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Procrastinate Less, Stress Less

It's the last week before you have to submit a 30 page essay, you haven't started. You start writing before realising it might be too late. You start to wonder where you might've gone wrong. Sounds familiar? You're not alone in this.

Everyone has moments in life you might procrastinate. In a study done, the results stated that 95 percent of college students procrastinate! Procrastination would usually involve skipping a longer but more important task in favour of an easier one.

So how do I get rid of it? Here a few steps you can follow.

Step 1 - Recognition

You need to recognise the time in which you are procrastinating. This may include bringing your focus to the tasks you need to finish when you may be bored or find yourself going through the same 4 apps on your phone 12 times. If you are switching focus to avoid doing something, you are procrastinating.
A few other signs of you procrastinating include :
  • Not finishing tasks on a to-do list because they are too long
  • Waiting for the "right time" to do something
  • Starting a task only to get side-tracked 
  • Reading something over and over trying to make a decision on where to start
As soon as you recognise that you are procrastinating, you will be ready for step 2.

Step 2 - Adopting Techniques

This is the hardest step. It starts with changing your daily habits into good ones. It won't change overnight but slowly and steadily, you will surely notice a difference. Here are a few strategies to help break your bad habits:

Promise Yourself A Reward

Before you start a task, promise yourself a reward. This may include letting yourself have a slice of your favourite cake or buying a new piece of clothing you wanted. Focus on the good feeling of finishing things rather than the feeling of having to do something.

Take Breaks

Don't exhaust yourself, take a 5 minute break to stretch every 30 minutes when you work. Perhaps even have a few pieces of chocolate every 5 minutes which may help boost your brain's dopamine.

Minimise Distractions

Turn off all the notifications, turn off your TV, and turn off your phone, just focus on working.

Aim To Get Something Done Right In The Morning

If you get tasks done right in the morning, you won't have anything else to worry about throughout the rest of the day. This will help you stress way less and focus on your day and yourself more.

Ask Someone To Check Your Work 

The feeling of getting judged by someone is bad, but getting a friend who you trust to help you out after finishing your work is something that can give you a boost. Tell them the time limit you've given yourself to work and after you finish, send them the work. This ensures that you work, if not much, at least something, and get proper feedback for it.
 

Step 3 - Making Them Into Habits

There is a simple way to form habits, following the 3R System - Reminder, Routine and Reward.

Reminder

Remind yourself to work. Have an alarm set which as soon as it ring, you start working.

Routine

Perform the task, perform it for 30 minutes at least. If you finish earlier, great!
After 30 minutes, your brain will automatically go into working mode. The hardest part of something is starting it.

Reward 

Reward yourself for finishing the task. This can be as small as you want. This allows your brain to associate working with happiness.

By following the 3 steps on a daily basis, you can form good habits and slowly, you will get rid of the need to procrastinate.




Breaking habits is hard but it's not impossible. If you simply form better habits, you can improve as a person and get rid of your habit to procrastinate. Recognise your procrastination and take steps to improve it. It will really help you feel better mentally and get rid of any work anxiety you may have. How did you get rid of your procrastination habits? Write it in the comments below. Good luck!













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