It's only a few more weeks till the end of the year and as we get ready for next year I believe that one habit we need to look into seriously kicking is the habit of procrastinating.
Let's face it having to do important things and sticking to a deadline is all part of being a fully functioning working adult and as much as we try to use our time wisely - so that we don't die of stress and exhaustion, there are times (sometimes, special times, okay let's be honest most of the times) when we give in to the lure of temptation and actively choose to do something else.
I've been feeling like I'm in this endless loop of procrastination.
Procrastination can come in many forms whether it is blatantly obvious or discreet. Generally procrastinators fall into three categories: the perfortinators, the busycrasnators and the fearnators. Each type of procrastinator are driven by different motives and sources to procrastinate.
One single common thread that binds all three categories is that we would off doing work until the last minute every single time expecting that it will turn out different but we know deep down that it won’t.
Below are a few different methods to procrastinate less ( because it's definitely impossible to put an end to it) and hopefully regain a little more control over your life.
1. For the Perfortinators
Being a perfortinator means that you’ve mastered the art of performing ‘better under pressure’. Perfortinators are those who can only work if there is enough pressure being exerted onto them. Simply reading the task and doing the work for a mere 5 minutes will not do anything to produce any kind of work. We the perfortinators can only work if we have 48 hours left (sometimes 24 depending on the task).
However sometimes being a perfortinator can be quite tiring and we might want to switch it up a bit and be less stressed the next time another assignment is due. The best way would be to have a task chart or a timeline indicating what needs to be done.
On that timeline set our own deadlines for the task to be carried out. For example assuming that you have 2 months to complete a certain task given to us, we set our own deadlines as to when everything needs to be done by. That way we give ourselves enough pressure while at the same time pacing ourselves enough so that we don’t burn out.
The easiest way to execute this plan would be to use a calendar and then set reminders and deadlines on them for that added pressure to get us to work.
2. For the Busycrasnators
To those of us who are busycrastnators, we tend to be in denial and prefer to be in the buffering phase of the procrastination cycle. We tend to think we have a whole lot of time left to get to work or we feel the need to get the conditions absolutely perfect to start. This situation makes us feel a great need to want to fill our time doing other things of inconsequential outcomes.
We understand that we really have got to start doing work instead of browsing through Facebook or endlessly refreshing our Instagram feed, heck we probably didn’t really need to know what do sloths eat ( the answer is leaves in case you were wondering) but somehow our minds would wander every time we even attempt to get any work done.
In order for us to control this inability to concentrate on a certain task for a long period of time, us the busycranators need first to set a small goal for ourselves to complete every day, make it something small and attainable. The first goal we could try getting the title down as a task. Then the next day set ‘decide on direction of campaign’ as the goal for the day. Then the next day decide colour scheme for our presentation.
This small goal needs to be set every day and then we then need to make sure that these small tasks get done. But let’s face it even with this small task sometimes we tend to wonder off track and procrastinate doing other things.
When we find ourselves in this dilemma of doing something else, we need to be truthful to ourselves and stop what we are doing, realign our focus and then get back to work. It doesn’t matter how many times we get distracted as long as we get back to what we were doing.
Keep this up for as long as it takes to complete the task you’ve set out to do.
3. For the Fearanators
The fearanators among us are people who are too paralysed by fear. The fear that our work will never be good enough, the fear that if we did well this time we would never be able to measure up to our past works leaving us unable to actually start on our work, the fear that we will not have enough time or skills to pull it off.
We need to take everything we do as a learning experience. We will never know whether we’d do well or do horrible if we don’t try, the earlier we start work the more time we have to actually edit our work and let others have a look at it.
Instead of fearing to start, we need to just start write ideas at random, take it as a draft that you’ll improve on anyways so it doesn’t matter whether or not it is great the first time around. Every time you feel unhappy or that is it not up to the standard that you want, go back and edit it.
Just like the busynators, we the fearanators would need to set a small goal every day and stick to accomplishing that goal. We might take a longer time to get there but at least we started somewhere.
If you have any other methods on how to deal with procrastinating do share it with me in the comments section below I'm super looking forward to reading them!