When we asked people on Twitter and Facebook for their #mindtoolstips on beating procrastination a few weeks ago, we received some interesting responses: “I’ll tell you tomorrow!” was a popular one!
But – in all seriousness – we received some great suggestions, so thanks to all of our friends who contributed!
On Twitter, a good top tip from @LonsterBrau was to identify tasks that will take less than five minutes, and do those straight away. Similarly, @dawnieando said that as soon as you recognize that you're procrastinating, act upon it immediately, because it’s less stressful in the long term.
“Act as you go” was another popular message, which makes a lot of sense. So, rather than letting tasks build up, try to tackle them straight away. Splitting your time up into smaller, more manageable chunks so that tasks don’t become overwhelming was another great suggestion, made by @alsed.
One method that people use to avoid procrastinating is to limit common distractions. For example, @Hoodster42 said, “turn your Outlook off and finish the task you're working on,” which is a great point. Set times during the day to check your emails, such as once in the morning and once in the afternoon, to avoid getting sidetracked.
Another popular recommendation was to change the way you view the things that you’re putting off. Kingson Ekeh on Facebook recommended having a “do it now” attitude. Mary Humphrey uses the same approach, but tries to figure out why she is procrastinating, and then treats this as a challenge to address.
Thank you, Rossouw Nel, for recommending an app called "Trello," based on Kanban, which is a continuous improvement tool. This app is free and is a visual way to organize the important things in your life.
Rossouw Nel also mentioned a tool called “War on Procrastination.” When you use it, you press “play” every time you start working, and then press ‘pause’ when you stop. This helps you become more aware of decisions that were previously subconscious or habitual, and encourages you to modify your behavior.
Do you have any other good suggestions on how to banish procrastination? Let us know below! Then, see our article for more top tips!
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"I'd overcommitted myself – only to find I couldn’t possibly deliver on everything I’d promised. I had no choice but to communicate the issue in the best way I could."
One of the worst things about procrastination is that, most of the time, we’re aware we’re doing it. This self-awareness reinforces our sense of shame and promotes self-blame. And that reinforces the negative emotions that led to procrastination in the first place. It’s a vicious circle.