5 ways to avoid procrastination
We all in life had to deal with procrastination and the problems that are coming from it. But what is it and from where it starts?
Procrastination is choosing instant gratification, the short-term one, instead of the long-term gratification that includes our biggest and longest plans, the ones that can make us feel accomplished. Procrastination is choosing the funny things, the temporary pleasure while postponing the important tasks because we trick our mind thinking that there is enough time for that later. This can include literally everything that our logical subconscious tells us that needs to be done: like studying constantly for an exam and not doing everything in one day, starting to search for the Christmas gifts and not waiting until 23rd to go out and buying what’s left, and so on.
It’s like procrastination is linked to our optimistic part, the one that every time is telling us that there will always be a way. But then slowly you start seeing the deadline, and together with it you see the consequences of your work not done. Is in this moment when you start working, but doing so, maybe 80% of the time you can still complete your job last minute, but badly, and not how you’d want it. And the most important thing is that there is not a deadline to everything, especially for our private projects that we’d love so much to do, but we never start because “we can do it later”
So, let’s see 5 ways to deceive this mental system and avoid instant gratification, so we can build a project for our future.
1- Think every time that the worst can happen
If you know that you have to do something but you keep postponing it, think of the worst consequences that can happen if you are not going to do your tasks: you won’t pass the exam, you’ll lose your job, you won’t have money to pay your rent and so on. You don’t have to think about the consequences just when you see the deadline, think about them in advance and in this way you’ll let your rational side work and get great results and do a good job. Don’t be so confident in yourself and in your ability to work under pressure, because you never know what can happen.
2- Build your productivity routine
Organize your week and write down the goals that you want to achieve for your day and for your week. Find out how to wake up early in the morning with a good mood (link article here) for then being productive for the rest of the day. And if you’re having a distraction before starting working, remember the first rule and think about what will happen if you won’t work constantly and you won’t do your job.
3- Build your productivity routine
A small task done constantly on the long run is more productive and worthwhile. Start by writing the first 2 pages of your thesis, study the first 10 pages for your next exam, train for 30 minutes. You don’t have to twist your day and become a robot, but you have to start, for then building a productivity routine, remember? By doing small tasks at least you do something, and you’ll get closer to your goals.
4- Replace destructive distractions with constructive ones
If the biggest distraction that keeps you in the procrastination loop is the tv, or the video games, replace them with something constructive from which you can learn something, and limit the other “destructive” activities once per week. In such a digitalized era the knowledge has never been so handy, whether it's a book or a Youtube video, the important part is that it can teach you something. Remember, look for productive stimuli from which you can learn something.
5- Set deadlines
Like I said previously, not everything has a deadline, and these are the hardest goals to achieve. Your plan is to start your own business? Or to start going constantly to the gym to get yourself in a better shape? Do you want to change your lifestyle and achieve something?
Well, no one is rushing you, if you won’t do them you won’t have immediate consequences that will raise your panic feeling and make you do them. The consequences are far more long to come and much more painful; your time passes and doesn’t come back and the bad part is that you will understand this when it will be too late. The worst consequence will be that you’re going to disappoint yourself and you will live with the picture of what you could have become, but you didn't because you chose something else.
Your health doesn’t come back, and waiting the problems to come is a bad strategy. So it’s with your years, there will come a moment when you’ll understand that “there is time” is just an illusion, an excuse for not acting.
You can search online a calendar with your life divided in weeks, that shows your age, how many weeks you’ve lived, and how many others you have left, according to the average life-expectancy; that will be your deadline.