Doesn’t it boggle your mind when you just can’t seem to get out of procrastination? It’s just always there especially when you need to get something done. It’s like a virus that incubates inside you for weeks and suddenly just disappears after a time. It does go away, but by the time it has packed its bags and left you, you have all this work piled high in front of you.
Now, is there really a solution to this? My answer is no. You can’t completely rule out procrastination in your life, but you can prevent it. How do you prevent procrastination? It all lies in treating procrastination as if it were a child, a toddler in his first few years, and you are its newbie parent. We all know that parenting comes with responsibilities, so what are your responsibilities toward your little bundle of procrastination? The following are a parent’s duties towards his offspring, which if done, are much like how you’d be able to prevent procrastination.
Attend to his needs
Procrastination isn’t your usual disposition hence it’s somewhat similar to when a baby cries. A baby cries for a reason and that is usually because he wants something. Perhaps he needs to respond to the call of nature, either number 1 or number 2, he’s bored and he wants to play, he’s hungry, he wants to sleep, or he wants some love and attention.
Despite the fact that you’re all grown up now, your needs are actually quite the same as a baby’s. If you don’t attend to these needs, you won’t be able to perform well, and surely, procrastination will set in. Therefore, before the start of the weekdays, ensure that you:
- Slept well – If you don’t get the right amount of sleep, you’ll feel sluggish and you most likely won’t be in the mood to do any work. Sleep for at least seven to eight hours the night before a work day.
- Ate a meal that’s full of energy and can provide the nutrients that you need to fuel you throughout the day – Hunger means low to zero energy. In addition to that, all you’ll be thinking about is food and that won’t help with productivity at all. Don’t skip a meal and eat just the right amount of food, because too much can make you sluggish too.
- Are in good emotional condition – Imagine how more awful you’d feel if you weren’t already in the best mood and you had to work. This means that you shouldn’t be depressed, angry, or feel other negative emotions when you are just about to start working. Try your best to be in the greatest mood possible. Take some time off to relieve stress from work. Take a vacation or have fun with your friends.
Be supportive and encouraging towards him
A child can learn how the world works on his own. He’ll discover how to talk, walk and how things work, but he’ll be more likely to pick it up quickly if you reinforce his behavior. Just like how you should encourage your child when he’s teaching himself to walk, for example, you should also motivate and give yourself rewards when you are doing something good. This way, you become more motivated to complete tasks and achieve your goals. This motivation will then decrease the chances of you succumbing to procrastination.
In order to set up a reward system, first identify your goals and what kind of rewards you’ll get if you reach it. Setting daily goals is a good way to start this, because your targets are easier to accomplish as the tasks to complete are fewer.
Let’s say you’ve decided that your goal for the day is to complete a certain number of tasks, then your reward would be eating a serve of ice cream. If you happen to reach your goal, you get the ice cream. Otherwise, you’ll go home, eat dinner, and don’t get even a teaspoon of that delectable ice cream that you’ve been salivating over for several days now.
The idea is simple. If you work hard, you finish your day with a happy reward. If not, then it’s just another normal day.
Keep him safe
Safety is one of the top three duties of a parent toward his child, along with loving him and attending to his basic needs. Children are curious little fur balls and they will be tempted to touch any interesting item in their line of vision. They have a habit of getting into the most dangerous situations. Hence, it’s always best to keep those dangerous things out of reach, or better yet, out of sight. Out of sight, out of mind. If they don’t see it, they won’t be tempted to touch or play with that potentially hazardous item.
In the same way, in your life right now, there are also several potentially hazardous items to your productivity. These are what we call distractions. Think about what distracts you from work. These can be things that irritate you or things that you gravitate towards. An example of the latter would be social networking sites, and as for the former is noise. Now, if you are distracted, you’re focus will waiver and your line of thought will be cut short. When that happens, you could end up procrastinating.
In order to minimize the possibility of procrastinating, eliminate any and all distractions you can think of. Close social networking sites and remove them from your history so you won’t see them. Seeing it pop up in your address bar might just tempt you to click through the site. As for noise, try to work in a quiet area. Turn down music or request people to talk more quietly.
All in all, procrastination is the end result of a child that is not happy. If you keep your child happy, he won’t cry. Similarly, if you keep procrastination happy, he won’t bother you or impede with your productivity.
What are your adventures with procrastination? What methods have you tried to deal with it? Share your experiences and ideas in the comments below.