So many of us today suffer from the same issue: we find that we have somehow become professional procrastinators. Even if we don’t want to keep putting tasks off, we do exactly that time and time again. If you find that you are a procrastinator, it is important that you learn ways to improve your productivity. While being a procrastinator doesn’t mean that you are never productive, procrastinating can put a damper on your overall productivity level. With this in mind, here are five of the best tips for procrastinators to help them improve their productivity skills.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Label Yourself
If you are a procrastinator, it is OK to own it — the first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that there is one, after all. You need to start saying out loud “I am procrastinating” whenever you fall back on old habits. Once you acknowledge the problem, then you can move on and do something about it.
- Write Down Where Your Time Goes
One of the biggest issues that procrastinators have is that they do not realize how much time they are really losing. So many procrastinators will say something like “oh I procrastinate and put things off, but I still get it all done in time.” If you want to see how much time you are really wasting by procrastinating, track an entire day in 15 minute increments. You may feel as though spending five or 10 minutes here or there on social media or surfing the web isn’t taking up a lot of time, but chances are it is. Write down where the time goes and use this as a motivation to stay on task.
- Start Your Day Off Being Productive
Most procrastinators are infamous for putting things off until the very last second and always finding something “more important” to fill their day. If you want to stop procrastinating on a project and be more productive, allocate the first two hours of your day to this task. This will teach your brain that the project is important and force you to make it a priority.
- Set Small Goals…Then Check Them Off Your List
Many people tend to procrastinate because they set these huge goals for themselves that seem nearly impossible to undertake. This can be very daunting, but there is a way around it. A great deal of research has been done on self-intimidation with setting big goals. Instead, set small “micro” goals for yourself and write them down. When you accomplish one thing, cross it off your list. While you are essentially breaking your big project down into small steps, you are still keeping yourself focused and procrastination-free.
- Be Aware of the Most Common Causes of Procrastination
Procrastination is tricky because most people don’t realize that they’re doing it at all, and even if they do, they can’t seem to figure out why.
There are four main reasons people tend to procrastinate:
- The task at hand is perceived as a low value, boring or unimportant task.
- Certain personalities struggle with staying focused and thus focus on unimportant tasks
- Many people have a real fear of failure, which makes them lose confidence and start to put things off. You can’t fail if you don’t try, right? This is perhaps one of the most common reasons people tend to procrastinate.
- Assuming a task will be more difficult than it actually is. Here is a hint: if you expect that completing a task will be easy, you are not as likely to procrastinate.
If you are one of the many people who would classify themselves as a procrastinator, chances are it is pretty difficult to be as productive as you want to be. Consider these simple and effective tips to help change your approach to getting things done and start leading to a more productive (and more successful) life!