Procrastination is often confused with laziness, but it is a much more serious problem. The tendency to constantly put off tasks is caused e.g. by overstimulation and is currently the main obstacle to becoming effective at work. How to cope with procrastination? Keep on reading.
Despite expectations, delaying the performance of a task does not provide us with the comfort we’d expect – it becomes a burden that gets heavier and heavier with time or even paralyses us. What can you do to regain the will to fight?
Visualize your goal and the effect of your actions
Procrastination, in any shape or form, is commonly believed to arise from striving for comfort and convenience. Even thought this tendency is not bad in itself and, according to many researchers, it drives progress, it is the main obstacle to reaching maximum productivity in the civilized world. Motivating oneself is the more difficult, the more distanced the goal and the benefit of task completion seem to be. Thus, it is a good idea to start with visualizing the result of the work done. To do so, isolate yourself for a second from external factors and focus entirely on visualizing the sense of satisfaction stemming from achieving your goal. The first attempts will surely not be easy, but with time, you will find out that getting organized becomes easier and easier, the same way your muscles grow as you work out. Most importantly, you need to imagine what you would feel when you complete the task. Your mind will accept this vision as reality, so the execution itself will be much easier.
The majority of us do not realize the level of overstimulation we experience. That is why you need to start eliminating all the distractors surrounding you. It is vital, because your mind acts like a receiver picking up signals at many frequencies at the same time. The more “transmitters” nearby, the more difficult it is to focus. Chatty coworkers, social media notifications, messages from friends and sometimes even radio playing in the background make it difficult or even impossible to focus on working. If you cut yourself off from omnipresent information overload, you have a chance to win. Surely, the fear of missing out on something interesting on Facebook is less scary than a reprimand from your supervisor for not completing your task.
– Behaving in a manner that does not disturb others is an unwritten, but inviolable rule at coworking spaces. It is obvious that not everyone can work in hustle and bustle, forcing themselves to stay focused when sitting next to people talking. That is why one of the most commonly mentioned benefits of working from our venues is that we provide separate rooms or conference rooms that can be booked for an entire day to ensure that you can focus on deep work, i.e. working alone. Additionally, anyone may use soundproof phone booths not to disturb their coworkers and, most importantly, to maintain full confidentiality of conversations – explains Marta Kamińska from Solutions.rent.
Focus on one thing at a time
The so-called multitasking, understood as constantly switching between several tasks, is yet another deception of our brain. The change itself absorbs our mind so much that it significantly reduces our focus on the goal at hand. Although working on many projects simultaneously is nothing new, it makes good practice to stick to a time period allocated for one task, according to the Pomodoro technique. Basically, it involves drafting a simple list of tasks and cutting oneself off from all distractors. You work on one item from the list for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. Preferably, spend this time on some physical activity. After the break, you may continue the task or change it. It is important for the said 25 minutes to form an integral whole. In such a period of time, your mind is able to maintain full focus and productivity. Of course, this technique requires rigorous work planning and scrupulous time control. In the beginning, an alarm clock or a timer in your mobile phone may come in handy. The effectiveness of this method will surprise you just after several days of systematic use.
Maybe you’ll find it interesting: 7 ways to remain focused at work
Fighting procrastination involves “hacking” your own mind and there is nothing wrong with that. Humans are driven by the need for immediate reward – visualizing it, cutting oneself off from factors making it difficult to complete one’s work and focusing on one goal to reach it as quickly as possible seems to be the most rational and effective way.
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