Probably everyone has procrastinated at some point in their lives. Although not all people who procrastinate can be classified as procrastinators, procrastination becomes a real nuisance when you’d honestly rather be more motivated, but you’re feeling otherwise.
If taking action seems impossible despite knowing that deliberately delaying a task comes with a set of consequences, overcoming a procrastination habit will really be of benefit.
There is a sense of helplessness when procrastination ultimately becomes a habit. Finding the motivation to get back on track when you finally muster enough will to take action may be easier said than done. However, it helps to understand the nature of procrastination and why it usually happens.
Procrastination is the act of deliberately postponing or avoiding action despite consciously knowing the consequences of doing so. It can happen to anyone and even to the most efficient and productive individuals. While it is generally perceived negatively, not all types of procrastination are created equal.
Procrastination can even be productive and beneficial in some cases. What has been established as the underlying cause of procrastination is ultimately a person’s inability to manage their emotions. This results in a failure to manage themselves despite knowing the negative consequences that come with dilly-dallying.
When it comes to procrastination, the struggle is real in finding the strength and motivation to get out of the rabbit hole and refocus needed energies towards action once again.
The following tips may help you beat procrastination and enable you to stay more motivated, be an action person and get things done.
Acknowledge You Are Procrastinating and Understand Why
You need to be able to acknowledge what you’re doing – that you’re procrastinating right now. Becoming self-aware of your actions and choices is the first step to changing your current mode.
There also must be a reason why you’re procrastinating. Although there are many possible reasons, you could be trying to distract yourself or don’t know how to deal with how you’re simply feeling.
The moment you understand the reason why you’re procrastinating, either out of fear, sheer dislike for the task, or a quest for perfection, you’re in a much better position to reframe your mindset.
Refocus and Organize
Once you understand the reason behind your procrastination, it’s time to reorganize and refocus your energies. Maybe you’re overwhelmed by the huge task in front of you, so break it down into bite-sized tasks and give yourself a reasonable timeline to work on them.
Or maybe you’re afraid of failure and simply waiting for the right moment to act. Whatever the reason behind your procrastination, only you can decide on your timeline. It’s really up to you, but giving yourself the freedom to refocus your energies can be very helpful in reinforcing your self-motivation.
Change Your External Environment
Maybe the reason you don’t feel motivated to act and do what you should do is due to an unhelpful external environment. When you’re surrounded by clutter and chaos, it can be very stress-inducing, which takes a toll on self-motivation. Luckily, there is still something you can do to change that.
Try making your environment more conducive for action by clearing it up. Or you can transfer seats or go to a coffee shop. You can also make an effort to avoid spending time with negative people and choose to be in more inspiring company.
Whatever helps you externally to take action and start getting motivated again, do that.
Promise yourself a reward to help boost your motivation. This is a wonderful way to add excitement to starting a task. In sales, incentives are very helpful in making salespeople stay more motivated and productive.
This works just as well for you. So don’t overlook small wins. Give yourself the credit that’s due to you and celebrate your efforts to stay motivated.
One of the most common reasons why people procrastinate is an unconscious but strong desire for perfection. People seek perfection when they fear failure or fear being judged for making mistakes.
To keep your motivation high, you also need a positive mindset. Realistically, there is no such thing as perfection, and you shouldn’t be chasing that at all. The sooner you act on your plans, the better the outcome will be.
Determine Your Peak Hours
We all have certain peak hours when we’re most productive in our work. Determine yours and allocate your high-level tasks to those times. Knowing yourself well including your strengths, weaknesses, and peak working hours, is key to being effective and staying motivated.
Schedule work and take action in your peak hours. You’ll find yourself more focused, productive, and able to work more effectively during these times.