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Stop Procrastinating Once and For All

There is a secret robber in our lives that steals our joy and our time and that’s the habit of procrastination. In itself, procrastination may be seen as a harmless habit but in truth, several hours and days of our lives are stolen and lost forever because of putting off what we are set to do until the last minute. As said in a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, nothing spurs inspiration than the feeling of last minute panic.

But then again, it’s time to ask your self – is that kind of high really worth the anxiety and stress? Imagine a stress ball being pressed on day in and out, that’s exactly what procrastination does to us. It robs us of the opportunity to just be and do other things worthy of our time such as spending time with family and friends.

But what’s good about procrastination is that it can be reversed as a habit or behavior and can be banished once and for all. Here are some ways to successfully do get rid of this habit:

1.       Live in the moment.

In one TED Talk, procrastination is said to be a way for people to suspend future happiness in expense of the now or today. The best way to prevent procrastination then is to try hard to stay in the moment. Instead of thinking days ahead, think of the minutes and hours before you and stay on course. The future will come whether we like it or not but it’s not an excuse ever to think that ignoring the tasks at hand can make your future self like you.

Quite sadly, instant gratification rarely leads to happy endings.

2.       Speaking of future self, what will he/she tell you?

Another exercise can be thinking ahead and writing a letter to your future self. What can you tell that person now? What have you truly accomplished? Have you set out what you’ve always done? Procrastination is not just about work or school. In some cases, it also deals with secret dreams and wishes. But what have you done to be a step closer to its completion?

These questions may be thought-provoking and they should be since they’re the best way to propel yourself to act now and not the next hour, day, week, or year.

3.       Create a to-do list that is not out to make you fail.

Sometimes, we truly can be our own worst enemies. Unwittingly, most to-do list never get ticked completely not because they are utterly undoable but because the sheer number of items can overwhelm anyone and render her in analysis paralysis.

Instead, be smart. If you only work for 8 hours tops, devote an hour to prayer or mediation, ample travel time, thinking sessions, and administrative work. It’s true – you cannot finish anything in one sitting. There really are not enough resources to make you Superman (or Supergirl).

But what you can be great at is by tweaking your to-do list. Compared to listing everything down and hoping for the best, make a list with target dates of completion. Also, make sure that whatever you place there is doable.

4.       Decide now and do it.

The more you do, the lesser the feelings of inadequacy. Instead of distracting one’s self, why not focus on the task at hand and do it. As the weeks and months roll, there is greater momentum. There is also deeper self-awareness in one’s abilities. If there are items you cannot do, then ok, seek help from others.

The Next Time You're Tempted to Delay a Task… Remember the famous quote: 

Done is better than perfect. So instead of procrastinating and falling for its trap, decide that you will do it now then act deliberately and without doubts.

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