People who procrastinate – and that probably includes near enough all of us – seem to have perfected the art of delay. In society, it’s always assumed that one of the qualifications to become a civil servant is the ability to procrastinate. But most of the rest of us are pretty good at it too. Here are some ways to help cure your procrastination and be a more productive person.
1. Just do it
Don’t give yourself time to come up with all those excuses as to why you can’t do whatever task it is. The vast majority are just that – excuses – and don’t bear up to any kind of scrutiny.
Whenever you’re given a task where you’d ordinarily call on procrastination for help, shock yourself and everyone else around you by starting on it straight away.
2. Or at least begin it
Some bigger tasks can’t be completed in one session.
But that’s OK.
Just because you can’t build Rome in a day doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever start the project.
The good news here is that often the mere act of starting something – rather than letting it rot in the dungeon that is procrastination – is enough to keep us working on it.
Sure, that doesn’t happen all the time – the bookmarks in the half finished novels littered around your apartment are testimony to that – but it certainly gives the project a helping hand and increases the chance of success.
3. Start the big projects first
And don’t roll your eyes at me like that when I suggest this!
If you concentrate on the small projects first, there’s never enough time left over at the end of the day to make a meaningful dent in a large project. So, instead, you put it off completely and leave it until tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow. And the days – and weeks – after that.
So commit to making a start on the big projects first. There will be enough time over before your lunch break or whatever for you to be able to delete all those junk emails. And if one message was actually urgent, chances are the person concerned will have phoned you when you didn’t reply within milliseconds.
4. Keep at it
Sometimes our procrastination eases its way in part way through a project. If you’ve ever started something with the best of intentions only to find that it’s gathering dust months after it should have been completed then you’ve suffered from this form of procrastination.
Especially in larger projects, there are times when you’re waiting for what seems to be the whole of the rest of the world to do something before you can continue.