The deadline is drawing near. You know you have to get moving if you’re ever going to complete the project. Still, for some reason you find yourself inclined to watch another rerun of Friends rather than finishing your task.
Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Procrastination. It’s an ugly word and it affects us all at one time or another. Good news, though, you don’t have to let it overcome you! There’s plenty of help and advice out there to make procrastination a thing of the past.
Check out these 8 curated ways to avoid procrastination. I screened the top-rated answers on Quora to the question, “How do you avoid procrastination?,” to find these ideas for you.
Start with “The Focusing Question.” “ What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? ”
–Dean Bokhari: Host, The Meaningful Show
Reverse procrastination: trick your (lazy, lazy) brain into thinking that you have another thing that is even more loathsome.
–Kim Huynh: I dress brands up in nice clothes, teach them how to speak like normal people, take them to the right party, and introduce them to the cool kids.
There’s an impulsive baby reptile in your brain, and unfortunately he has the steering wheel. If you can be a good parent to him he’ll mostly do what you say, and serve you well. Just remember who’s in charge.
–Oliver Emberton: Entrepreneur, author-in-training, challenge addict, dancer, pianist, programmer, artist and general busy bee.
First, you need to determine if laziness is really your problem. Many business leaders consider laziness a strong motivator. Laziness can inspire innovation and change. Laziness can even motivate people to simplify complex systems.
–John Read: Recently published my first science fiction thriller, The Martian Conspiracy.
Avoiding procrastination starts with two very important things: managing attention and prioritizing. Only mastering these techniques effectively can make you a productivity ninja.
–Prateek Keshari: psychology buff, mad, marketing.
I’ve given a lot of thought to this (probably when I should have been doing other things!) and have come up with 9 causes of procrastination (there are surely more, but these 9 should cover most of the cases): Fuzzy Goals, Sketchy Plans, Overwhelmed, Unexpected, Complications, Interruptions, Boredom, Anxiety, Impatience, Exhaustion.
–Jim Stone: Productivity and Creativity Consultant
Stop correlating completion time with relevance, before you even start doing something. Stop getting distracted by the smaller hills, and don’t stall on them once you reach the top of a smaller hill. It won’t help at all. Once you realise you’re climbing the wrong one, get off immediately and head off the the taller hill, no matter how much progress you’ve made climbing the present one.
–Samidha Paroha: I play with words!
Procrastination always has two elements: the task you’re putting off and the internal forces that are causing you to do so. The more you deal with your inner “demons,” the easier it will be to take action. First on the list of these inner demons is self-esteem. Feelings of guilt and worthlessness fuel procrastination. When you start to get things done, you experience these feelings less and less.
–Michael Martel: Green Beret | Writer | Productivity Expert
Do you have a favorite tip for avoiding procrastination? Please share!
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