Procrastination is one of the greastest challenges and evils for any professional. Procrastination can greatly hurt your career and performance and should be avoided. While we all struggle with procrastination to a degree, 20% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators.
Yet, how do we overcome our procrastination? According to Psychology Today, procrastination is not an issue of time management or of poor planning. It is not a genetic, biological trait, but is instead the individual's inability to self-regulate.
Psychologists have frequently studied procrastination and these studies have come up with some strategies for beating procrastination.
1) Don't Put Off Tasks
Due to the Zeigarnik effect, we are more likely to remember unfinished tasks. When something is left unfinished, it bothers us and as a result, our brain continually reminds us to finish the task. It may be easy to put off tasks for tomorrow, but even taking small steps towards accomplishing the task can help it ACTUALLY get accomplished.
2) Start Small
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by big tasks, which only increases our likelihood to avoid doing them. When we're not quite sure where to start, it can be difficult to even image accomplishing the task. In order to avoid intimidation, start small by breaking the task into different parts.
For example, the big tasks may be to design an international marketing campaign. To make the task seem easier, start with conducting market research on your client and potential market. By making the task seem smaller and more manageable, you're more likely to get started and subsequently finish the task.
3) Assess Your Motivation
We are more likely to accomplish tasks if we have a strong motivation to do so. Most of the time, we don't think about the why. Psychology Professor, Fuschia Sirois of Bishop's University has conducted research on procrastination and suggests that identifying a personal meaning in the task increases our motivation.
Why wait? Get started beating procrastination today. Once you make some of these tips part of your daily routine, procrastination will stop obstructing your personal life and career progress.