How to Beat Procrastination

writers_421x600By Guest Blogger: Chris Matthews

Procrastination is one of the most common stigmas in society that everyone can relate to. Few like to admit they procrastinate (myself included), but why? Is it due to a fear of people thinking we are lazy/too relaxed/not reliable?

Recently I saw a great Ted Talk on Procrastination by Tim Urban called ‘Inside the mind of a Master Procrastinator’. The video goes through the life of someone who procrastinates to the extreme and is extremely entertaining and informative. It focuses mainly on how procrastination is something that most people deal with, but few people classify as ‘masters’. Most of us are what we could call ‘part-time procrastinators’. In my case, I found myself needing to spend a certain amount of time trying to do work and achieving nothing, before I finally got the job done. No matter how much I wanted to complete a project, I would find myself scrolling for the latest news on social media, or making far too many cups of tea.

Nevertheless, over the last few years, I have stumbled upon several different ways which have helped me overcome my unproductive ways:

  1. Establish goals and deadlines, and stick to them!: Setting yourself goals provides you with something to work towards, but simply setting goals does not defeat the problem of procrastination! You must add deadlines to these goals, placing yourself under a time constraint to get the job done.  Without deadlines, there is no urgency to the goal, allowing procrastination to occur.
  2. Reward Progress: All work and no play is no fun! Everyone feels accomplishment when they complete a task, but few of us reward ourselves. By rewarding yourself with a 20-minute break, or getting to watch an episode of your favourite show, you are providing yourself with something to work towards, and in turn, eliminating time to procrastinate.
  3. Break down your goals into mini-goals: By splitting your goals into smaller manageable tasks, you may find yourself capable of completing projects quicker. Match this with rewards for completing each piece and you’re doing well!
  4. Visualise your future!: For many, it can be difficult to work towards something where the end goal isn’t visible. By visualising where completing a task can take you, you provide yourself with something to work towards, be it a new job, a degree, or a promotion. This refers again to the point of the importance in setting a goal.
  5. Challenge yourself: Procrastination can occur when you do not feel challenged by a project. During my time during College, I found myself procrastinating over tasks I knew would not be difficult to complete. But with projects where I felt challenged, I found myself engaging with them easier, and completing them quicker!

Here at Virtual Office Solutions, the reward system works best for us, taking a 5-minute break every now and then to go for a quick walk or grabbing a cup of tea keeps us motivated to get through the day! Have you tried any of these tips before? Do you have any that work well for you? Let us know!

If anything in this article was of interest to you and you would like further information or details on any aspect of it, please don’t hesitate to contact us on info@vos.ie.

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