When we procrastinate, we are actively choosing to postpone or put off doing a particular task.
And it’s a common thing! Whether it’s homework, housework or exercise we are all guilty of putting off things we KNOW we need to do.
So we know that we all do it.. So WHY do we procrastinate?
The main reason we procrastinate is that our brains are always seeking pleasure. When we procrastinate our brain is literally telling us to avoid doing the thing we need to do because it’s less fun. In a way the brain is sort of like a little child, wanting to stay out and play when it’s time to go home and have dinner.
Overcome Procrastination Once And For All With These 4 Simple Steps
So now that we know what procrastination is and why it happens, what do we do about it?
As mentioned above, the procrastinating brain is sort of like a small child wanting to avoid the boring stuff in life and just enjoy the fun stuff. But if a child is behaving in a way that is opposing to their needs, we don’t yell at them and tell them they are bad, we need to find a way to reason with them..
You need to treat yourself in the same way. Is there something that you are missing that you need? Perhaps you are tired because you haven’t been giving yourself any time off from work or responsibilities. Maybe your procrastination is a sign you need to take a break.
Attend to these needs and you may find that your productivity goes up naturally.
2. Set small goals
In order to overcome procrastination, we need to manage overwhelm.
If our goals are too big we won’t even start them! Because of this, it is important to make sure we set small, achievable goals and make ourselves accountable for achieving them
If I ever find myself in overwhelm, I think of the saying “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
3. Make it fun
Another way to overcome procrastination is to make sure that we are including the desire for pleasure in our plans to complete the task at hand.
If you are avoiding the work, find a way to include some play in the task. Put on music while you clean the house, burn a nice candle and enjoy the scent while you study, how you achieve it isn’t important, it’s simply important that you make it pleasurable.
4. Set up a reward system
As well as making the task itself more pleasurable, it’s a good idea to also add in a reward system for when you get the job done. This can be something as simple as a cup of tea, or a 20-minute break.
Again, the reward itself is not important, it’s giving the brain a guarantee of pleasure once the task is done.
We all experience the struggle of procrastination from time to time, but with these simple steps, you will find yourself becoming much more productive.
Have you ever struggled with procrastination? How did you overcome it? Share your tips in the comments!