Your deadline is approaching and your focus is diverted from your work to miscellaneous activities such as checking email, social media, watching videos, and browsing through blogs and forums. Despite knowing you should be working, you just don't want to.
Procrastination is a well-known phenomenon. We procrastinate by wasting our free time and delaying important tasks until they're too late. Panic and regret over not getting started earlier intensifies.
People who are chronic procrastinators spend years trapped in this cycle. They delay, putting off things, slack, hide from work, and only face it when they have no choice but to do so. These habits delay them from reaching their full potential.
Below are some steps on how to avoid procrastinating:
1. Optimize your work environment.
A poor work atmosphere can make you postpone work, whilst a positive work environment can boost your productivity. As a result, you should strive to make your workplace better by making it a location where you can concentrate on your task easily. Chronic procrastinators should pay special attention to this since they typically have a tendency to accumulate a lot of clutter, which they find difficult to get rid of even though they believe it decreases their quality of life. If this is a problem, tidying up your workspace will make you feel better, which will increase focus on work.
2. Eliminate distractions
Another suggestion for preventing procrastination is to eliminate distractions. You increase your chances of accomplishing your goals by reducing the number of distractions in your immediate environment. Turn off your phone, find a quiet area, turn on some classical music or white noise to block out any background noise, and if you like it quite, noise canceling ear plugs.
3. Gamify your behavior
Gamification is the process of adding game mechanics into non-game contexts in order to improve player motivation. These mechanics include player vs. player competition and point accumulation. Gamification can be an effective method for motivating yourself to quit procrastinating if used properly. For instance, you may give yourself points for each task you finish and take away points for each task you put off in order to improve your drive to get things done. Additionally, you can select to reward yourself in any way that will improve your motivation after you reach a particular number of points. If you choose to employ gamification, you should experiment with several implementation strategies until you identify the one that enables you to combat your particular form of procrastination most successfully.
4. Create Streaks
Making chains or streaks of completed tasks that you don't want to break is one technique to keep yourself motivated to accomplish your to-do list. For instance, you may determine that each day you complete all the tasks planned or each day you finish writing a page of your report successfully counts as an addition to your streak.
It's up to you how you keep track of your streaks, but the more significant the streak, the more you'll want to keep it going and the more driven you'll be to avoid delaying.
5. Reward yourself
Giving yourself a reward after finishing a task could provide motivation and prevent procrastination. Consider rewarding yourself after finishing a project or studying for a test. Simply saying, "Once I finish this work, I can watch an episode of my favorite show," could suffice. It should be noted that you can treat yourself to something once you've begun working on something, finished it, or just generally started working on it. Rewards should be offered for actions that are both significant enough to help you advance and reach your goals while also being doable enough to keep you motivated right
6. Take breaks
Take periodic 10 to 15-minute breaks from your schoolwork. Make the most of your breaks by actively using them to rejuvenate yourself and approaching them like any other activity to get the most out of them. Anything that helps you relax and divert your attention from your schoolwork, including listening to music, going for a stroll, or talking to your friend is encouraged. According to a study from Oregon State University, taking a break can improve memory, focus, and stress levels. Taking a break away from your workspace is a strategy that works better. This facilitates the transition of your brain from "work mode" to "break mode," which can make the break feel more reviving and may facilitate your getting back to work more quickly after it is over.
7. Reflect and improve
It's crucial to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to procrastination because it is a complicated issue and different approaches will work better for different people. This implies that there isn't just one effective method for helping yourself quit putting things off. Instead, the greatest way to handle this problem is to do your best to comprehend your procrastination before trying out various alternatives till you find the ones that work best for you.
Procrastination can be difficult to overcome, but if willing to take the required measures to formulate a solid plan of action and then put in the effort to carry out the plan of action, you have a very high chance of succeeding in doing so.