We’ve all done it at some time or the other.
In fact I was procrastinating till now. Even though I wanted to resume writing , some thing or the other kept me away from penning my thoughts . We put off our exercise routine, saying that we will start tomorrow; but the ‘tomorrow’ never comes . How many of you are resonating with this ? We continually delay finishing that project or starting that business which we want to, not realizing that it may never take off, if we don’t start .
Here are few effective processes we can use to conquer procrastination
- Do it now .
Yes, Do it now. Hold your breath and jump right in! Say 5 4 3 2 1 and start. Putting things off until the last minute is a bad habit, and it is hard to break , as habits, are ingrained in our subconscious mind. It feels like it’s a normal thing to do and we simply continue along our path. To complete a task immediately may even feel strange or like a forced action, but unless you start, it will never be completed . Make a habit of doing now:
- Take the first step .
Sometimes we procrastinate because the task may look intimidating to us. Perhaps we have no possible inkling on where and how to start. In such cases, it is better to take it one step at a time. Say you are preparing a business plan or project plan and you don’t know where to start. Start with a small point, and then start expanding on it. May be you need to do some more research, May be you need to get some more ideas. However once you start, you will find that things start moving . Lao-tzu wrote, “A journey of a thousand leagues begin with a single step.” This is a brilliant strategy for overcoming procrastination and starting with the first step getting more things done faster.
- 3 . Break it down.
One of the most powerful strategies for overcoming procrastination is to learn how to break your tasks up into bite size pieces. Any task, no matter how big, can be broken down into small manageable tasks that are easy to do. If you are planning to write a book, start with deciding what all you are going to write in the book. Start with small steps. The power of chunking down your “big” tasks empowers you to take back control of any overwhelming situation – you cut it down to size. Your size. Conquer procrastination, by taking the first step and then tackle them using the Swiss cheese method. Here we break the major project into smaller tasks, and do just one of the smaller tasks, or set a timer and work on the enormous task for just 15 minutes and so on. By doing a little at a time, eventually you’ll reach a point where you’ll want to finish the major Task/ Project
- Celebrate small Wins.
You simply need to break down the project into smaller pieces and tackle each bit separately. Make each task an individual project and after completion of each one, celebrate and acknowledge your achievement. Celebration of each small win, will provide the required motivation to proceed with the next steps. Procrastination prevents us from taking the first step, but once it’s taken, rest will follow and we will get the desired motivation to fulfil our dreams.
- Ask for help.
Do you put off tasks because you feel that they are too big and complex for you to handle alone? Or because you need assistance? Be honest with yourself. “No man is an island”. There are many resources out there that can provide you with all you need to carry out your job. If you’re a solo-professional, hire an assistant, find some college students who wants experience, get a family member to help
- Avoid being a perfectionist.
Some things need to be closer to perfect than others, but paying unnecessary attention to detail or perfectionism, is a major deterrent to success and can become procrastination. The best way to overcome procrastination is to launch now. Open that book. Write that first word. Dial that number. Ask the first question. Start practicing. Cross the line. Chop up tasks into smaller ones. Create internal deadlines. Own your priorities. Start with what you hate, or what you love. Mix up things. Build momentum.
- Forget it .
Why force the issue? If you have been ‘dragging your feet’ on something for a very long time, it may all be for the best. Something, somewhere is trying to tell you something. That something is your intuition and it is usually right! Think about something that you have been putting off again and again and again. Disregarding a project after a long period of procrastination is however usually a last resort, but may be it’s a right decision as having that in your “To Do” list may be burdening you into Inaction .
Conquer procrastination and Do it Now :
Think of procrastination as the worst enemy. Procrastination leads to negative attitude. The quote ‘Never leave it till tomorrow what can be done today, ’by Benjamin Franklin conveys the same