Research shows that almost 95 percent of us procrastinate to some degree. While it’s comforting to know that we’re not alone, we can’t deny that procrastination holds us back.
There’s this persistent misconception that procrastination is synonymous with laziness. While both do pertain to inaction, there’s a significant difference.
Laziness implies passiveness, apathy, and the unwillingness to act. It’s basically doing nothing. On the other hand, procrastination is an active process. Here, you choose to do something easy or irrelevant instead of focusing on a difficult task at hand. While procrastination isn’t necessarily the same as laziness, doing it too frequently can reduce your productivity eventually.
There are ways to keep procrastination at bay, but if you’ve tried scheduling and time blocking and still find yourself putting things off, these three weird yet effective tips might do the trick:
Do The Worst Job Possible
Procrastination usually stems from fear or perfectionism. You’re afraid to start because you won’t want to produce something mediocre. For instance, instead of producing something cringe-inducing, many writers (such as myself) prefer not to do anything.
After all, no output is better than bad output, right? Wrong.
Subpar work is the key to success. (Yes, really.) Instead of focusing on writing the perfect article or doing the assigned task perfectly, focus on the process. Write random ideas, play with different concepts, or experiment with unusual methods.
Let your work start off as messy, incomplete, or even crappy. At the end of the day, the worst you can do is produce a mediocre draft. But hey, at least you created something.
Funnily enough, when you try this method, it’ll actually be harder to create the worst outcome possible. Throughout the process, you’ll be able to spot mistakes, course-correct, and improve as you go along.
Do this consistently and fearlessly and you’ll be more likely to dive in than put things off.
Rather than remaining in your work chair and leaving your projects unattended, why not get up and just take a break altogether? This might sound incredulous, but it actually works.
When you procrastinate halfway, you feel a sense of guilt. You’re working, but you’re not finishing things on time because your mind is somewhere else. Hence, rather than forcing yourself to do a half-baked job, give yourself time and space.
If you’re working remotely, step away from your desk and go for a walk or read a book instead. Does your back ache from sitting all day? Go have a quick workout or do some stretches. In other words, recharge with non-work activities rather than stay stuck in a rut.
Once you’re done, you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to go back and do the actual work. The point here is simple: do things wholeheartedly. If it’s work, then work. If you want to procrastinate, go all the way.
Pile On The Work
Overcoming procrastination starts with facing your fears. As mentioned above, don’t be afraid to take on difficult tasks. So rather than ticking off minor tasks on your to-do list, why not start with the most difficult one? Eat the frog first, so to speak.
But okay, if you want to do things at the last minute, go ahead. Pile on the work. But, again, go for the hardest and most important tasks first.
For example, let’s say you love facilitating meetings, yet hate organising your presentations. Before you send Zoom links, work on your slides first. Go through your materials until you feel more confident and ready.
Once you’ve cleared all the difficult tasks, the rest will feel like child’s play.
There’s also another alternative: delegate tedious yet crucial tasks instead so they still get done.
Even if you procrastinate all day.
Remote Staff has been consistent in helping Australian SMEs and entrepreneurs like you find hard working remote workers from the Philippines since 2007. Hence, if you’re eager to work on the things that really matter instead of procrastinating on the ones that don’t, we have staff who are ready and willing to take them on.