Eating the Frog: 5 Ways to Beat Procrastination
What are some of the things you absolutely hate to do, so much that you put it and put it off, and it never gets done?
Folding the laundry? Emptying the dishwasher? Waiting until the 11th hour to work on a time consuming and mentally draining project?
We’ve all been there. We all have things that we simply do not want to do, so we push it off. We get an odd sense of relief by the permission we give ourselves to avoid performing an undesirable albeit necessary task.
Even the most fastidious and productive individuals have the tendency to put things off. Some people thrive on the drama and adrenaline of waiting until the very last minute. Others get anxious if things are not getting done. However, when procrastination starts to impact your life and your business, it’s time to take a good hard look at things and realize something’s got to change.
Some say procrastination is a learned habit. However, there are ways to beat it, and here are just a few to get you going:
When tasked with a large assignment, you put so much pressure on yourself and feel you have to do it all at once. This will only cause you to procrastinate more.
The solution: Break the project up into smaller tasks to be completed over a set time schedule. Once you have completed these mini tasks, you can continue on with your day guilt-free knowing you are that much closer to completion. These baby steps will gradually add up, and before you know it, you have completed the task or project on time with minimal stress.
Even on days when you have absolutely no motivation, envision what it would be like to have the task or project completed and off your plate. Identify a positive outcome and how good it will feel once it’s over and the task is complete.
Eat the Frog — Just get it over with
Unfortunately, some things in this life are simply non-negotiable; you have no choice but to do them. These are the ones you just have do and get it over with. Sure, the unfolded laundry can stay piled up forever. You don’t have to truly empty the dishwasher, but what happens when you don’t? Dirty dishes pile up, which can create a sense of anxiety and stress.
So why not just get it over with and empty the damn dishwasher? Same thing with paying our bills. Sure, they can sit there, but then you run the risk of having the power and water cut off, the negative impact on your credit score, so now you can’t get a loan, and it snowballs from there.
Rather than letting that task go unattended for days, weeks, or even months and having that constant and annoying twinge of anxiety, knowing it’s still there to do, eat the frog and get it over with! The longer term benefits are worth it.
The next time you have a task and feel that negative reaction, take a note of it! What about it is causing you to delay getting it done? Is it the work, or social environment, the people you have to work with, or the task itself? When you note the tasks that create the anxiety that cause procrastination, you gain awareness of the root of the problem so you can then address it.
Going back to the baby steps above, establish a reward system for each task you complete. It can be something as small as allowing yourself to check your social media pages, or going for walk. By setting up a little reward system, you have something to look forward to. When you activate the brain’s reward center, you release “feel good’” hormones that help reinforce beneficial behaviors.
It’s not always easy to get the ball rolling especially when it comes to a task we loathe doing. But once you ease up on it and realize that it’s not the end of the world, you can take the bull by the horns and “git er done!” Just remember to be easy on yourself. Drop the self-name calling and forgive yourself for not being perfect.
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