Let me just say I know we’ve all been there…procrastination is the biggest thief of time. We are often left feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be completed especially when we are on a deadline, have homework to finish, tests to study, chores to do. The list goes on.
I have just recently finished reading the book Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis and her book inspired me to get up and get to work. There is no better time than now to be investing in your future. She wrote about the excuses we make as to why we can’t or don’t follow through to habits we should develop to achieve our goals without looking back.
I have to admit, I am a chronic procrastinator. I will wait to the last minute to get anything done which often leaves me feeling stressed, worried, and tired. Yet still, I haven’t learned from these mistakes. I will say that over the last year after graduating from college and trying to figure out my next steps, there has been a lot of personal challenges to keep myself motivated to work towards my dreams. Without the structure of school deadlines and tasks, I began to feel lost. For a while, my website work was often denied and some days I even made the excuse “it can wait” until I slowly stopped putting in as much effort.
To change my ways of procrastinating, I need to change my habits. If you are anything like me, then maybe you do too. I did some research and here is what the experts have to say about procrastinating:
ACKNOWLEDGE THE STRESS
Mel Robbins gives simple steps to beat procrastinating. She says that the first thing you must do is to acknowledge the stress, count for a few seconds, and interrupt yourself from the state of avoidance. Then, just work on one thing at a time. She explains that acknowledging the stress is important because procrastinating is always involved with a trigger, response, and reward.
“Your problem isn’t working, it’s the habit of avoiding.” – Mel Robbins
SCHEDULE A NON-WORKING TIME
Keep yourself accountable by scheduling in time for breaks in between working on tasks. I’ve read about working straight for 20 minutes and then taking a 5-10 minute break. In this time, set a timer where you can scroll through Instagram, Pinterest, grab a snack, or even just get up and walk around.
MINIMIZE THE DISTRACTION
PTPA- Put That Phone Away!! One of the easiest distractors comes from our phones. It can be in the form of text messages or the need to check social. Anything that may be a distractor put it to the side and leave it for your designated break time.
I struggle with this one the most! Before you know it the 1 minute that you thought you were going to take to scroll turns into 20 or that 1 episode of Lucifer turns into 2… maybe 4.
MAKE A LIST AND PRIORITIZE
The most effective way to get work done is by writing down what you have to do. Take the next step by prioritizing what is most important. Is it answering emails, outlining your research paper, writing 1,000 words for your book? Get the most important tasks out of the way so that you can coast for the rest. You’ll begin to feel more organized and see that no task is worth diverting from.