Procrastination is a really. bad. habit. I understand it, but I don’t like it. It’s only natural to dislike doing the things you…well…dislike doing. So, it gets put off because it’s pretty easy to find something else you’d rather do. Suddenly you realize you just HAVE to do laundry, or schedule a meeting or….poke yourself in the eye. ANYTHING will do, if it means not having to do that thing you don’t like doing.
But, as you likely realized, postponing the drudgery doesn’t make it go away, getting it done, does. So, in order to do my part to destroy the Nation of Procrastination, here are three easy strategies to stop procrastinating. Now.
Trick Yourself. As soon as you get an assignment and the expected deadline, move your deadline up a few days. Ensure your calendar, planner and any other methods of organization reflect the revised date. Then hold yourself accountable to accomplishing the task by that new deadline.
Eat the Elephant one Bite at a Time. Procrastination often arrives because we overemphasize the amount of time / work that goes into accomplishing the task. In this case, try breaking it up into manageable pieces over a specified time and (of course) within the deadline.
Give yourself 2 minutes. Some of those dreaded tasks actually can be accomplished in 2 minutes. If so, do it. Whether it’s scheduling a meeting, sending an email or throwing laundry in the washing machine, if it takes 2 minutes or less, make it happen. But some of those dreaded takes take much longer than that. In that case, still give yourself 2 minutes. Use those 2 minutes to simply get started. As we know from the laws of physics, “an object in motion remains in motion unless an external force is applied to it”. In this case, by giving yourself 2 minutes to get started, the chances of you remaining in motion, continuing to work on the task, is enhanced, which increases your chances of getting it done.
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Adwoa Dadzie is a Director of Human Resources and Corporate Career Strategist. The views expressed in this post are Adwoa’s and do not reflect the views of her employer. Follow her on Twitter @adwoadadzie3, Instagram @adwoadadzie, Periscope @adwoadadzie3, or visit her at adwoadadzie.com.