Let me start by saying that I am a procrastinator. I remember watching a TED Talk by Tim Urban with the title “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator” and relating to almost everything he said. This confirmed how much of a procrastinator I am and how everyone else is.
In the TED Talk, Tim Urban characterized procrastination as a monkey that lives for having fun and not thinking rationally. This makes complete sense. People tend to procrastinate because they don’t feel like tackling a specific task. The new tab on the browser which should be for the Google Doc becomes the tab with the red N (Netflix).
I decided that I should face procrastination and learn how to beat it. After extensive research, here are some approaches that I am going to try out:
→ Recognize that you are procrastinating
I believe that this a very important first step. Once you admit that you are procrastinating, it is then that you will be able to help yourself stop it.
→ Stop punishing yourself for procrastinating
The more stressed out you are, the less work you will get done. Feeling guilt and regret will only stress you out more. Instead, move on. Try giving yourself a pep talk for motivation. Tell yourself that you can handle and can do whatever it is that you’re worried about.
→ Aim for quantity over quality
Stop thinking about how the assignments should be perfect. Instead, aim for finishing them first. You can fix them later on and when they actually exist.
→ Make a to-do list
Make a list of all the things that you need to do. Then, separate the task into two categories, short-term tasks and long-term tasks. I actually try to do this a lot. Writing down my tasks helps me plan my next days.
→ Prioritize different goals
This tip is a follow-up to the previous one. A good way to stay on track with your to-do list is by prioritizing the important task. If you have a deadline coming up soon, then you should definitely focus on that one first.
→ Avoid multitasking
This might seem like a weird tip because we all want to be able to multitask. In fact, we put multitasking as one of our skills on LinkedIn or in our resumes. However, in this situation, multitasking will prevent you from finishing tasks efficiently and quickly. You should keep your attention on one goal at a time. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
Figuring out whether you are a procrastinator or not, isn’t hard. If you still don’t know, I would suggest watching the TED Talk by Tim Urban and if you can relate to it, then you are a procrastinator. From there, you should be able to try the methods above. I do hope all procrastinators reading this article find it helpful and useful.