The Dangers of Procrastination

Posted on July 3, 2013

Procrastination and I were bedfellows all through university. It’s probably more truthful to say that we’ve been in an on-again-off-again relationship for as long as I can remember.

The P word certainly seems to be rearing its ugly head a lot lately. I’m guessing it has something to do with the little 12 post wager I made myself at the start of this month.

Regardless of the reason, procrastination is a killer to creativity and makes it very difficult to maintain any sort of consistency in a blogging or social media schedule.

But the worst thing about procrastination is that it instills the idea that the task you are putting off is difficult. It makes everything seem a whole lot harder than it really is.

Before you know it, the task (not your behaviour) has got a bad rap and you’re less likely to be pumped about doing it the next time. And so the cycle continues.

Breaking the cycle

So how do you break the cycle of procrastination and keep your schedule on track?

Two words: planning and discipline.

It really comes down to an age-old adage (try saying that three times fast): good things don’t come easy. If you want something done, you need to put in the work.

When fighting the urge to procrastinate, however, it’s hard not to equate work with a long hard slog. This doesn’t have to be the case. With a little forethought and basic time management, you should be able to turn an uphill climb into a walk in the park.

Get the monkey off your back

1) Make a date with yourself

Schedule a specific time every day to sit down and work on your tasks. Give it a set beginning and end time, enter it into your calendar. It’s easier to get yourself to commit to one hour from 6-7 than it is to give up a whole evening, right?

2) Plan, plan, plan

Use one of your sit down times to come up with a brief daily/weekly/monthly plan for the particular activity. Even if you get a couple of ideas down for each occurrence, this will be immensely helpful when you come back later to complete the task.

3) Remove all distractions

The laptop sitting open with today’s juiciest gossip, the phone that you didn’t set to vibrate, the husband/sister/best friend that you happen to be half talking to – get rid of them! You need a quiet, uninterrupted space to make the most efficient use of your time. Deal with distractions when you’re off the clock (see #1).

4) Just do it already!

Sometimes you just have to suck it up and get on with it. The more you do something, the easier it gets the next time and the time after that. Stop psyching yourself out and get busy!
 

Disclaimer: All four methods were used in the making of this post. The irony of procrastinating about writing about procrastination is not lost on this author.

 

photo credit: gothick_matt via photopin cc


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