“I’ll do it tomorrow” is probably one of the most dangerous sentences out there. It’s the calling sign of the chronic procrastinator, a role we’ve all been guilty of filling before. Some of us more often than others!
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Keep reading to find out how to get rid of procrastination once and for all with these science-backed methods.
Don’t Label Yourself
First, it’s important not to label yourself as a procrastinator. Don’t make it one of your defining factors. That means don’t describe yourself as a procrastinator and don’t let others lock you into that category.
Studies show that when you label yourself one way, you tend to act that way. This goes for any label positive or negative. If you think of yourself as a procrastinator you become comfortable in that role.
The truth is that everyone procrastinates. Everyone is a procrastinator at times, but it does not define us. So don’t let it define you!
Separate Your Task Into Smaller Chunks
If you separate the task at hand into smaller tasks you’ll find it easier to handle.
The human brain can only handle so many tasks at once. In fact, the average human memory can only focus on about three to five items at a time.
If you’re working on a daunting task, you’ll have to stop frequently to think about what’s next. These moments allow procrastination to take over.
Take your task and try to split it into manageable chunks. Write down what the task is, and what needs to be done to fulfill it. It’ll make the task seem much less daunting.
Start with the first micro-task; don’t jump ahead and work on future tasks. As you complete each micro-task and move onto the next you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment. It might even get you excited to go through the list and meet your goal!
The best way to make sure you flow from micro-task to micro-task is to reward yourself.
Think of it like giving your dog a treat after it does a good trick, only you’re playing both roles. Take a break after each task to do something you enjoy. Watch an episode of your favorite show, play some video games, or go for a jog!
When you reward yourself you’re more likely to go from the last task to the next to gain the next reward. If you stick to the reward schedule without “extra rewards” you’ll gain better self-control. It’ll make procrastinating seem like a truly bad idea.
Replace FOMO With JOMO
FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is one of the biggest contributing factors to procrastination. When you see your friends on social media living it up the temptation to ditch the task at hand becomes much easier.
According to science, one of the best ways to eliminate FOMO is disconnecting from social media. When you’ve got an important task ahead of you, turn off that phone. Lock it in a safebox or give it to a friend if you need – just get it out of the picture.
No matter what you’re working on, try to replace that FOMO with JOMO – the joy of missing out. Be happy with the present moment and the fact that you’re being responsible. Once your goal has been achieved, you’re going to feel a lot better than you would if you went out and procrastinated again.
Set Clear Deadlines
Deadlines are an extremely important factor in task completion.
So, if your professor tells you an assignment is due in two weeks don’t panic. Take the assignment, separate it into doable micro-tasks, and set a realistic deadline for each micro-task. Schedule it out, put it somewhere you’re always going to look, and stick to it.
Self-control is at the core of killing procrastination. It can be hard to control yourself at times, but it gets easier with practice. Setting deadlines will force you to have self-control or suffer from the guilt of missing the deadline.
Setting your own deadlines is shown to have a positive effect on completion rates across the board. It’s a great practice in self-control and helps you set good habits. You’ll notice it’s a much better feeling getting these tasks done in a timely manner rather than cramming at the last minute.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Who doesn’t like a good night’s sleep?
Studies show that your likelihood to procrastinate is lowered significantly by getting rest. When you’re tired, you don’t want to do anything but get some rest. That means you’re more likely to sit on the couch, watch some TV, and prioritize other low-energy tasks.
Get the eight hours you need if you have an important goal to achieve the next day. Have a nap before getting to a task. You’ll have a much easier time focusing and getting your work done with a rested brain.
Forgive Yourself & Grow
Don’t beat yourself up. Forgiving yourself for past procrastination is just as important as not labeling yourself.
Forgiving yourself for procrastinating is shown to reduce future procrastination. If you tell yourself you’re going to procrastinate, you’re probably going to procrastinate.
Don’t beat yourself up. There’s no reason you need to repeat old habits, and your past does not define the present or future. Again, we all procrastinate, and we can all get over it.
Forgiveness might be the most important step in self improvement. If you can’t forgive yourself, you’re doomed to repeat past mistakes. The faster you get over it and forgive yourself, the faster you’ll become a working powerhouse!
How To Get Rid Of Procrastination With Science
Now you know how to get rid of procrastination and become a better worker. Before you know it, “I’ll do it tomorrow” will turn to “Let me do this first”.
Just follow the science-backed steps above and always strive to become better. Remember, we all procrastinate, and we can all overcome it. It just takes practice.
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