Five top ways to slam the brakes on procrastination - the thief of time!

Five top ways to slam the brakes on procrastination - the thief of time!

If you like this article, please share with your friends. 

If you like this article, please share with your friends. 

Maybe you would like to listen to this article

Maybe you would like to listen to this article

OR

OR

to learn as you go

to learn as you go

Are you the perfectionist who never procrastinates? Do you always get it right,  first time? Or are you human?

Have you ever seen a vital deadline creeping near – and nearer - until suddenly it is looming over you – and time seems to have vanished?

Do you ever put off a task that seems difficult or unpleasant – only to find that the difficulty does not go away and the unpleasantness probably gets worse the longer you delay?

Could this procrastination even be something of a habit?

Fortunately, there are ways to make procrastination a thing of the past.

Getting the right balance

We are controlled not by logic – but by our emotions. Logic might kick in later to guide us but our deeper instincts defer to emotion. To get a task done the emotional satisfaction of achievement must be greater than the emotional disappointment of failure.  

When you find yourself prevaricating and procrastinating ask yourself how much do you want to get this task done – and what happens if you fail. If you find that failure is not a problem – then why are you doing this?  

Pleasure now and pain later?

Our brains are hardwired to want immediate rewards. Logically, we can see the benefits of getting a boring job done now – but that’s not how your brain sees it. Your brain would far rather enjoy the present – why else do people smoke? So if you can bring the rewards of success or the pain of failure into the present then you will want to get it done – now.

Let’s make procrastination a thing of the past:

1. Chunk it down

When the task seems overwhelming, break it down into manageable steps – remember how to eat an elephant – one bite at a time?  

Once you have broken the job down into small chunks it will become manageable. Then organize your chunks timewise – and mark off the steps as you go. Start small. Once you have started you will find it easier to keep going.

As an example, suppose you had an essay to submit in three days' time. You could use day one for research, day two for writing the rough, and day three to check it and finish it off. Make sure you put this near the top of your To-Do list.  

2. See the future bright and clear

Your imagination is a great tool. Use it to imagine the task completed in bright, bold colors, put in a soundtrack for success, and enjoy the moment. “De de de dummmm”. This is one way to harness your emotions – and it might sound daft - but it can be very effective.

3. Music while you work

Only do the boring or difficult job when you also do something you love. It might be a housework task – put your favorite music on and dance as you dust. Exercise can be done to your best-loved story tape. A work meeting could be held in pleasant surroundings. There are endless opportunities to link boring with fun.

4. Failure is not an option

When your project has a deadline and someone else is depending on you – you dare not let them down. Arrange to meet a friend for your morning run – or maybe the dog depends on you? The pain of failure is thus brought to the present and is far harder to evade.

5. Reward success

We all like rewards! Completing a job on time is its own reward. If your task is a long one then reward the small steps along the way. You might like a graph or a chart to record your success – and filling it in is one way to rewards yourself.

A final word  

See failure as feedback – you do not need to be perfect – be human - and get the job done

Are you the perfectionist who never procrastinates? Do you always get it right,  first time? Or are you human?

Have you ever seen a vital deadline creeping near – and nearer - until suddenly it is looming over you – and time seems to have vanished?

Do you ever put off a task that seems difficult or unpleasant – only to find that the difficulty does not go away and the unpleasantness probably gets worse the longer you delay?

Could this procrastination even be something of a habit?

Fortunately, there are ways to make procrastination a thing of the past.

Getting the right balance

We are controlled not by logic – but by our emotions. Logic might kick in later to guide us but our deeper instincts defer to emotion. To get a task done the emotional satisfaction of achievement must be greater than the emotional disappointment of failure.  

When you find yourself prevaricating and procrastinating ask yourself how much do you want to get this task done – and what happens if you fail. If you find that failure is not a problem – then why are you doing this?  

Pleasure now and pain later?

Our brains are hardwired to want immediate rewards. Logically, we can see the benefits of getting a boring job done now – but that’s not how your brain sees it. Your brain would far rather enjoy the present – why else do people smoke? So if you can bring the rewards of success or the pain of failure into the present then you will want to get it done – now.

Let’s make procrastination a thing of the past:

1. Chunk it down

When the task seems overwhelming, break it down into manageable steps – remember how to eat an elephant – one bite at a time?  

Once you have broken the job down into small chunks it will become manageable. Then organize your chunks timewise – and mark off the steps as you go. Start small. Once you have started you will find it easier to keep going.

As an example, suppose you had an essay to submit in three days' time. You could use day one for research, day two for writing the rough, and day three to check it and finish it off. Make sure you put this near the top of your To-Do list.  

2. See the future bright and clear

Your imagination is a great tool. Use it to imagine the task completed in bright, bold colors, put in a soundtrack for success, and enjoy the moment. “De de de dummmm”. This is one way to harness your emotions – and it might sound daft - but it can be very effective.

3. Music while you work

Only do the boring or difficult job when you also do something you love. It might be a housework task – put your favorite music on and dance as you dust. Exercise can be done to your best-loved story tape. A work meeting could be held in pleasant surroundings. There are endless opportunities to link boring with fun.

4. Failure is not an option

When your project has a deadline and someone else is depending on you – you dare not let them down. Arrange to meet a friend for your morning run – or maybe the dog depends on you? The pain of failure is thus brought to the present and is far harder to evade.

5. Reward success

We all like rewards! Completing a job on time is its own reward. If your task is a long one then reward the small steps along the way. You might like a graph or a chart to record your success – and filling it in is one way to rewards yourself.

A final word  

See failure as feedback – you do not need to be perfect – be human - and get the job done

Written by Elizabeth Horder

Written by Elizabeth Horder

Copyright 2020 ©

Copyright 2020 ©

MAXWELL DUAN

MAXWELL DUAN

Gmail

Gmail

Facebook

Facebook

What's app

What's app

Instagram

Instagram

Twitter

Twitter

MAXWELL DUAN

MAXWELL DUAN

PERSONAL FULFILLMENT

PERSONAL FULFILLMENT