Beat procrastination and get things done
Have you ever put off a task that was bothering you? Have you ever noticed that you keep putting off certain tasks? Over and over again… That you were constantly overwhelmed – without really being so at times? Until the moment when you can no longer imagine putting off the deadline…
If it is sometimes easy and reassuring to be able to postpone such or such task (writing a report, for example), because a difficulty as unexpected as urgent has just fallen on us – upsetting our schedule, it becomes more difficult to discipline ourselves when we are overwhelmed by events or when we have this annoying tendency to systematically postpone everything.
What is procrastination?
From the Latin pro – for – and cras – tomorrow, procrastination is the fact of chronically putting off until tomorrow – or until an indeterminate “later” – a task that we could do right now by invoking various excuses: Procrastination is the thief of time, another more important obligation, fatigue, inability to concentrate, etc.
If, at first glance, we can think that this bad habit is due to a bad management of time, it is however nothing like that. In fact, if we put off a certain task until later, it is often because the said obligation does not give us any pleasure and does not make sense in our mission. Procrastination is thus an escape from discomfort, stress and demotivation.
However, new technologies and new ways of working allow us to discreetly and very easily take breaks in our work day: surfing the Net, consulting personal notifications, virtual dialogue with our “friends” and other contacts, etc. These small incursions – as pleasant as they may be, if they have their importance – and their place – at certain times of the day, become very quickly addictive, to the detriment of our work.
Time management techniques to fight and beat procrastination
Find a balance between realism and challenge
Increasing the difficulty of the task would reduce the feeling of boredom linked to it. It may increase your personal satisfaction by telling yourself that you have succeeded in meeting a challenge. You will benefit from a productive day from now on.
At the same time, if you set the bar too high, there is a risk that you may fail, and thus obtain the opposite of what you were trying to accomplish. While there is no magic formula for finding the right balance, remember that it is an iterative process: test, evaluate, and adapt if necessary.
Mix long-term goals with short-term fun
Does the goal you are pursuing seem too far away? Does it make you feel anxious or discouraged? Try mixing or merging that task with something fun.
For example, if you are the sociable type, try to give yourself regular time to meet with colleagues to exchange with them. On the other hand, if you are a loner, try to schedule time to be alone and quiet.
The fact of satisfying several needs within a single action will allow you to benefit from the leverage effect of need A on need B, and thus promote your motivation.
Adapt your environment
One of the causes of procrastination is the lack of ability to concentrate and control oneself. To remedy this, the way we organize our environment can be a crucial factor.