Deadlines are dreadful, right?
We have all encountered them, and we all hate them. But let’s not forget they are there for a reason, to help you stay away from the luscious grasp of procrastination. Unfortunately, despite having “dreadful deadlines” breathing down your neck, you still find yourself spiraling into the all too familiar abyss of idling around just to get a glimpse of Facebook, or a dash of YouTube just to end up having a panic attack at the last minute, jumping into action station and pulling and all-nighter. And for what? I ask. For that poorly done assignment that barely scraps a C? Or that pile of laundry that’s practically begging you for a good, hearty soak. Sounds familiar? Welcome aboard!
However, there is a cure for procrastination. (And no, I’m not going to say, “Just stop procrastinating,” fear not)
You see, procrastination arises when there is a lack of interest in the task at hand. You start to lose focus if there is no connection between what you are doing, and yourself. That’s one of the primary reasons for procrastination. After all, nobody likes to invest their energy in things they don’t care about. A simple solution is to choose your tasks carefully and with precaution. If it doesn’t interest you, it’s better off in the hands of someone else.
But what if the tasks are unavoidable? You ask.
Hmm. Well then let’s look at how to tackle such tasks, I say.
A good way to avoid wasting your time is to sort your tasks according to their urgency, importance and time frame. For example, if there is paper waiting to be submitted next week, you probably should start working on it. Meanwhile, watching a re-run of Breaking Bad doesn’t seem like that important, and you can easily write that off your list of impending tasks. Similarly, if a report is due, you better get on it ASAP. Finish the important stuff first and get it out of the way so you can finally see Gustavo Fringe being blown away for the second time. Oh, and also meet your deadline…
A helpful little trick that I picked up on the way out of a dawdling lifestyle was to set a reward for myself for completing my tasks. One strategy that worked particularly well was that I used to hand over one of my sketches to a friend (yes, I draw as well). If I was able to complete the task in the given time limit, I used to recover my sketch, and if not, my friend used to keep it.
And since I loathed just handing over my sketches that I had worked on for many long and painstaking hours, I used to find a kind of motivation and earnest that helped me meet my target and ignore the conspicuous callings of procrastination.
I found this trick to significantly increase my productivity and positive attitude towards deadlines as there was always something to be gained at the end of the tasks.
In short, rewarding yourself after the successful completion of work is an excellent way to promote your productivity and assures that you are up to the tasks. Overcoming the habit of procrastinating is a pathway to improved self-esteem, confidence and an overall sense of accomplishment.