Procrastination is just a bad habit. It’s making the choice to put off something you don’t want to do until later. It’s easy to procrastinate when there are more interesting things to do, or when you just don’t want to put the effort into whatever task needs to be done.
These days, with so many distractions available, it’s easy to put things off. Some things you can put off but you know you’ll have to do them eventually. For instance, instead of working on that report that’s due at the end of the week, you might check Facebook to see if anyone has posted anything. You know that you’re going to have to turn in the report, so why not give yourself more time to do a good job?
Other things, such as exercising or eating healthy, are often put off because they seem too difficult to do. For example, you might not want to get off the couch and go to the gym because there’s a show just starting that you want to watch and you can’t DVR it. You could continue to not go to the gym, but you’re never going to feel better or get in shape.
Breaking the habit of procrastinating is just a matter of creating a new habit of doing what you need to do in a timely manner. The time you spend worrying about doing a task and putting it off is time you could’ve used completing it.
Here are a few other things to consider when the urge to procrastinate creeps into your thoughts:
Break it down.
Oftentimes we procrastinate because we feel overwhelmed. If you have a big project that you keep putting off because it seems daunting, take a minute to break it down into manageable steps. As you mark things off the list, you’ll feel accomplished and ready to take on the next one.
Give yourself a deadline.
If you don’t already have a due date, make one. Do you want to start exercising more? Tell yourself that by a certain date, such as one month later, you will have gone to the gym X number of times. It’ll give you incentive and a timeframe for that goal. And by the time the deadline rolls around, you’ll have gotten into the habit of going regularly and won’t put it off every week.
Switch your thought pattern.
Rather than saying you “have” to do this or that, tell yourself you “want” to do it. Thinking of the task in a positive light will make you more interested in doing it. Also try to remember the reward or reason behind it. For instance, you may need to clean the bathroom because it’s been a while, but also because you want to enjoy a bubble bath this weekend.
Don’t wait for perfection.
Procrastination can apply to larger things in life, such as going back to school or taking the next step in a relationship. Sometimes we think that certain things have to be in place before we can move forward. If those things aren’t there, we put off doing what we want to do. Remember that nothing will ever be perfect. You don’t want to stop yourself from starting a new chapter in your life because you think everything isn't just right.
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