Procrastination can creep in and easily become a habit. Once it does, it erodes your capacity to function effectively. But it can be a hard habit to break. However, with some honest self-assessment and an organized and attainable plan of attack, it can be overcome successfully.
How to start
Be gentle with yourself when you decide to try and kick the procrastination habit. It may be so ingrained that you don’t fully recognize all the ways you actually procrastinate. Start out by taking a large or complicated task and breaking it down into smaller parts that you can accomplish easier. It’s important to bear in mind that the most difficult or complex tasks are simply just a series of smaller jobs.
Make a verbal commitment to someone else about improving your time management skills and your desire to avoid procrastinating. Allow others to become involved in your efforts by reviewing your progress, helping you set deadlines or evaluating your results can be very helpful. This will most likely create a commitment on your part to fulfill the expectations they’ve set for you.
Sit down and map out a plan to manage your time more effectively. When a deadline is looming, make sure you allot time each day to work on the project so it doesn’t sneak up on you in the final hours or days. Learn to ask for help when you’re feeling overwhelmed or overworked.
Reward yourself for good behavior and accomplished goals. Don’t wait until you’ve accomplished the ultimate goal, but reward yourself for your successes along the way.
Make sure the reward is something you like to do. Treat yourself to the newest book by your favorite author and take the time to read it. Indulge in bubble baths or relaxing music. If you’ve gotten into the habit of working late, make sure you develop a new habit of going home on time each night.
By making a commitment to avoid the avoiding habit, you’ll soon be well on your way to finding more time and find yourself more relaxed and productive and less stressed in the process.