I’m guessing that at some point, you have googled the words “how to stop procrastinating.”
Although this usually happens in the hopes of reading a life-changing article which will help you get your life back on track, it’s actually just another form of procrastination because suddenly it’s 3am and you’re watching a video of a spider dancing to jazz.
That’s not just me, right? Right?
The frustrating thing about most articles on procrastination, I find, is that they’re usually written by people who really have their life together. You know the type – they’ll pay $400 for a leather-bound diary planner, and proceed to actually use the diary planner past the fifth day of January.
I am not that person. So I thought it was time for someone like me — someone who, ahem, started writing this article 15 before I was meant to leave the office — to figure out procrastination tips actually work and which ones don’t.
With some help from Google, I compiled the five anti-procrastination tips most articles recommended and put them to the test as I worked on my university assignments.
Tip 1. Ask yourself why.
Understanding why you procrastinate and actually admitting you have a problem is the first step in your road to recovery.
So WHY do we put tasks off until later?
Some people procrastinate because they fear failure or even success. They would rather others think they just can't be bothered finishing a task, rather than lacking ability. Others might procrastinate because they love the adrenaline rush of waiting until the last minute to get things done, while others have a difficult time making a decision, so they put off doing the work in order to eliminate the responsibility. As for me? I just find other tasks more interesting.
Whatever it may be, accepting the reason why you have just decided to watch a 30-minute video on how to knit a scarf for your son (even though you don’t how to knit and don’t actually have any kids) instead of doing that important documentation due tonight did help, as I recognised there was an problem which needed to be fixed.
2. Make a to-do list
List-making. Sounds simple, right?
I ended up spending an hour trying to draw up a creative to-do list, having drawn inspiration from the to-do lists that people who actually have their lives together have uploaded onto social media.
LOOK AT THEM!
Eventually I accepted defeat, wrote up a normal to-do list and placed it up above my desk where I couldn’t run away from it. Having the list staring right back at me made me want to finish the things I had set out for that day, and before I knew it I had ticked off half of the items. As the days went on, I got better and better at finishing off the things I had set for that day.