Simple Tips to beat Procrastination and Improve Productivity

Category Work Culture

‘Procrastination’ — I came across this word 10 years ago while reading one of Robin Sharma’s books. I immediately fished out my pocket dictionary to look up the meaning of this fancy word. And it read ‘the action of delaying or postponing something’. Let’s accept that we all, at some point of time, have fallen into the trap of procrastination and sometimes that phase seem to last forever. Before I go any further, let me clarify that we are not going to dig into reasons behind procrastination or why suddenly one feels disinterested in everything around them. We are rather going to focus on the big question — how to break the habit of procrastinating?

Although if you ask your friends or family, you’ll be hit with a deluge of advice, with some of them even suggesting to seek help indicating that you could be depressed. While there is a link between procrastination and depression, it is not necessary that depression is what causes the habit of ‘putting it off for the other day’. Having said that, one can easily fall into the habit of procrastination and when that happens, deadlines start to close in eventually and panic begins to build leading to worries and stress.

The best way to avoid getting into that situation is to begin by accepting that we are procrastinating. And in this post I have shared a few simple yet effective ways that helped me deal with procrastination and get out of this phase.

#1 Please thyself — Beating yourself up is not the solution. Sure we are already delaying things. But trust the process of absolute ‘me’ time and indulge yourself. Movies, music, food, shopping, painting etc. Basically, do whatever that sails your boat. Dedicate a day to simply lift yourself up.

#2 Take one day at a time — You want to take control, you need to start small. There is no need to rush, so do not overload yourself with work. Just start doing smaller chores and reward yourself once it is completed. Try and accomplish smaller tasks one at a time , like a Buddhist principle say make a small goal and finish that task and celebrate.

#3 Make a to-do list — I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of a to-do list. For instance, I’ve hundreds of things in my head which I wish to do, but everything is scattered. List down all that needs attention either at work or in personal life and prioritize. That said, don’t go overboard and add too many unachievable tasks. This brings in order and visibility, making it seem a lot less overwhelming and easier to approach and complete.

#4 Sweat it out — Hit the gym, get into yoga, or pick up a sport. Physical exercise releases endorphins (the happy hormone). Physical activity/exercise has immediate benefits. You not just look fit but feel more energetic. Exercising allows you to increase social contact, lifts your mood and helps you improve your overall state of mind.

#5 Stay away from negativity — Surround yourself with positivity as much as possible. One way to do that is to stay away from negative or depressing conversation or from people with low esteem or who are prone to gossiping. Release all your judgements, instead motivate yourself and stay the course.

#6 Vent it out — Confiding in trustworthy friends help. Share it with a friend or a family member who can comfort you and provide suggestion for the crisis you are dealing with. Talking your heart out can really help release tension and put things in perspective.

While procrastination is common it can really put a spoke in our wheel and so it must me tackled immediately. While these tips may sound simple, if you follow them sincerely, they can truly help you make best use of your time and work smarter. Let us know how you liked the article and if any of these tips helped you. Leave a comment, we would love to hear from you.

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