The Pitfalls of Procrastination: How to Beat It, in the Short-Term

We’ve been examining the concept and phenomenon known as procrastination in recent weeks, touching on why we do it and how it often manifests itself in business processes. For our final few parts, we’ll be focusing on how you can stop procrastinating by utilizing both quicker, short-term tactics and long-term, sustained changes. Let’s start with some short-term tactics.

Go About Your Tasks Differently

We’ve talked about some of the quote-unquote “reasons” that people procrastinate already, so it’s important to acknowledge them as we seek out our fixes. For instance, some people tend to procrastinate as a means of avoiding failure or criticism, while others procrastinate by trying to make sure everything is perfect before they’ll progress any further. If this describes your patterns, you might try just switching things up somehow.

  • Try working on whatever it is you’re working on in a different place.
  • Try breaking up your goals into smaller objectives, ensuring that they contribute to your greater intentions.
  • Try streamlining some of your decisions so there is less to obsess over.

Plan Ahead

It’s easier to act if there is an intentional goal to act on there to motivate you into actually acting. Proactively taking the time to establish a plan to follow is therefore a smart idea, not only in terms of keeping you organized but also as a means of keeping you accountable.

  • Try setting a few goals for yourself for the next day at the end of your work time, whether that means establishing the things you need to do or setting a more lofty objective.
  • Try mapping out a timeline for your project or endeavor to follow, giving deadlines for you to meet.
  • Try giving yourself dedicated time to recover to help replenish your motivation.

Lean On Those Around You

Keep in mind that, in most things in the workplace, you have other people around you as a means of support. Turning to them can help you overcome your temptation to succumb to procrastination, and that’s something that you can reciprocate for them as well. Your teammates are and should be seen as a resource.

  • Try sharing your goals amongst your team to boost your accountability and give yourself a group to support you and help inspire you to accomplish the goals you have set.
  • Try consulting with someone who has already completed a similar task for their insights and ideas, as their perspective might reignite your interest.
  • Try partnering up with someone else who is also working toward a specific goal of their own as another, more direct source of accountability.

Of course, this may be enough to help you beat procrastination in the moment, but fundamentally changing your habits might be a different story. We’ll wrap up our discussion next time with an examination of how you might approach this aspect. Make sure you check back for that!

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