We all make those excuses of “5 more minutes” or “after this episode” and next thing you know you have wasted hours if not a whole day. This is not a good spot to be in if you want to achieve your goals.
The first step in breaking your procrastination habit is to identify why you are procrastinating. Is the task something you don’t want to do? Does the task seem too big and you don’t know where to start? Are you just being lazy? I personally procrastinate either because the task just seems like a huge undertaking or because I am just being lazy.
The next step in combating your procrastination is create a plan to deal with the why. If you are procrastinating because you don’t like the tasks, use the 2 minute rule. If it will take 2 minutes or less, then do it now. If it will take more than two minutes, set aside a time to do it and stick to that schedule.
If you procrastinate because the tasks seem too big, break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. For example, if the task is to clean your room and it seems like a large undertaking, break it up. Instead of saying you have to clean your room say you need to fold your laundry, change your sheets, vacuum the floor and Windex the mirrors. This way instead of an indeterminate number of steps and time you can look at it in pieces and work through the smaller tasks.
If you are procrastinating because you are just being lazy, it is, in my opinion the hardest to overcome. Some people use the reward method. For example, if I clean my room now I can have an ice cream. This works, unless you are me in which case I would eat the ice cream first in anticipation of finishing cleaning my room. Other people use the “at 7:30 I will get started”, however one pitfall of this approach is that if it turns 7:31 and you haven’t started yet the standard response is “ok I will start at 8:00” and the cycle continues. I personally like to use to the 10/20 rule. If I am feeling particularly lazy, I will do 10 mins of work and 20 mins of relaxing, then another 10 mins of work and so on. This makes me feel like I am rewarding myself with a nice break after just a mere 10 minutes of work. After a few of these cycles I just end up getting stuff done and feeling very accomplished so I just keep working without taking a break after 10 mins.
The most important thing about overcoming your procrastination is about finding something that works for you and stick to it. It is easy to say “just 5 more minutes” but in reality it will hurt you more than it will help you at the end of the day.
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