Being the best at certain things in this world means you’re a champion. You’re praised by your parents and envied by your peers. Procrastination is not one of these things. You may own the crown for being the King or Queen of procrastination, but is this really a title you want? Procrastination is the impressive art form of postponing important things you need to do and instead engaging in other—usually pointless and unnecessary— activities in order to achieve the postponing. These other activities may include watching TV, doing chores such as tidying your room, or carrying out a horrifically extensive Google search on your favourite celebrity—you will literally do anything to avoid doing the thing you’re meant to be doing. Procrastinating may seem like the winning option at the time, but if acted upon too often it could have some detrimental effects, especially whilst studying at university. Instead of getting behind with assignments and essays, be in front and prepared. Start procrastinating your procrastination and get moving with these easy tips to help you beat the habit.
1. Think about your future self—what would they say right now? Sometimes thinking about what we’re actually doing and the precious time we are wasting on mind-numbing activities is actually all it takes to give us the motivation we need. Picture the person you want to be in the future. Successful? Satisfied? Motivated? Yes, yes, and yes. Procrastinator? No. Your future self will thank your present self for acting on those goals you’ve had for years but not actually done anything about. Don’t put off those important things that you really need or want to do such as learning a language, finishing (or starting) an assignment, or organising your life.
2. When you actually do what you’re supposed to be doing, it’s never as bad as you think. In fact, once you’ve completed the job it leaves you with guilt-free time on your hands to enjoy however you please. You will definitely enjoy this time more as you won’t have anything looming in the back of your mind. Without even noticing, you will instantly be of clearer mind as your life de-clutters and you’ve stopped procrastinating.
3. Make whatever you need to do known to others— that way you have to do it. This not only adds an element of pressure but also motivates you to avoid the embarrassment of not doing what you said you would.
4. Don’t overdo it. Trying to do everything at once will not go well if you’re a professional procrastinator. Break down the tasks you need to do bit by bit and start by completing a small section of them. They won’t seem like overwhelming tasks if you complete them in small chunks and you’re more likely to get additional things done with less stress.
5. Stop waiting for the ‘right time’ to do something. There will never really be a ‘right’ time. You just don’t know what life will throw at you next so why not start now? The earlier you start, the longer you will have to perfect the job and the more free time you will end up with. Just start.