This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Procrastination. We all know it. I think we’ve just about all been guilty of it, really anytime we’ve put something off until tomorrow.
In fact, “procrastinate” comes from the Latin word procrastinatio, or “for tomorrow.” Turns out people have been putting off tasks since tasks have been around!
But is procrastination possibly getting in the way of your success? It very well could be, if it’s limiting your productivity.
Read on to learn more about procrastination, including how it can hurt you and ways that you can overcome it.
Is Procrastination Getting in the Way of My Success?
If you’re already asking this question, it’s quite possible that the answer is “Yes, procrastination is getting in the way of your success.”
Why might that be the case? Well, ultimately procrastination means that we put off things that we need to get done. If you can’t shake this mindset, that means you’ll often be doing things at the last minute. And when you do everything last minute, the quality of your work will generally suffer.
Educators, for example, can almost always tell which students have put in significant time and effort versus those who just slapped something together right before the due date.
Whether you’re a student or a worker, chronic procrastination can definitely hold you back from achieving the kind of results that you want to see. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to improve your procrastination, and you can easily find guidance online nowadays: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/procrastination/
How to Overcome Procrastination?
So, how do you overcome procrastination? Here are five helpful tips so that you can slay the procrastination dragon once and for all!
Cut Your Schedule Some Slack
Some people may procrastinate simply because they always take on too much. If you don’t have time to get everything done, then you’re inevitably going to have to keep putting things off until the next day! From there, it can be a vicious cycle.
So, try to make your schedule more reasonable and leave yourself the amount of time that you need in order to have small breaks, get to and from places, eat lunch, etc.
Break It Down
So, you’ve got your to-do list, right? That’s a great start, but it’s not even half the battle. That’s because it’s more about how you create your to-do list and then how you attack it.
If you put the harder stuff at the very end of the day, for example, it’s likely that you’ll have run out of motivation and energy by then. And if you only ever write out vague instructions for large, complex tasks, it makes it much harder to get started. Instead, break things down into small tasks and cross off each one as you do it. You’ll be amazed how much more productive you are!
Consider the Potential Consequences
If you think about the long-term consequences of your short-term procrastination, it can really help put things in perspective. Sure, maybe you don’t feel like doing what you need to get done. But what if not doing that paper turns into a failing grade and that postpones your diploma? Or not filling out that paperwork means you get penalized on your taxes?
It’s important to think about how doing something right now can save you potential headaches down the road. And if there’s a task you can do right now, just do it! It’s always better to take care of little things right away rather than let them build up by continually putting them off.
Set up a reward system for yourself. For example, don’t indulge in something that you enjoy until you’ve completed your biggest task of the day first. This will give you extra motivation to complete the biggest thing on your list instead of putting it off until later.
You can also plan something for the end of your day that you find relaxing or enjoyable as a reward for completing your to-do list.
At the end of the day, it’s best if you’ve gotten everything done for that day! If not, then you’re likely guilty of procrastination. And while procrastination can be no big deal, it can also cause major issues—especially if you’re a chronic procrastinator.
Following the above tips can make a huge difference, though, so long as you’re invested in making a change for the better!