How to Cope With Procrastination: 5 Steps to Productivity

The beautiful word “procrastination” refers to the tendency of some people to put off important things for later. Such episodes happen in everyone’s life, but if they are repeated often, they can turn into a serious problem and even end up driving you into depression. How do you start living in the “here and now” mode?

steps to productivity

Got a Problem?   

To solve a problem, you must first see it and recognize it. After postponing an unpleasant, but important conversation once, a person won’t procrastinate. But if you systematically put off solving important problems until “someday later,” you can seriously suffer – financially, career-wise, and psychologically. After all, life cannot be paused.

Let’s say you have to write an article, but watch TV series and play at Play Amo non-stop. The guilt doesn’t allow you to relax, the pleasure of watching is zero. But you still can’t sit down to work. It’s been like this for days.

What can you do? Realize it’s a problem. You can take a piece of paper, briefly describe the situation, and be sure to indicate the risks. For example: “Problem: I have to complete my article tomorrow, and it’s not ready yet. There is little time left to prepare. Risks: not to meet deadlines, to ruin relations with your boss, to lose money.”

Resources Aren’t Infinite

Sometimes we procrastinate, not because our work is boring or because we lack willpower. But, for example, the body has gone into a sleeping mode: because of lack of sleep, stress, and overload. It’s necessary to understand what is lacking and make up for this deficit.

Let’s say the mother of a small child leaves the office for freelance work, hoping to build the work process with more comfort. It’s impossible to work full-time when there’s a toddler around who constantly demands attention. Attempts to break it off end badly. Self-sabotage begins.

What can you do? See the problem and develop a plan to solve it. For example, ask relatives to babysit the child. Or arrange a “mutual aid group” with a friend, a neighbor – to look after two children at once in turn. Thus, it’s possible to acquire a valuable resource – time. And productivity will increase.

A Frog for Breakfast

If the task that you don’t want to do is important, but you can’t do it because it’s complicated or urgent or because it’s unpleasant, then good planning and prioritizing will help. The frog must be eaten in the morning. That is, find the most disgusting part of a major task and start with it.

After the most difficult part is behind you, you can finish the rest faster.

No One Is Perfect

Sometimes people procrastinate because of perfection syndrome – when all they want is a perfect score and nothing else. If they cannot do everything at a championship pace and without mistakes, such people lose motivation and do nothing at all.

Let’s say you had high hopes for the gym: to lose weight and tone up your body. The first month of workouts was cheerful, and then the enthusiasm wore off: no miracle happened, the mirror reflected the same person and no refined muscles were visible.

What can you do? Develop a realistic view of the situation, even if it’s disappointing. Maybe you won’t become a bench press champion. And you don’t have to! As a result of regular training, you feel better, and it’s already a good thing. If you show the will and keep doing it, there will be results.

Getting a Reward

A surefire way to develop new behaviors is positive reinforcement. You need to find a prize that you will receive for completing a challenging task. For example, a couple more episodes of that very show. But not before work, but after work.

Suppose, conceived the independent repair of the bathroom, you have no idea that it will be so protracted. It’s boring to lay tiles, there’s no one to report on the results, and your motivation is failing. The bathroom has been a mess for a month and a half, and there’s no end in sight.

What can you do? Break down a large task into smaller tasks, and reward yourself for their faithful and timely execution. Carrying out all the tiling in a day won’t work – accept it. But putting one row of tiles a day is realistic. A row is ready? Great. You can lie down with a book – you are good.

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