Find yourself delaying big tasks? Try these anti-procrastination tips

If you are constantly putting things off, there are different ways to get moving.

Procrastinating Man

Do you ever get to the end of a day and wonder how you failed to accomplish the things you set out to do? Are you constantly delaying taking on big tasks or struggling to finish them?

Most likely you are able to recognise your rigid procrastination tactics, but you are unsure how to avoid them.

Beating procrastination is hard. Your stalling tactics can appear as vacuuming the carpet is suddenly an urgent chore that needs to be done ahead of your other task, but there are ways to get moving quickly. Try these tips to see if you can boost your productivity.

1. Start the hardest tasks first
After deciding what you want to do for the day, start with the hardest tasks. It can be irresistible to start with a few ‘easy kills’, but this can give you a false sense of accomplishment. And it might tempt you to reward yourself by doing even more distracting activities. You have the most energy after a full breakfast, so make use of that morning ‘get-up-and-go’ before it dissipates.

2. Break big tasks into small chunks
Any major task can be broken down to smaller, more achievable challenges, whether it be writing a book or painting your house. By doing this you will avoid becoming overwhelmed and finishing each task will motivate you to continue.

3. Put your phone away
Once you stop to check your emails or social media stream you can quickly be sucked down the rabbit hole and your day will be gone. If you really want to get things done, put your phone away somewhere to avoid the potential distraction.

4. Give yourself a pep talk
If you have found yourself stalling, don’t beat yourself up about it. Guilt is not going to make you more productive. Instead focus on what remains to be done and encourage yourself to get to the finish line.

5. Reward yourself
The mind responds powerfully to a reward system, so promise yourself something you enjoy as soon as you have finished the task. Do not reward yourself for nearly finishing a task.

6. Keep a diary
If you frequently use delaying tactics, keep a log of your day. Note where you go and when, and what you do. You will be amazed at how you waste time.  Once you see it on paper, it will be easier to avoid these distracting practices.

Are you a procrastinator? How do you tackle big tasks? Do you have any tips for beating procrastination?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    12th Jul 2017
    All good points there. You could add computer to No.3.
    I can clean an entire house in preference to painting the the spare bedroom. The diary or to do list is excellent as it reminds me that I haven't done that job and striking it off as done is very satisfying.
    Inviting people to stay is a great motivator as well - it makes me look around the home with the view to making it special rather than just OK.
    12th Jul 2017
    I make a list of things I want to accomplish during the day and as I achieve each one I mark it off 8 out of 10 it works, allowing for distractions IE someone phones you

    12th Jul 2017
    I'll read this article later
    12th Jul 2017
    12th Jul 2017
    Good one, Raphael.

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