We all procrastinate at one time or another. Whether we look through Facebook posts to avoid working on that big presentation or get sucked down into the rabbit hole of the Internet hole instead of working on that 5th SEO article about horse breeding, procrastination is a common tactic we use to avoid tasks that we deem unpleasant.
To end our tendency to procrastinate, we need to know why we do it in the first place. That's why this article will discuss why we procrastinate, as well as tell you ways that you can tamper down the urge to get lost in the Instagram posts of celebrities.
Why Do We Procrastinate?
We don't all fool around when we should be working for the exact same reason. Sometimes, different tasks call for different procrastination techniques. You may also procrastinate in a way that is very dissimilar to your friends who work in the same industry. While getting tips to beat this bothersome tendency is always great, it's vital that you know how and why you avoid working on important work assignments. That's why this article will give you three reasons why many people procrastinate, even when the assignment they're working on is the utmost priority.
You're Working On a Task That Is Either Too Hard or Too Boring
No one likes being in the weeds when it comes to their work. For this reason, many of us hold off on working on important assignments until the very last minute. But this tactic could end up with disastrous results if you're not careful. If you're dealing with a really hard assignment, try and get some direction from your boss. If you work from home, try to break the assignment up into workable chunks. Often you'll find that once you start on your work, you'll do more than you were originally expecting to do in one sitting.
Believe it or not, many of us procrastinate because the job set before us is too easy. We may think that the work is beneath us, or we might believe that we can put it off until it is the last minute. But one of the worst things about procrastination is that much of the time, you end up wasting more time thinking about working than you would actually spend if you were, you know, working. So if the job is really, really simple, just get it out of the way so that you have more time to spend watching cat videos on YouTube!
You have a mountain of work to do and not a lot of time to do it. You're freaked out, so what do you do? You go to YouTube and try to find a way to listen to your favorite band's new album. You can't find it, so you get distracted by YouTube randomness. Next thing you know, a whole day has gone by and you still have a looming deadline.
When you're overwhelmed by all the work you have to do, it's important to just relax for a moment and take a breath. It will get done. Just create a to-do list related to the job, put yourself in a distraction-free environment, and get to work.
You Need a Break
Some people find that they tend to slack off at certain parts of the day. No, you're not being lazy. This is actually normal. Most of us can't sit at a computer and work for 7-9 hours. That's insanity. If you find that your mind begins to wander after 90 minutes to 2 hours of work, perhaps get up from your laptop and take a 5-10 minute walk. You can also talk to a friend or stretch for a bit. Take a break. You deserve it. But don't forget to get back to work!
Tips For Beating Procrastination
Take note of how you procrastinate: We all have our chosen methods of procrastination. Whether it's social media, your favorite blogs, cleaning house, or checking your phone 10 times an hour, figure out what you do to avoid tasks. Then make it harder to do these activities when work needs to get done. For example, if you don't need the Internet to do your work, you can use apps such as SelfControl and Freedom to block the Internet for a specified amount of time.
Make work tasks achievable: One procrastination buster that a lot of people like is the Pomodoro method. First, set your smartphone alarm for 25 minutes. Then do nothing but work for that time. When the alarm goes off, you get a 5-minute break. After the 5 minutes are up, it's back to work. Repeat until the job is done.
Factor in “procrastination time”: In fantasy land, every assignment would take as long as the task is supposed to take. But you have a life and life often interrupts your career. When telling a client how long a project is going to take, always factor in a bit of cat video watching time into the equation. But just a little bit! No client will pay you to watch YouTube all day.
Give yourself deadlines: If you work from home, not having deadlines over your head may not work as well as you originally hoped. Those entrepreneurs who constantly save work until the last possible minute could give themselves deadlines to complete tasks. Throw some accountability into the equation by asking a friend to hold you to said deadline.
Is procrastination a problem for you? Do you find yourself geting lost in the Twitterverse or staring into the Spacebook? How do you get things done?