How to Beat Procrastination
All over the world, university students, professionals, and housewives struggle to find more minutes in the day. Most people are aware the procrastination wastes valuable minutes in the day, but few are aware of just how much time is lost to procrastination.
Even worse, higher education doesn’t really help the procrastination problem, as graduate students and professors suffer from it, too. For these individuals, procrastination is even worse, as they have to write journal articles, dissertations and other academic works. If you are a graduate student or professor with academic work to do, or even an individual with a large and scary task in front of you, this advice applies to you.
Why your attitude matters:
Part of this problem is often the attitude associated with such difficult projects. People assume that because these are hard things to write, they have to set aside huge chunks of time and prepare extensively ahead of time. As such, they tend to put it off for as long as possible, and the longer the task is put off, the more unpleasant it seems to become. When they finally sit down to write, they are overwhelmed by the expectations they have placed on themselves.
What you can do:
By working for just thirty minutes per day, you can greatly increase your productivity and beat procrastination in one fell swoop. Setting a schedule (ie only working on the project that you are dreading during the week and taking weekends off) helps, too. Everyone seems to think that saving up work to do in one long, tortuous marathon is the only way to get anything hard done. In fact, just a few minutes spent chipping away at the task each day can help greatly.
Convincing yourself to do it:
You probably know some of the excuses people often come up with when asked to work on something for just thirty minutes per day. They claim that it isn’t rewarding enough, they won’t have enough time to get everything they need to done in that time, the issue is too big to tackle in half an hour, or it doesn’t “feel right”. Unless you have an urgent deadline, half an hour each day will quickly add up without feeling like an onerous task. Simply setting a certain time and squeezing in a bit of work in between other tasks can help you a lot.
Creating an action plan you will live up to:
Make a resolution to try your new plan out for one week, and after that point you can drop it if you really found it a drain on your energy or unsatisfying for the amount of time you put in. Thirty minutes per day, at a scheduled time, will help you get into the habit of working on your overwhelming project without letting it overwhelm you.
If you are particularly resistant to this idea, make yourself accountable to someone else, preferably a family member or friend who will hold you accountable for work you didn’t do. Someone working on a similar task will be an even better motivational partner!
Remember, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get the same results you always have. The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again, and expecting the results to be different. If you are unhappy with how much procrastination you have been doing, make an effort to change it for just a week’s time and see how it helps you.
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