“I’ll do it later” is one of your favorite expressions? Realize that you are not alone. Indeed, this phenomenon called procrastination has always existed, but is getting more and more on the rise. According to ‘BFMTV‘ in 40 years, this phenomenon has increased by 300 to 400%, due to the many distractions that are accessible today, with information technologies, the Internet, digital tools, which affect our attention span. Today
, these activities distract us from what we planned to do. It is a real tendency to dispersion and scattering. So how do you say goodbye to this habit of putting things off until tomorrow? First, it is important to know why we like to procrastinate. There are many reasons why people procrastinate.
Some of the most common excuses include poor time management or multiple daily distractions. While these explanations may be true under certain circumstances, our tendency to put things off is more often a psychological matter than anything else. “Similarly, fear of success can also play a role in your procrastination,” says Tim Pychyl, a psychology professor at Carleton University in Ontario, Canada.
1-Make a list of your tasks
Here is an effective and widely used technique, especially by business leaders. At the end of each day, write down on a sheet the tasks you need to accomplish the next day.
So, as soon as you arrive at the office, you know what you have to do, and you can immediately get to work. Be careful, for this technique to work, you must be specific about the actions to be carried out and realistic about the number of tasks you are able to accomplish in a day.
The goal is not to overwhelm you with work because you risk losing all motivation. On the contrary, prepare a small list of tasks that you will be proud to have accomplished at the end of the day.
2-Divide big tasks into small tasks
Confucius said, “He who moves a mountain begins by moving small stones.” In other words, to avoid being discouraged when faced with a large project or an important task, you must divide them into subtasks, i.e. into smaller tasks that are therefore easier and faster to carry out.
It will also be easier and more motivating to get to work. For example, if you have to write a report on the annual activity of your department, start by cutting it into chapters, then into parts, and finally into sub-parts. Thus, you can set yourself to write one to two sub-sections per day, depending on their size. This will allow you to progress faster on your list, which is rewarding.
3-Avoid sources of distraction
It’s very easy to get distracted these days. With a simple click on your smartphone, you can surf the Internet and social networks for hours without even realizing it. Not to mention the colleagues who come to chat, incidental meetings, and the multiple notifications that we receive.
All of these activities are much more enjoyable and interesting than your job, so it’s hard to resist. To achieve this, you must self-isolate and disconnect.
During the day, define several time slots during which you will work alone, isolated in an office, without your smartphone or your business phone, and without notifications. Feel free to disconnect from the Internet if you don’t need it to complete your task. In this way, you can devote yourself entirely to the task in question and concentrate until you reach your goal.
At work, it is impossible to be continuously at 100% of one’s abilities. Indeed, our brain needs to rest from time to time to continue to be efficient. Even the greatest athletes need to take breaks, otherwise, injury is guaranteed.
But that’s not all, if taking a break is important, the idea is to do nothing and indulge in daydreaming for a few minutes. No social networks, reading emails, or exchanging between colleagues, instead, look out the window, listen to music, and close your eyes. This is called mental wandering.
By letting your thoughts wander, you will be more efficient, more attentive, and more energetic in carrying out your daily tasks.
5-Project yourself into the future
To motivate yourself for a difficult or boring task, make a list of the short and long-term benefits of completing the task, such as being able to get out of work earlier, having time to indulge in a pleasurable activity, progressing towards your career goal, etc.
Also list the negative consequences you will face if you decide to procrastinate, such as disappointment from your manager/co-workers/client, stress and pressure of having to finish the task on time, impact on your career and about your life in the future, etc. Visualizing the benefits of getting down to work and the losses of procrastination is a great way to motivate yourself to be productive.
By following these tips, you will manage to limit procrastination, and you will be more efficient and productive in your work. Do not forget this adage that says: “Whoever puts off until tomorrow will find misfortune on the way.”