That assignment will never get done if you don’t get started, but how do you stop procrastinating and get to work? How do you stay focused and keep working until the assignment is done?
You might not always realize when you are putting off what you need to do. Users might think that you are making good use of your time when you are really trying to delay what you ought to get done. You might have trouble focusing, and you may convince yourself that it is impossible to work at that moment. You can come up with a bunch of excuses, but the simple truth is that all of these are methods of procrastination. Here is how to beat it.
Be Honest with Yourself
Honesty is truly the best policy when it comes to procrastination. If you notice that you are not getting done that thing that you dread and you know you should be doing, then you are procrastinating. Be real with yourself and tell yourself out loud if you have to that you are putting it off and you want to stop. That affirmation of truth will help you to stop the unwanted behavior and start doing what you ought to be doing.
Get Rid of Distractions
What is stopping you from getting your assignment done? There are likely some distractions getting in the way, and you need to eliminate them. It may be friends and family members who are hanging out near you. It could be your phone or the internet that are distracting you. Why not disconnect the internet or turn off your phone (or silence it) while you are working?
It may be your responsibilities that are distracting you. There could be some nagging tasks that need to be done like yard work or housework. You might be telling yourself that no one could do the job as well as you, but if you hire organic and green Bronx cleaning ladies, they can manage your housework and keep your high standards of environmentally conscious.
Your distractions will be different from someone else’s. You need to assess what is distracting you and do what you can to eliminate it.
Go Someplace Quiet
There might be too many distractions where you are now, and it may be smart to go somewhere else where there is nothing to distract you. Find a place that is quiet and where there are no distracting lights or movements around you. When you have something important to do, it is okay to tell people that you need to be alone for a bit until you finish it. They will understand that you want to focus and finish quickly so you can get back to spending time with them.
When you are having trouble focusing, even slight sounds and a little movement can be distracting. You might have to turn off ambient noise around you, like air conditioning, electronic humming from various devices, and anything else that could be making noise. Easily distracted people need to be careful about letting movement around them pull them away from their work. If the wind is blowing where you are and making papers or curtains move, then you may need to close the windows or door to stop that distraction.
Get Help to Improve Willpower
If you sit down in front of your desk or computer to work and find that you are constantly stopping your work to do something else, you may lack the willpower to work continuously without distraction. You might need an accountability partner in your studies or your work. The easy solution is to find someone else to study or work with. Don’t attempt to study alone if you are constantly distracted.
You will take much longer to get it down and waste a lot of your time. Instead, ask a friend to join you and study together. You will be amazed at how much more focused you are and how easily you turn down distractions. You will keep each other accountable and will get through the work much faster together than you could alone.
Work toward a Reward
The reason many people keep procrastinating is that they keep rewarding themselves when they procrastinate. They will stop their work and goof off on the internet, watch a video, eat a snack, and do other things that they like to do. This teaches your brain that procrastination gets rewards.
You have to retrain your brain and use some self-discipline to tell yourself that you will only be rewarded when you finish what you are working on. Here is one way to do that: open your work assignment and open a tab on the internet that will allow you to be entertained, like a movie or a game. Then, leave the entertainment tab open but don’t look at It until you finish your work. This will help you keep in mind that there is a reward coming. Once you finish with your work, spend some time on the entertainment tab as a reward.
Constantly give yourself rewards for goals to work toward. Remind yourself of why you are doing the work and why it needs to be done. Write down a list of reasons to do what you are doing and post it at your workstation. Keep the end goal in mind the entire time this way and stay focused on your task. There may be just one reason why you are doing the assignment, and that’s fine. Just write it down in big letters and post that near your workstation to keep you goal-oriented.
Procrastinating will kill your productivity, but you don’t have to let it get the best of you. In his book Eat That Frog!, writer Brian Tracy says we should tackle the biggest, hardest, least desirable task first each day. That way, we will be more productive for the rest of the day. Keep that mindset when you are faced with an assignment that you know you will be tempted to procrastinate on.