Most all of us have procrastinated at one point or another. We delay doing things like taxes, cleaning, work projects, etc. While we tend to think of this as a bad habit, it’s possible to manage the tendency to put things off to actually benefit you. Here are 4 ways to harness the power of procrastination:
1) Understand Your Patterns
By looking back at the times you’ve procrastinated, you’ll likely begin to notice some patterns that reveal something about why you put off certain tasks. For example, you might notice that you tend to avoid difficult conversations. This may be because you have a fear of doing something poorly or don’t like confrontation. Reflect on your procrastination patterns to understand yourself.
2) Start With Just One Bite
A major reason for procrastination is that we feel so overwhelmed by a daunting project that we sometimes avoid it altogether. But by breaking it up into smaller, manageable chunks, you can make progress and eventually complete that seemingly insurmountable task. If you’re intimidated by the thought of cleaning your entire garage, try completing just one section or working for 15 minute segments.
3) Go for “Good Enough”
Another major cause of procrastination is perfectionism. Some people avoid things because they are afraid of failure. By giving yourself permission to be human and make mistakes, you’l be more motivated to conquer the things you’ve been procrastinating. This doesn’t mean you’re lowering the bar, it means you’re being kind to yourself. And I’ve found that by letting myself off the hook, I actually get more done!
4) Use Deadlines to Focus and Motivate
The truth is that sometimes we work better under pressure. If we only have a short amount of time to complete something, it rises to become a top priority. If you find that you do the best work while under the gun, then do it! Deadlines can help us focus and be motivated to complete those tasks. It’s not procrastination if you plan to do things last minute.
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