How to Overcome Procrastination
Procrastination, which is when you put off tasks that you should be focusing on, can stop even the most promising career in its tracks. It can diminish the quality of your work, lead you to miss deadlines, cause others to avoid working with you, and can even damage your reputation.
The good news is: there's a lot you can do to overcome this bad habit.
First, it's important to recognize when you're procrastinating.
Most people know when they're putting things off, but there are several signs you can watch out for. For instance, you might spend a lot of your time working on low-priority tasks from your to-do list. Perhaps you sit down to work on a high-priority project, and then immediately take a coffee break. Or maybe you wait around to be in the right mood to get started on something. Everyone's different, so pay attention to when you put off a task or project.
The next step is to think about why you're procrastinating. Are you overwhelmed by the task? Are you disorganized and just don't want to get started? Or, are you a perfectionist and don't think you have enough knowledge or skills to begin?
Once you understand why you're procrastinating, come up with some strategies to overcome it. For instance, if you're not motivated to get started, think about all of the unpleasant consequences of not completing this task. If you're procrastinating because of disorganization, take time to prioritize your to-do list and then focus on one task at a time. Or if you're procrastinating because of perfectionism, ask yourself how perfect the work actually has to be.
And don't forget to reward yourself. For example, have a gourmet coffee once you've completed a task that you've been putting off. Not only is this motivational, but you'll realize how good it feels when you actually finish things.
Remember, it can take a while to overcome a bad habit and establish a new routine, so don't give up.