We have all experienced poor time management because of procrastination. Wasted time results in missed deadlines, increased workload, and a feeling of intense guilt, which can hinder your productivity. You are not alone in your struggle with procrastination. It is a common occurrence. Statistics reveal that up to 20% of all US adults procrastinate chronically. A survey found that people waste up to 55 days annually due to procrastination.
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We all procrastinate in some capacity. If procrastination is causing you to miss deadlines and be unproductive, it might be time to take action against it. Here are a few ways you can beat procrastination and be a more productive individual.
Assess the Situation
Get an idea of how you spend your time throughout the day. Note the activities you do and the time it takes to complete them. You should also identify the time you have wasted procrastinating. This will give you a fair idea of how big of a problem procrastination is for you and how much it is holding you back.
Create a Schedule
It may seem like repeated advice, but creating a schedule will help you manage your time better. You do not have to carry around a heavy planner to create a plan. You can create one in the note app on your phone. A schedule will help you visualize the tasks you need to complete in a day. It is helpful if you struggle with keeping track of your daily duties and end up wasting time instead of working.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Create a table to categorize your daily tasks into important or not important. An excellent rendition of this strategy was mentioned in Steven R. Covey’s book habits of highly effective people. He recommended categorizing tasks according to importance and urgency. This way, you know which tasks to get down first and which ones you can probably avoid.
Do Not Multitask
There is a continuous debate around the topic of multitasking. Some people find multitasking to be beneficial whereas others advise against it. If you are a chronic procrastinator, it is better to focus on the task and complete it before starting another.
Trying to complete several tasks at the same time, might prove to be too overwhelming and trigger your habit of procrastination. You will end up having nothing done. There is a certain level of satisfaction one feels after completing a task, which can be a source of motivation. Therefore, multitasking should be avoided altogether.
Work within Time Limits
Allotting a time limit to your tasks will help you complete them efficiently. A simple to do list is a good way to visualize your tasks and track their progress. This helps set the pace for the workflow. Make sure the time limits are realistic.
If you set idealistic time limits and end up not meeting them, you will feel rushed for no reason and lose motivation. Furthermore, setting time limits will help you stay focused and remove distractions to get work done on time.
Being swamped with work is one of the reasons why people procrastinate. Try to manage your workload. Do not commit to projects that you cannot complete on time. Communicate with your boss about having work already if they are asking you to take up more projects.
Take Time Out for Self-Care
If you overwork and burden yourself with tasks, you will procrastinate. Take out time for personal care. This could be going for a spa day, reading a book, painting, etc. By establishing a self-care routine, you will have a reward to look forward to for all the work that you do.
Procrastination can stunt your productivity and growth. It results in guilt and reduced morale. If you are a chronic procrastinator, try these ways to beat procrastination and experience enhanced growth.