You’ve checked your email three times, visited Facebook, went to the kitchen twice despite having a dinner recently & you don’t really feel hunger. Right? We tried to think out how to stop procrastinating & to make yourself work at last.
You’ve opened and closed the window a few times, you’ve drank four coffee cups, checked email again & visited Facebook once more. There somebody just posted a new video with baby-panda. You’ve watched the video, liked it and there clicked a link. Then you’ve read everything the Internet could present you about pandas during 50 mins. What’s going on with you? Why do you keep making these useless things for the last 3 hours? Oh, you’ve got the exam tomorrow and you need to study…
Whatever is the advice about the delaying things to be not right, we all keep doing that & suffer a bit later. Even if we know something will take 40 minutes to be completed, one can spend a few hours trying to make their mind start.
And then, when the deadline is extremely close, they start being nervous and hating themselves we hadn’t started earlier.
Then they swear this time is the last one, and it’s the new life starting from tomorrow. The life with no place for delays at all. But everything starts again, turning into a circle of hours wasted in vain, guilt feeling, and work which could be done much better if there was more time. No matter how difficult is your procrastination, it’s possible to beat it up.
Here is some pieces of advice:
Create Your “To Do” List
First, you’ll see how long would it take you to complete them all at once. Second, you can cheat on yourself as a kid. You absolutely don’t want to do the #1 task? Fine, go and do task #2. But no, you say the task #1 is urgent! That’s right. It is urgent, you need to start from it, but you can’t make yourself to do that and you’ve watched all Internet pandas already. Instead of arguing you could do task #2 and have it completed. Without saying that your guilty feel because of pandas is much stronger than that because of doing the task which is not the most important.
Put Yourself Realistic Deadlines
If the schedule is beyond your possibilities, you’ll get out of it very quickly. It’s like juggling balls: let one fall down, feel disappointed, throw them all away. To avoid feeling desperate, just give yourself a bit more time than you need on every task. Due to this, you’ll feel you’ve planned everything right & you’re the good guy.
If the Task Is Big & Difficult, Divide it Into Small Parts
And white them all as subtasks. It is often impossible to make yourself start working because it looks too difficult. Believe, it’s always better to start and to complete a half of it than not to start at all. No matter how difficult the task is, the most irritating part is the start. But when you started, you’ll probably be wondered by yourself when you come to the finish in time.
Check Your Watch Before You Start
It is 8 PM and you need an hour for your task? Imagine it is 9 PM and the deed is done. Imagine how good you’ll feel & how proud of yourself you’ll be; how cool will it be to go to bed without harassing & hating yourself for doing nothing during the day.
Stop Being Afraid
Except of the fear of the task seems to be impossible, there is the fear much stronger: one thinks he won’t make it and that is why they keep delaying things. “No, I’m not in an adequate mood today”. “No, I’m too tired already”. “No, I won’t make it all good”. “No, I’ll delay it”. There is not a tasty cure for it all, though the cure isn’t always tasty. Tell yourself the truth. You won’t do the task better than you can do it right now. It means that tomorrow you won’t get up being more talented than today, no matter how strong you want that.
Don’t Forget to Award Yourself
You keep flaming on yourself for months and years due to delaying things. Of course, this can’t help, because any punishment doesn’t change the human’s behavior, but teach how to hide it. You’re not a child for a long time already, you don’t need to keep things hidden from your parents’ eyes (well, you need, but that’s the topic for another article), but confess: you’ve become the best in the art of tricking on yourself. Promise of getting better tomorrow, to start a new life since Monday, to start doing tasks in time next time…
Yeah, you could get the black belt in this art.
Try the opposing tactics. First, stop scolding yourself at all from today. Tell yourself compliments only. If you didn’t do something – fine, forget it. Keep living.
Yet if you got something done, get something as an award obligatory. You can promise yourself a big gift for a big task, but your smaller successes should be awarded as well. For instance, promise yourself a cup of tea once you finish the point of the plan. Yeah, this will solve the problem of your permanent runs to the kitchen, too.
Now you can visit that magical room only when something small is done. You thought the will to drink tea is something holy till now. Here’s the point: if you’ll drink that cup 30 mins later, after the task is done, nothing terrible will happen. Turn your will into an award which is to be earned by the job.
And Finally: Internet, The Job’s Enemy
You won’t mind it’s useless to switch the connection off, will you? First, it is often needed at work.
Second: once you switch the internet off, your mind becomes occupied with the thought about someone writing an email to you.
Switched off Internet becomes the center of the Universe, and there is no way to concentrate your attention on something else.
Stop struggling against the Internet, make it your award, not enemy (look at p. 6). You’ll think about it less when it’s on than when it’s off. Put a sound signal on your email. Now you’ll hear it when the letter is there.
And social media… Well, there is nothing to do with them now. If they can disturb you during your work, you’re too addicted to them, possibly. But there is no time to break your habits right now: there is a job to be done.