashamed that you’ve taken so long to summon your courage, forgive yourself so you can move on. Acknowledge your weakness, then act to strengthen it- it’s the only way to move forward.
Break Your Goals Down Into Steps
People often procrastinate because they’re afraid, because what they’re undertaking is daunting. One way to help manage a big goal is to break it down into smaller, less daunting steps. You won’t procrastinate a smaller, more feasible task like you would a big, complex task. Make things easier for yourself by breaking things down into smaller steps, you will be less afraid and more efficient.
Measure your Progress
Keeping track of your progress helps you stay on task, reinforce the progress you’ve made and build your confidence as you near your goal. It also helps you stay motivated when things get tough and you want to quit.
Have Someone Help Hold You Accountable
It’s easier to impose structure on yourself, and therefore manage your procrastination if you have someone to help hold you accountable, like a friend, family member, career coach or therapist. it’s hard to push things off and ignore them if someone is checking in with you to make sure you’re staying on task and focused on your priorities.
Especially when you’re in the process of getting rid of old, bad habits and trying to replace them with better habits, having a reward system is a good way to incentivize yourself during the tough transition. Try and make your rewards healthy, like some relaxation time, or treating yourself to a work out class, etc. so you’re not replacing one bad habit with a different bad habit.
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