Do you tend to postpone things until the last minute? Are you constantly missing deadlines and running late? If so, you're not alone. In fact, one in five people is a chronic procrastinator.
Each year, procrastination costs businesses $10,396 per employee. Workers who fall into this category waste approximately two hours per day on activities that have nothing to do with their job. They get easily distracted, have trouble focusing, or simply don't feel like working.
Luckily, there are ways to beat procrastination and build better habits that will skyrocket your productivity. Let's get into it!
Make Mini To-Do Lists
Many times, we procrastinate because we're feeling stress or overwhelmed. If that's your case, break bigger tasks into smaller, actionable steps that take minutes to complete.
Let's say you want to learn German, but who has the time to study for one or two hours a day? Start with small things, such as scheduling weekly Skype training sessions with a native speaker. Commit to learning at least ten new words every week. Making smaller goals will reduce the cost of the action and keep you on track.
Distractions fuel procrastination. In this digital era, it's easy to get distracted and spend hours on social media, Whatsapp, or Skype.
If you have a big project ahead of you, avoid distractions at all costs. Use Focus Booster, RescueTime, Zero Willpower, and other apps to block distracting websites and stay accountable. Some apps even generate activity reports and individualized soundtracks that enhance mental focus.
Accept and Forgive
The most critical step to beating procrastination is to admit that you have a problem in the first place. Next, try to determine the primary cause. For instance, you may be procrastinating because you wait for the "right time" to get started or fill your day with unimportant tasks.
Be willing to forgive yourself and then move on. According to science, the more you can forgive yourself for procrastinating, the more likely you are to break this habit. Forgiveness allows people to move past bad behaviors and get a fresh start.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for kicking procrastination to the curb. You’re the only one who can find a way to break this habit. Find your motivation, set goals, and reward yourself for the smallest accomplishments. Maintain a proper work-life balance to minimize stress and burnout.