Five Anti-Procrastination Tips To Put Into Action in 2020

Health 9 January, 2020

At one point or another, we’ve all put off completing a task, whether it be homework, work, cooking, shopping — you name it. But have you ever wondered why so many of us often procrastinate? Could it be that we have a faulty sense of time, or is it laziness or task aversion? Regardless of the reason, as we usher in 2020, we want to dispense with the habit completely. So here are five anti-procrastination tips to put into action in 2020.

1. Stop catastrophizing

Catastrophizing is a cognitive distortion that drives individuals to rush into the worst-case scenario after a minor setback. It may be related to the difficulty, pain, boredom, or negative experience of the task at hand. In most cases, procrastinating people will always find the thought of the task to be unbearable. In reality, it is extremely unlikely that the task will maim you. On the contrary, procrastination often leaves you stressed out even more for having put it off for so long. So in 2020, keep things in perspective. There are of course some tasks that may not be your favorite, but once you get them started, you’ll get through them in no time — and feel a lot better once they’re completed.

2. Focus on your “why”

Procrastinators typically focus on expedient gains as opposed to long-term consequences. Think about the “why” of a particular task. What benefits will you gain by completing the task? Fill in the sentence “I’m avoiding completing my homework because…”. If you’re avoiding cleaning the bathroom, imagine waking into it and finding it clean. What kind of feeling will this evoke? Most likely contentment and relief. So if you take this step, then you’ll be way more motivated to accomplish the task.

3. Dispense with your calendar

Projects you schedule under “when I have time” will often end up unfinished. Every project should have a timeline, or else you’ll keep pushing it to the backburner. In fact, you should piously block out the time you allocate for any project, giving it undivided attention as you would an important meeting. Once you identify a task, set a timer and spend an allocated amount of time to complete it. Research shows that once you start working on something, you’re much more likely to complete it.

4. Adjust your environment

Your surroundings can hinder or help your productivity. Optimize the environment you’re working in to ensure that it’s distraction-free and conducive for work. Distractions such as social media, emails, phone calls, etc. can lead you off track. When handling your work, schedule a block of time and close all the interruptions such as emails and phone calls so that you can be absorbed into the task.

5. Motivate yourself

Create a reward system so that you can give yourself a little treat after you’ve accomplished a task. Research shows that rewards are an effective stimulus for the human brain and can be used to nurture habits. Don’t binge yourself into some Netflix movies or go for lunch before you’ve completed the task. Instead of using distractions as an excuse for procrastinating, make them a reward for completing your scheduled task on time.

If you put these five anti-procrastination tips to put into action in 2020, you’ll be much less likely to want to pay someone to do your assignment. You’ll be guaranteed a stress-free year. Happy anti-procrastination 2020!