Have you ever noticed that some tasks are incredibly easy to complete, but others feel nearly impossible to start? Here are some tips to help decrease procrastination:
1) Break large tasks into smaller parts that are easily achieved. Make sure each small task is manageable and realistic. Set aside a small chunk of time to work on a task. Sometimes even the smallest amount of time can be a great way to gain momentum. Set an alarm for 15 minutes and see what you can complete in that amount of time.
2) Acknowledge your discomfort. Usually, thinking or worrying about starting a task can feel even more difficult than actually doing it. Practice noticing when discomfort is associated with certain tasks and remind yourself why they are hard for you. It can also be helpful to journal about your avoidance to gain self-awareness and clarity.
3) Put away electronics or other distractions. Leave your phone in the other room. If you need to work on the computer, disconnect your internet or block certain sites, like Facebook or Twitter. If you have pets, put them in the other room temporarily. Give yourself the space to focus.
4) Remember that things only have to be good enough. They don’t have to be perfect! If you have high expectations you are more likely to be disappointed with your performance. The goal is completion, not perfection, especially with tasks that feel difficult.
5) Balance out unpleasant tasks with fun and rewarding activities. Try not to schedule all the uncomfortable responsibilities at one time. Break them up with activities that feel easier and more enjoyable for you.
Sometimes all you can do is take small steps. Practice being aware of expectations you place on yourself and try to accept your limitations. We can’t be perfect and we definitely can’t be 100% productive all the time. Give yourself the opportunity to meet your goals by finding ways to manage procrastination.