According to the Oxford dictionary, procrastination is simply the action of delaying or postponing something. As simple as this definition sounds, Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy. It can actually rob you of the joy of achieving a lot.
Over the years, this “ailment” plagued me so much. I will set out to do something and even daydream of how fantastic it will be after I have done it, but alas months will go by, and I will still be day dreaming. I am not even referring to tasks that are not pleasant or not beneficial; I can clearly remember how I did this as regards getting my ACCA certification.
In December 2009, I had passed all but one paper to become a Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA), the last paper was actually Advanced Performance Management, and for some reason for 4 years, I didn’t write that paper. Yes I had so many excuses for each diet that went by. First I was planning to get married, wedding preparations were too stressful to study, then I got pregnant, morning sickness is too stressful to study, then I had a baby, babysitting was too stressful to study, so before I knew it 4 whole years had passed me by. It is worthy to note that I actually did not start each year with a plan not to write the exam, but procrastination “refused to let me be great”. This is just a typical example, there are so many times I have let procrastination get the best of me and I guess a few of you may have as well, so if am right, then this article is for you as I will be sharing a few tips about how I have been able to simply get out of the procrastination dilemma.
This is one of the tenets of emotional intelligence. Before you can change, you need to recognize and accept the fact that procrastination is holding you back and then be ready to work at it .You need to reflect and identify that it really is a problem, this is important because if you do not see procrastination as a problem, then there will be no need to combat it.
BREAK YOUR PLANS INTO PHASES AND SET TIMELINES
Most times, what actually makes us procrastinate is the fact that in our minds, the task seems so big, so instead of just looking at the task as a whole, break it down into smaller tasks or phases and set timelines. But remember when doing this, don’t make your timelines too short so you can meet the deadlines and if for some reason you miss it, just keep going, it is not a deal breaker.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING- CHOSE A GOOD TIME AND FOCUS
Over the years, I have discovered that I am most productive first thing in the morning or late at night when everyone is asleep, and from my interactions with people, I realized am not alone. So the key is to make the best out of the time you want to spare , if you have been procrastinating on a task for so long, Dive into such tasks first thing in the morning or late at night and shut off all distractions (mute your phone, pause your emails or even turn off your internet if you don’t need it for the task in question)
Now a lot of people may not agree with this tip, but I have tried it a lot and it works. It is simply about appointing a “Procrastination Police”, this can be a friend, a confidant or even a group of people say your social media followers. The point of doing this is that subconsciously, we tend to put in an extra effort when we have to answer to people. Even though I am my own biggest critic, I have come to realize that when I announce that I will like to do something, there’s that nagging voice that will never let up till I achieve the task I set out to do, sometimes it may even be because you know you inspire some people and will not want to disappoint them as you never can tell if you are a source of hope as well. So find your Procrastination Police today and as you chose to embark on that task, let them know what you want to do , and tighten the noose on your neck by adding a timeline to it J .
Now this final tip may not sound as important as the earlier ones mentioned but believe me, it works just as much. When dealing with things of the mind, you need to trick your mind. This is why people who go on diets have cheat days; it is not an avenue for them to sabotage all the work done so far, but to trick the mind into appreciating the struggle and looking forward to the reward. I personally like rewarding myself and sometimes I even push the ball to my Procrastination police to surprise me with a reward and you bet it’s always worth it.
I hope at least one if not all of these tips will help you get rid of that Procrastination gene, remember, no one is perfect, so just do it! Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no delay, no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
So here is some accountability on my part, I have been away from this blog for too long, and sincerely my excuses are valid but I am looking beyond them and setting a blogging schedule. It’s a new month and no better time to commit but now. I will ensure I update this blog at least 3 times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) and as you know a reward is necessary so am looking forward to you guys rewarding me with loads of comments, hehehe!.
So the next blog should be up on Saturday morning since we are starting out, so feel free to comment and share your tips of battling procrastination or what you think of the new blogging schedule.
It’s Deyodee signing out with hugs, kisses and Agbalumo