Thursday, September 4, 2008

Simple Help to Fight Procrastination and Defeat It

Everyone of us feels like procrastinating on our work every now and then. But the important thing is to know how to fight and overcome it so that it doesn't get the better of us.

Just Get Started:
Winners and achievers, know how to fight procrastination. The reasons for procrastination can be many like fear of criticism, fear of failure, boredom, laziness, unclear goals and objectives, perfectionism habit etc.

Its important to know the reasons why you are procrastinating so that you can plan counter measures and still get your job done. The first thing to do is to learn to handle distractions. If you are easily distracted by other things, then it is difficult to get started on some serious work.

Secondly, you should try to get started on the work somehow. Once you get started - take the first steps, and do the task for a few minutes, you are likely to continue further. You will not feel that much procrastination as you felt before beginning.

The 10 Minute Technique to Help Procrastination:
The 10 minute rule can be an excellent tool for getting you started on some work. Just decide in your mind that you will do a task for 10 minutes, no matter what. Whether you face distractions, whether you are not in a mood to do it etc. - let there be any reason. Just start out and do it for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes are up, you have the option of either leaving off the work if you feel like it. Or continue to do it. My experience is that, once I start something and keep at it for a few minutes, I am more than likely to continue it till its finished - even though I might have not at all felt like doing that thing in the beginning!!!

Chunking Work to Avoid Procrastinating:
Many times we put off work because it is difficult for us. So an important step you can take to help overcome procrastination is to break down a task into smaller and smaller chunks. Keep breaking down a task into smaller tasks until you feel comfortable doing that mini-task.

For example, if you have to write a detailed report of something, or a lengthy article - then it is difficult to motivate yourself to sit down seriously and make yourself write.

One of the bad work habits is to procrastinate endlessly. But what can you do - the task seems so daunting, boring as well as exhaustive.

But what if you break it down to smaller and smaller parts. Instead of trying to write the whole article or report at once, why not try and write just a paragraph?

I know that this works very nicely to fight procrastination. I have tried it several times. Many times I come from office, and I am tired and don't feel like sitting in front of computer and writing articles to be published on my blog or other sites.

During such times when I am feeling tired and low on energy, I just think to myself that I will write just a paragraph or a couple of paragraphs about any topic which I have in mind and not the whole article.

The beauty of this technique is that, once I complete those couple of paragraphs, I almost always keep going on and on until I finish. I completely forget my tiredness and am completely absorbed in my work.

If I had started out with the intention of writing complete article and not just a paragraph, then I doubt if I would have been able to even start out. I don't think so .. specially after a tiring day at office.

And even if on some rare occasions, I do not want to complete my article and want to quit after writing just 1 or a few paragraphs, still I would have accomplished at least something. Maybe the article would be finished the next day or so on. But if I had not started out in the first place, and not completed even a small chunk of the work, I think that article might have taken a lot many days more.

Excellent Procrastination Help:
The 10 minute rule, and divide-and-conquer technique(chunking work) are such excellent help for procrastination. If we can get ourselves to begin the work, I think half of the problem is solved.

The beauty of the 10 minute technique is that you can stop procrastinating without using will power. Here is another strategy to -  overcome procrastination without will power!

Very rarely would people stop in the middle of something, even if they were very reluctant to start that work initially. I know because I have experienced it many times.

I am sometimes amazed at this - no matter how tired, bored, lazy I feel - no matter whether I feel that I am not in the mood to do this writing job now, but once I begin and do it for a few minutes and complete a few paragraphs, I just dont feel like quitting until I have finished it. So the major problem is only to get yourself started at something.

That is the major obstacle to overcome, and in this article I have pointed out 2 tools that have helped me with the procrastination problem and you can try them out.

Check out this article on procrastination help through self hypnosis.

Stop Procrastinating Now:
There are also other important skills you need to master if you want to completely overcome this habit of putting off things. Things like handling stress, meeting deadlines, self discipline etc. all play their important roles.

Remember that procrastination can become a habit just like any other annoying habit you might have. If we want to become super-achievers, then developing the discipline to control our habits and overcome bad habits is essential. So if you want to know how to end procrastination problem as well as overcome other bad habits in 21 days or less, then I suggest that you check out this resource - Habit Busting in 21 Days

Hope you enjoyed the article. Your comments are welcome and encouraged!

Related Articles and Resources:
1. Tips to Handle Stress - 22 simple stress reduction tips
2. Simple Exercise for Procrastination - How changing focus can help us avoid procrastinating
3. Public Speaking Tips - 16 tips to improve your public speaking and delivery
4. Solving Problems Creatively -
a 5 step approach to finding solutions to problems

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