Every once in a while we would all prefer to avoid the difficult things in our lives and be left in peace – as nice a thought that it may be, it’s not very practical.
From housework to staying fit, we all have essential obligations that are sometimes easier to forget about than complete, and while this is natural, if procrastination is left unchecked it can have a negative effect on our lives.
From avoiding work as you fear failing or ignoring a difficult task and hoping that it will resolve by itself, procrastination can take many forms and will only give you short bursts of relief before the reality and guilt of avoidance will take hold.
So if you find any of this ringing too true, then these steps below might just get you back on track.
Tasks and Lists
Becoming overwhelmed by the size of some tasks is natural. By breaking down any job into much smaller manageable parts will make it less daunting and easier to organise. Coupling this with a checklist can be a rewarding as you can witness your hard work in action as you tick off the jobs as they are completed.
When it comes to the tasks themselves its best to organise your most dreaded jobs first. This may appear counterintuitive but completing the harder parts can give you a huge sense of satisfaction and relief and will make the lesser tasks feel like a walk in the park.
Mix it up
We all have distractions, small things of little importance that we do to avoid the stuff that matters. When you wake up do you switch on the TV instead of the housework? Or check your favourite website when you should be working?
They’re easy pitfalls to get caught in, but identifying them and then changing your routine so that you no longer engage in them will give you a fresh foundation. So if you see formed habits that you engage in, cut them out and replace them with something positive and you’ll see a huge difference in how you approach your work.
Take it in short bursts
One of the easiest ways to get through a job you don’t like doing is to do it in short, timed bursts. Try setting the timer for 10 or 20 minutes and commit to doing that task and nothing else in that time – you’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish in 10 minutes, whether it’s loading the dishwasher or attending to unanswered emails. Short intervals of time help dreaded tasks feel like less of a hassle.
Don’t get distracted
With email, mobile phones, Skype and a million other ways to contact you available, living in the modern world can be great but brings with it a wave of potential distractions. Limiting these devices can give you the peace and quiet you may need when you begin to work. If you’re like millions of other social media addicts, then use it to your advantage. Instead of constantly checking your phone or email, allocate it as a reward that you may only use after you have completed the tasks at hand.
If you work from home, you could consider an office or studio that you can travel to. Having somewhere removed as your workspace can help you grow a work mentality as you it will separate your home and work life.
It’s not always a bad thing
Procrastination shouldn’t always be feared and when embraced can have a positive effect on your work and home life. Giving yourself time to relax and recharge is essential for your health and will allow you to return refreshed and ready for the work ahead.
The real trick is moderation and planning, if you’re relaxing when you should be working, then you’ll never feel truly at ease, while your work remains unfinished. This is obviously disastrous as you’re neither recharging nor checking off your tasks. Striking a balance is vital and planning your work schedule, while allotting time for yourself, will insure you never fall foul to procrastination again.
How do you handle procrastination?