Are you stuck with how to overcome procrastination? Have you ever planned to work on a project at a certain time, but decided to postpone it to a later date? Or have you ever intended to execute an idea, but eventually found yourself feeling reluctant about the whole stuff? Yeah! That’s the spirit of procrastination.
How To Overcome Procrastination With 6 Magical Steps
Most of them time, we tend to shift schedules to later dates, not because we’re tired or busy. When the spirit of procrastination is in control, you find yourself feeling lazy to do the necessary things at the right time.
Believe me, procrastination is a killer of dreams and destiny. It’s an enemy of creativity and productivity. It’s something you have to do away with, if you are damn serious about your life.
From my personal understanding or perspective, procrastination can be simply defined as the act of evading what needs to be done at a particular time, with the sole intention of doing them at later dates. Although, there are unforeseen circumstances that disrupts our schedules. It’s a normal part of life. But, when you end up constantly postponing what needs to be done, procrastination has already occupied a big part of you.
If you planned to do some laundry on Friday, but you shifted the stuff to Saturday. From Saturday to Sunday, and the trend goes on like that, you need no soothsayer to tell you that you’re drowning in the waters of procrastination.
It won’t do you any good, nor me or anyone else. In fact, procrastination is the biggest thief of time. One of the consequences of procrastinating is that the workload tend to accumulate over time, which end up giving you more pressure and higher expectations.
In this article, I narrated the steps I took to overcame the habit of procrastination.
Towards the end of December 2019, I conceived the brilliant idea of writing an ebook about blogging. The purpose of the project was to teach the fundamentals of blogging to newbies instead of answering hundreds of individual questions I got from my ‘mentees’ (permit me to use that word), on a daily basis.
Few days into 2020, I had written the outline of the book. A day later, I had finished drafting the introductory chapter of the ebook. The questions kept coming from my students, and I assured them to wait for the ebook, which will answer every single question.
January ended. Two weeks into February, I haven’t written a single word for the second chapter. I was actually busy with academic stuff, but not too busy for me to abandon the writing process. I kept shifting the dates. “I’ll do it in the the evening.” “I’ll start writing on Monday.” And the trend continues like that.
April came up and ended, I haven’t written the second chapter yet. At that point in time, my DM was full of unending queries. It dawned on me that I haven’t even started the project. I had been procrastinating for almost six months, for a project that will take me less than a month to execute
Anyways, the rest is history today. I was able to overcome the habit of procrastination with these six (6) steps below. Just like I did, you can also adopt these methods to stop the habit of procrastinating.
The first thing I did was to define the scope of my focus. I sat down, think about the task at hand. I reflected on the purpose of the ebook. More so, the incessant queries pouring into my DM ignited me into action. I have to define the “WHY” of the project. If you find yourself postponing what you need to do, it’s high time you define your focus.
You have to clear any side distraction from your mind, and focus more on the project. Keep reminding yourself about why you need to conclude the work on time.
Quite often, we tend to keep track of our future schedules by drawing circles on our calendars. I did this too. However, instead of marking paper calendars, I adopted a mental calendar.
In my brain, I know what I’m supposed to do everyday. Keeping a mental calendar kept my mind informed about the project at hand. I was always conscious of the book I need to finish on time. The mental calendar kept me in check. When you keep a mental calendar, it reminds you every single minute to finish that plan you made earlier.
One reason why we usually procrastinate is the silent idea that the work is herculean, dificult or stressful.
To overcome this mental laziness, break the work into sections, and execute them part by part. Before you know it, you’re through with the task.
I had to break the writing process into chunks, based on the outline I drafted, at the start. A chapter per week. Gradually, I was able to finish the book. When you think a work is too dificult, break it into parts, and execute them one-at-a-go. It will help you to avoid shifting the task to a later date.
Sometimes, the environment we find ourselves are sources of distraction to our mental energy. I was smart to recognize this factor. I lived close to the roadside, and I’m the type that can only write in a quiet, isolated environment.
As a result, I changed my writing schedule to late nights when everyone else is asleep.
If your environment distracts you from focusing on the things you have to do, learn to access and understand the environment first. Then, bend your routine to circumvent whatsoever distraction coming from the environment.
Few individuals fall into this table. They often procrastinate because they’re scared of failure or doing anything that looks inferior to the common or acceptable standard. Yeah! I had the same fear when I started out to write. But, I knew I just have to put my best into the ebook or else the queries will continues to pour in.
See, you don’t have to be perfect. In practical terms, there’s nothing like a perfect person or product. We’re merely striving towards perfection. Nobody is perfect!
Very importantly, you have to let go and forgive yourself of the time you wasted while procrastinating. Psychologically, procrastination tends to bring back memories of your past. And this tend to keep you in same habit.
Unless you forge ahead and forget the wasted time, you may not overcome procrastination. I forgave myself of the six months I wasted and forged ahead with the writing process. Within 30 days, I was through with the ebook. If I had continue to dwell in the past, I would have kept shifting and shifting. In the end, there would be no ebook.
On a final note, you have to cultivate the habit of discipline to overcome or stop procrastination. The grip it has on individuals is so powerful. Unless you’re disciplined enough to break the grip, you might not recover.