Don’t procrastinate

Many of us have the unhealthy habit of delaying certain issues for an unspecified period of time. We harm ourselves by such behavior because we are burdened by the fact that there is some issue that we haven’t solved yet. It is good to deal with our probl

Many of us have the unhealthy habit of delaying certain issues for an unspecified period of time. We harm ourselves by such behavior because we are burdened by the fact that there is some issue that we haven’t solved yet. It is good to deal with our problems methodically, step by step, in accordance with a previously prepared schedule and not to postpone them till the end of the week, month or year. Once we complete our task, we feel much better. We are finally able to truly relax. Our problem turns into our success and we deserve a reward like a few days off, for instance.

How to deal with procrastination? We will answer this question in the next few lines by providing six hints on how to best organize our tasks. It’s not true that every task assigned to us, be it at work or home, has to be dealt with immediately. Most often we lack the time and energy. It’s not essential to master the art of multitasking and to increase our efficiency. After all, man is not a machine. Our aim should be to find the balance between what we must do (so, all the necessary work) and our free time and pleasures.

Postponing things doesn’t always have to be bad. If we don’t defer important duties which are imperative to complete, then there is nothing to be afraid of. We have to have our life priorities fixed and adjust our schedules to them. If we were sitting and watching TV and our child asked for help with homework, it would be wise to skip the movie or TV program.

Advice no. 1 – Following good examples

It is true, that being a part of a given social group for an extended period of time makes us acquire some of the group’s behavior, no matter if it is good or bad. The members’ habits become our own, so if we surround ourselves with competent, reliable people who do not like to postpone their work, sooner or later we start acting like them. This pattern is present not only in the professional but also in the private sphere of our life. If we know someone who runs every day, he or she will motivate us to do regular exercise. It’s no different when it comes to cycling, going to the gym or shifting to a healthier diet. If we have a good example to follow it is easier for us to pursue our aims. Such a person can become our ‘drive’, our support on the way to complete our tasks.

If we befriend lazy and unreliable people, we don’t have partners to carry out cooperative efforts, even such activities as walking in the nearby park. It is always easier to do something together, with another person or a whole group, than to do it completely alone. Similarly, if we work with people who prefer to omit difficult issues and who postpone everything for an indefinite period of time, we start acting like them, even if we planned differently.

Advice no. 2 – Setting priorities

Every day, we should devote our time to most important activities that either give us satisfaction from work or are a source of pleasure. The ability to set appropriate priorities is essential in both our workplace and at home. Most often, high priority activities are hard to accomplish. They require a lot of our attention, which is the reason for our apprehension and the will to postpone them. It’s totally natural to feel this way. However, we shouldn’t give in to such feelings. If we have a difficult project to complete, we should establish the most important tasks concerning it.

There is a rule that says that 20% of actions yield 80% of results. This is why it is so important to accurately determine those 20% to know what to focus on during our work. Usually, these are the assignments we like to postpone but if we take care of them immediately, we yield immediate and extensive results and this undoubtedly becomes the source of our satisfaction. We should begin our day by completing priority tasks, and, what is more, we should turn this approach into our habit.

Advice no. 3 – Divide large tasks into smaller ones

If we approach our project as a one complete task, it very early begins to loom large like an iceberg, and we cannot take care of it appropriately. Automatically, we begin to do everything else just not to start working on it. Yet, if we divide the effort into smaller tasks, achievable, for example, in one day, this iceberg falls apart into fragments with which we deal quickly. Smaller issues can be resolved in the same way. They do not overpower us, and we can face them without fear. We can divide them into smaller sub-assignments and place them in a timetable. Of course, such approach is not an easy one, but, if we learn to break our tasks into smaller pieces, this will be a step forward.

Advice no. 4 – Don’t be a perfectionist

Perfectionists are usually very afraid of failing, and it is this fear of failure that often prevents them from taking up certain assignments. Of course, it is imperative to approach duties with self control and diligence, and it is essential to be prepared for work every day, but it is also important to boldly approach other endeavors even if there is a chance that they will not result in a spectacular success. Postponing issues doesn’t make us better prepared for them if our attitude remains as described above. It is better to take action immediately and simply just ‘be done with this’. If something goes wrong, we will have the opportunity to fix it later.

If we are aware that, while working on an assignment, we are getting close to fulfilling it perfectly, we are doing the right thing. It is human nature to make mistakes. However, it is also good to learn from these mistakes. It’s better to regret something you did than to regret something you didn’t do.

We often do not finish our task, though we are a small step from success. If there are more and more unfinished issues, we should deal with them as fast as possible even if those tasks are hard and demand a lot of attention and time. It is best to complete all the tasks that we have initiated and stop thinking about them.

Advice no. 5 – Nothing beats a good plan

We should fit our plans into timetables, so that we know what to expect every day, what issues we have to take care of and what are our priority assignments. An everyday schedule need not be very complicated, in fact, all we need is a simple list written on a piece of paper, though we can use specially designed software for that.

A task list speeds up our actions and increases self efficiency. It is our guideline that points out the most important tasks which require our attention at a given time. It is good to complete our tasks according to the list unless something unexpected happens. In such a case, the overdue tasks should be given priority the next day. Planning allows for a better division of work time and helps save additional time for breaks which serve us to ‘recharge our batteries’ for further work.

Advice no. 6 – An enriched day plan

Repeating the same duties all the time is boring. We don’t like doing the same things over and over again. We need some motivation for further work, something to stimulate our brain. We are more eager to approach new challenges than to stick to routine tasks. We find more energy and creativity to complete new challenges, and we approach the future end result with bigger eagerness.

It is a good thing to enrich our plan of the day as this temporarily shifts our attention from the assigned tasks. In consequence, we have a fresh view on our work or house duties. However, we cannot allow for the new tasks to totally displace the older ones which we haven’t finished yet. Once again, the notion of establishing appropriate priorities in life steps forward.

Many people experience serious difficulties with meeting an assigned deadline. If they have some issue to complete, they start dealing with other activities just to postpone what is difficult and unpleasant. Meanwhile, it is better to complete such a task immediately, to have a clear mind to take up other challenges. Good time and work management are the key to success. It is better not to postpone our work because we won’t evade it anyway. There will be this mental burden that we still have something to do, something to finish etc.

We won’t be able to fully relax, enjoy ourselves, until we clear our mind of all that still needs to be done. It is good to break an assignment into smaller tasks which are much easier to complete. It is best to fit them into a timetable and to follow that timetable with diligence. If we follow this approach, we are more creative, and we find more time strictly for our pleasures. Our professional or family work cannot take away all our time. We have to struggle to find at least a few moments for ourselves just to ‘recharge our batteries’ to have the strength to meet new challenges.