‘Later’ is a word everyone should hate, yet it is used habitually by procrastinators. ‘Later,’ a close ally of failure is an invisible enemy that lures us to abandon the work assigned today for tomorrow. It tells us how much tomorrow would be a better time or day to perform any task we ought to do now. It removes uncertainty from tomorrow and garnishes it with so many prospects. It pushes us away from achieving our dreams, as we smile believing we have tomorrow, the perfect time for the task. When there is an important assignment to be carried out, but there are obstacles standing in the way; ‘Later’ says into our ears, ‘do it tomorrow, you will have better resources and helping hands than now.’ Then we heave a sigh of relief and smile as we say, ‘yes I can rest now, I have tomorrow’. However, when tomorrow arrives, it comes with loads of surprises that we are unprepared for, so we are very quick to use the word, ‘Later’ again, thinking that there would be a perfect time for the assignment. We use the word very often without realising the danger it poses to us. To overcome procrastination, we must be prepared to remain headstrong and part away with the word, ‘Later’ because obstacles will always show up as we work towards achieving our goals. However, no matter how hard situations might be, we must not be tempted to use the word ‘later’. We must learn to face the matter at hand squarely at that very moment because ‘now’ is what we have, tomorrow is uncertain.
Here are helpful tips to stop procrastinating
Create a to-do list
Create a list of all the tasks you are to do. Arrange all the tasks based on the level of importance and value. Then ensure you tackle the most important task before the least important ones. After any task is accomplished, cross out the task and move to the next task. At the end of the day, when you re-examine the list, you will realise how much progress you have made and that keeps you motivated.
Do it right now!
The fear of completing a big task is one of the reasons many people procrastinate. In order to overcome the fear, start the task at that instant. Don’t worry about how to complete the entire process. Start working on the task. Before you know it, the task is accomplished. However, even though you do not complete the entire process, the fact that you have initiated the task will motivate you to complete it.
Don’t wait for a perfect time
There is never a perfect time for any task. Ideas won’t come fully until you take action. You just have to take action.
Inform someone about the task
When you tell a close friend or family member about the task you intend to perform, they are bound to ask questions about the status of the task. Their constant questions and queries will create a strong urge that will force you to complete the task.
Use Sticky Notes
Write out the task you intend to perform on a coloured sticky note with a coloured marker. Glue the sticky notes on places you visit often, like on the fridge, dressing mirror, bathroom mirror and so on. The more you see the task written on the sticky notes, the more you feel guilty of not performing the task and thus, you feel the urge to carry it out. This particularly works for me.
Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, once you get it done, reward yourself. This is a form of motivation that gives you treat to look forward to when you are about to perform another task. The reward can be in any form you can afford. It can be either a verbal praise, like yelling ‘Well done!” or it could also be a physical reward like going out to see a movie or eat a snack that you desire.
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