Just eight percent of people who make a New Year’s resolution will stick with it this year. That’s why we’re talking resolutions all week long here at VCNB. We’re looking at common resolutions and some things you can do to power through and achieve your goals. We have covered budgets, health goals, savings and organization so far. Ironically, we put off writing about procrastination until the very end.
A wise man once said the “deadline is the ultimate inspiration.” While everyone doesn’t procrastinate, most people have a natural tendency to sometimes put off things they don’t want to do. Some of us though are paralyzed by distractions, bad habits and an inability to make decisions. While it can be hard, it is possible to overcome the habit of procrastination and get things done. You just have to want to possibly . . . maybe . . . commit. . . and start working on it . . . someday.
Put it in writing – It can be harder to ignore a task if it’s in writing. If it’s something simple, write it on a to-do list or even just on a post-it note. For some list makers, the simple act of crossing a task off the list is enough motivation to get to work. Bigger projects can be intimidating and have more steps so take a few minutes to brainstorm everything that needs done and write a plan. A detailed plan will help you get started and provide focus where there may otherwise be uncertainty.
Eliminate distractions – Sometimes procrastination is born from good old fashioned distractions. Who can judge when there are so many great distractions in 2016? There’s Facebook quizzes, Netflix binging, Youtube cat videos and other things that seem much more interesting! If you need to settle down and get a job done, turn off those distractions. Don’t worry. They’ll still be there for you later!
Find a change of scenery – It sounds silly but sometimes the best weapon against procrastination is simply moving to a different location. Take a walk or, if it’s portable, take your work to another room. Try it! This really works!
Deal with the worst – Usually the things we delay the longest are the ones we most hate to do. Instead of delaying the inevitable, try getting it done first! If you first finish the worst task, you won’t have so much to dread later that day! Another approach is to tell yourself you only have to do that worst job for fifteen minutes. You can do anything for fifteen minutes! Set a timer and get to work. Odds are you’ll keep going long after the timer has expired.
Bribery – When all else fails, bribe yourself with a treat! Most people respond well to a rewards system!
The truth is, when dealing with procrastination, the best defense is awareness and vigilance when making decisions. Remember, one failure doesn’t constitute a complete loss. Try again tomorrow. . . or maybe the day after that. Do you have a hack for getting things done? Share it in the comments section!