Procrastination is number 1 enemy for productivity. We tend to have a long list of tasks that we should do on that day but we procrastinate. We know what we should do but we chose not to do it because we just don’t want to do it. The problem is not that we cannot do it but we just hate the thought of doing it because we are probably overwhelmed by the size of the task, don’t have mood to do it, tired or we don’t have fun doing it at all.
Overcoming procrastination is our biggest challenge. The only way to stop procrastination is by identifying the problem of the task in the first place and find ways to solving the problem. Following are 5 common problems people procrastinate and the solution to stop procrastination :
1. Task is too big and you are overwhelmed by the size of it.
Personally, I think this is the main culprit of procrastination. When the task that we listed down is too big and we know somehow it will take a longer time, we try to do other things instead of this and hold this big task. The only way to overcome this problem is to break down the task into smaller tasks.
For example, I have been wanting to paint my study room for the past 3 years. I kept holding it off because I know it will take a long time and the task was just too huge. So, for the past 3 years, paint study room has been on my planner but it just never happened. Finally, I just decided to break it down into smaller chunks.
Remove unwanted items from the room
Declutter filing cabinet
Get ideas from pinterest for room decoration
Select paint colours
Buy paint – create a checklist what else need to be bought
Schedule 2 days for painting work
So, the above list goes on and on. The moment I break down the big task into smaller pieces, I was more than happy to tick the checklist and I know that the BIG TASK is finally moving and I don’t feel overwhelm anymore. There’s another article which I have posted on How to Batch your Tasks – do take a look at it if you are interested.
2. Too many distractions
In today’s world, our phone is our main distraction. How often have we reached for the phone while doing work. The main reason why we reach for the phone in the first place is because we tend to get bored of the task and we need some other entertainment / reward (some people call it). While I do agree that reward is necessary to encourage you to complete your tasks, putting our distraction away is absolutely necessary to ensure that our task is completed according to schedule.
The solution for this is using the Pomodoro technique. This technique was inventoed by Francisco Cirillo who got its name from the tomato kitchen timer he used to track his time. Simple right. The technique practically comprise breaking work period into 25 minute intervals followed by a 5 minute break. For every 4 work periods, you will get a 15 to 20 minutes break. The Pomodoro technique is proven to be one of the best and if you don’t have hte kitchen timer, you can pretty much get the apps on your phone. Check out Focus Plant – Stay focused (iOS)
3. Cluttered (mind / space / environment)
Sometimes, messy desk or messy mind or messy environment can create distraction to us. Cluttered environment often make us to lose time when we look for some time. If everything in order, you will be able to get everything fast and you will be able to continue what ever you are doing fast too. Imagine, if you want to do your Maths homework and looking for a calculator which is on your messy table. You practically push everything aside or on the floor just to locate your calculator. Finally when you do find it, you probably end up clearing up the clutter on the floor and an hour probably wasted by then. So, always ensure that we declutter every now and then to have an environment free of distraction.
If you have cluttered mind, please make sure to write things down on a notebook. Once you have completed your tasks in hand then return to the notebook to see what you have written down and create a new to do list based on what’s written in the notebook.
4. Lack of Motivation
Oh yes, lack of motivation is a difficult thing to tackle. How do we actually motivate ourselves? I often get demotivated in doing my tasks. When ever I encounter this, all I do is I ask myself ‘WHY???’ ‘Why am I doing this?’ ‘What will I get from this?’ The stronger the WHY, the more motivated I become. For example, to write down this article, I procrastinated for 3 days (😂😂) but once I determined my WHY, I just sat down and completed this article within 30 minutes.
5. You are perfectionist!!
Letting go of perfection is a hard thing to do for many. We procrastinate releasing the article because we want to perfect the article a little more. We procrastinate releasing the Youtube video because we want to add little more to the video content and the list goes on. Why?? It’s because we assume that the content or what ever task we are involved in is not perfect. One thing I learn from trying to being perfect is ‘There’s no such thing as PERFECT’.
Definition of PERFECT differs based on individual. So, how will you ever make a perfect article or Youtube video. Different people are still going to view it and still give comments based on their own perception. The only thing that we can do is to learn from mistakes. Any feedback given to us should be made as a guide to us to improve ourselves. You don’t have to be perfect but be open to learn from our mistakes.
So, these are the 5 common problems and solutions that can help you to overcome procrastination. If you have enjoyed reading this article, please help me to share this article via Pinterest under ‘Procrastination’ board.