Procrastination seems to be an integral part of the human experience, with studies showing that 1 in 5 of us admit to being chronic procrastinators. Not only does procrastination damage your productivity at work and home but it can also affect your social relationships and mental health. On the other hand, persevering to achieve your goals can positively transform every aspect of your life. These three ways below – actively taking responsibility for your tasks, developing consistency, and focusing on one item at a time – can help you turn procrastination into productivity.
1. Reclaim Responsibility
Psychologist Timothy Pychyl identified procrastination as “that gap between intention and action.” Actively taking responsibility for what you need to accomplish can effectually bridge that gap. You open yourself up to being accountable by embracing responsibility. Doing so also raises self-discipline and awareness and forces you to take stock of your duties and find the best way forward. A simple way to begin this process is to put pen to paper. Writing down your goals ― whether they are a to-do list for today or five-year aspirations not only kick starts your focus but gives you a basis for a plan of action. Now you can develop a methodology for accomplishing these goals.
2. Establish a Rhythm or Routine
Procrastinating is a consistent habit in and of itself, so to become productive new patterns have to be set. Establishing a rhythm or routine to your work that produces reliable results will help you become a more successful individual. An excellent starting point is to practice time management skills. This doesn’t just mean setting alarms, it encompasses dedicating time every day to your own mental and physical well-being through exercise and meditation as well as building a structure for your work. One that you can stick to. Additionally, good time management gives you room for self-forgiveness when those inevitable little hiccups occasionally derail your productivity.
3. Learn to Monotask
Regularly doing several things at once has almost become a virtue of this modern world, from managing multiple projects in the office to scrolling through your phone while watching TV. Yet the truth is that focusing on one task at a time, or monotasking rather than multitasking, is far more likely to produce the best results. It’s also one of the best ways to ensure the above two tips actually work for you to break the cycle of procrastination!
Giving into procrastination doesn’t just mean your goals are unmet, it puts you under unnecessary mental and emotional stress that impacts all areas of life. However, by writing your goals down and taking responsibility for them, practicing time management and building a routine, while focusing on one task at a time, you’ll develop the skills to conquer procrastination once and for all.
About the Author
Katlyn Proctor is a freelance writer and editor. Before taking a step back to spend more time with her family, she studied psychology and has worked as a life coach.