How to Overcome Procrastination
Jun 12, 2018
Almost every student faced procrastination. Scientists say that people avoid and postpone assignments that bring unpleasant emotions, and instead of them, they do things that can give short-term pleasure. We begin to experience a feeling of guilt and shame in such situations, and because of this, we continue to be inactive even further. However, you can fight with procrastination. Here are some tips on how to do it.
MAKE AN ACTION PLAN
Very often, people cannot start working because of fear; the task seems so vast and incomprehensible. You can divide a large assignment into smaller ones to cope with emotions. This way, a voluminous abstract problem will turn into a set of understandable and concrete actions. For example, if you want to write a summary or a long report, select the part that seems to you the simplest and most understandable, and try to start with it. When you perform at least one small task, you will immediately feel more confident.
The abstract problem always seems more complex, so, it is useful to make a clear plan of action before working on a large and important project, to think what exactly and in what sequence it is necessary to do. It also helps to plan the working time better. You will be able to estimate how much time will be taken for actions, and to put a deadline for each of them. When you start moving from point to point, a task that seemed impossible can become more understandable and concrete, and you will feel better and will gradually join the process.
FIGHT WITH BOREDOM
Sometimes it is hard to get down to doing the task because it seems terribly boring. It is easier to perform monotonous and mechanical work with your favorite music or watching a movie. The working process will become a bit more fun.
Here is another technique that will help you to cope with a tedious task that you cannot avoid. Define a short period of time, for example, 20 minutes, in which you will do only your assignment, and then, allow yourself to rest a little (walk, read, have a snack). You will cope with the task in a few such time intervals, and if you really are not distracted, you can make it even much faster.
GET RID OF EXTERNAL IRRITANTS
Sometimes it is the other way around when background music and other irritants can distract you from concentrating on work. Listen to your feelings, if you work better in the twilight, curtain the window, if you need perfect silence, take earplugs or soundproof headphones.
You can install a special application on a smartphone, which will calculate how much time you spend on social networks. Seeing the scale of the problem, you will begin to take matters seriously. If you need to perform an important task without being distracted, it makes sense to turn off notifications of social networks and instant messengers. You can use an extension for the browser that will block the access to social networks for a certain period.
ESTIMATE THE AMOUNT OF WORK
Sometimes we postpone the work because it looks too easy and it seems that we will cope with it quickly and without much difficulty. Unfortunately, often this impression is deceptive, and when the deadline is close, it suddenly turns out that we have too little time for work. To avoid this situation, it is important to estimate the amount of work correctly. If you think that, the assignment is simple, estimate how long it will take to complete each phase of it. If the task is really too easy and you cannot force yourself to do it, think about how it relates to the main result and what value it has for the work process and you.
JUST START ACTING
If you postpone the work because you are afraid that you will not be able to perform it perfectly, the most useful advice is just to start acting. Even if you do something imperfectly, in any case, it is better than nothing, and you will feel more confident with each next step. In addition, the earlier you start, the more time it will take to correct possible mistakes and do the assignment well.
Another effective method is to start with a draft; for example, if you have an important presentation, you can sketch out an approximate plan of speech and think about what is worth mentioning. Working on the draft, you will not feel as much pressure as if you were doing the task itself, which means it will be easier to start. Later, the draft version can be finalized and brought to the desired condition. If the task seems too complicated or your knowledge and skills are not enough, do not be afraid to ask for help. Asking for advice is awkward and uncomfortable, but it is better than doing nothing and postponing.
Procrastination can be won with the help of positive emotions. You can watch a motivating TED lecture or listen to a good song. Aim at the successful outcome, imagine how well you will feel when you finally finish the work. Pleasant emotions will help you get down to the task. Self-doubt prevents people from revealing their potential. They procrastinate because they are afraid of making mistakes. However, when, finally, people manage to overcome this fear and leave the comfort zone, they can feel a real joy.
PROCRASTINATE WITH BENEFIT
If none of the previous tips has helped you, try to learn how to derive benefits from procrastination. Pausing the work from time to time is useful. Procrastination (in moderate doses) gives time to think about a non-standard solution of the problem and look at it from a new angle. There are many methods to find motivation and start working. The main thing is the desire to be successful and overcome difficulties. Any task can be accomplished; you just need to find the right approach to it. Remember, you can do anything.