Overcoming procrastination: 8 tips to restore motivation
Do you like to put things off until tomorrow? Then you might be suffering from procrastination. In this article, we’ll show you how to overcome it.
Everyone has put off important tasks until the edge of a deadline. Psychologists have studied the procrastination phenomenon, discovering that it can even become chronic. Procrastination means preferring to deal with other, much more pleasant activities instead of tackling the actual task immediately. Fortunately, there are many ways you can overcome procrastination and restore your motivation.
What is procrastination?
Procrastination is not laziness, but misbehavior of not tackling important tasks right away and getting busy with other activities instead. For example, your tax return is due: You still have a deadline of 2 weeks before the tax office threatens you with a reminder. Instead of starting with the tax return, you clean up your apartment first.
Procrastination is not uncommon. Many people suffer from it and regularly prefer to postpone tasks until the edge of the deadline instead of tackling them right away. However, this delaying tactic takes up precious time, and you end up doing the task under a lot of time pressure and stress.
Here is how you can motivate yourself in the long run without keep delaying your tasks.
1. Split your workload
Procrastination occurs when we have to do tasks we don’t like. Instead of putting it off for days until you have a mountain of work waiting for you, break it down into small sections that you can work on, piece by piece. For example, by completing your tax return in five days rather than one, you can be much more motivated without pressure.
2. Reward yourself for your efforts
Reward yourself for tackling an unpleasant thing right away. This could be a tastier meal, a relaxing bath, or a rewarding break. By awarding yourself for doing something, you can keep your motivation up.
3. Keep your goals in mind
Not everyone is lucky enough to land a dream job. However, every job brings in a salary at the end of the month, which you can use to pay your rent or your next vacation (among other things). If you look at it from this perspective, you might motivate yourself better for the next task. Setting goals all the time can be worthwhile, especially for self-employed people, to avoid procrastination. For example, you can set goals for how many tasks you want to complete or how much money you want to earn. Write down your target on a card and hang it up where you can see it every day.
4. Set priorities
Instead of trying to do everything at once, prioritize your tasks. Divide your tasks into “important” and “less important.” It will help you keep a clear head, avoid stress and stay motivated.
5. Start simple
To be more motivated and productive at work, you should make it a habit to start doing your tasks right away. Let your inner supervisor take the lead without checking social media or getting distracted from other things. It’s tempting to get “lost” on the internet instead of focusing on tasks when working on the computer. Our tip: Set a fixed time to start working. You can also set a limit for when you want to finish your task. In this way, you will avoid procrastination.
6. Ride the wave of success
You indeed have days when you are productive and motivated. The fact is: No one can be at their best every day and get the most out of themselves. However, as soon as you realize that you have turned on the turbo, you should take advantage of these phases.
7. Create a routine
Rituals can help you prioritise and avoid procrastination in every area of your life. For example, a routine could be to drink a fresh and healthy smoothie before starting to work. Some people also like to drink coffee or a mate for the caffeine contained to improve cognitive performance. Routines you create to avoid procrastination are up to you.
8. Let others know about your plans
Don’t give procrastination a chance by telling others about your projects. Share your plans with your colleagues or friends. It can be extra incentivising for the indirect pressure on you. They might ask you if you have finished your work!
Procrastination gets in the way of your performance: it is not uncommon, and you can overcome it easily with a few tricks. Set a precise time frame, create new routines, split your work and reward yourself for your achievements; with incentives, you will be motivated and productive.
Your Humanoo Team