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  • Writer's pictureRoberto Nieves

How to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is a problem that faces us all in our daily lives. It can be an especially difficult obstacle for students, who must overcome procrastination to complete their schoolwork on time. But you don't have to stay stuck in a cycle of avoidance and regret—there are several things you can do to beat the habit and get your work done!



Decide what you're going to do.

This is the first step in overcoming procrastination and getting things done. Decide what you're going to do, then do it.


It's that simple! But how do we decide? Well, there are a few ways...


The first thing is to make a list of all the tasks or projects that need to be completed. Then prioritize the list based on importance and urgency. This will help ensure that nothing slips through the cracks when it comes time for action!


Give yourself a deadline.

Giving yourself a deadline is a great way to stay motivated. Deadlines are important because they give you a sense of urgency, and they'll help keep you focused on the task at hand. You will feel more accomplished when you meet your goals, which can be an excellent motivator for future tasks!


Break down your task into small steps.

It's no secret that the best way to overcome procrastination is to break down your task into small steps. The next time you find yourself putting off a project, try this:

  • Break down each step of your project into simple parts. For example, if you need to write an essay for school but don't want to start because it seems like such a huge task, break it down into smaller pieces. What do I need? A topic sentence; three supporting paragraphs; an introduction paragraph; and so on. As soon as you've got a plan in place for what comes next and how long each part will take (and this can be done quickly), then start working on those steps one by one until they're completed!

  • Set rewards or punishments based on whether or not each individual part has been completed successfully - rewards are good motivators when they come at regular intervals throughout any given day/week/month etc., but having something unpleasant happen when things go wrong could also help keep us focused on our goals too!


Focus on the positive, not the negative.


The first step to overcoming procrastination is to focus on the positive. Instead of dwelling on how much you still have left to do, think about what you've already accomplished and reward yourself for it!



When I was writing my dissertation, I would often find myself feeling overwhelmed by all the work that needed to be done. I would look at my list of things to do and see that there were still plenty more chapters left before completion--and then panic set in as I realized how daunting this task seemed. But instead of thinking about all those chapters and chapters worth of writing ahead of me (which was pretty much impossible), I forced myself instead to focus on just one chapter at a time: "Okay," I'd say after finishing one section, "now let's move onto Chapter 3." It helped me feel less overwhelmed by breaking down such an enormous task into smaller pieces--and once again made me feel better about myself when I did make progress towards completing each step along the way.


Reward yourself for progress, not completion.

You're going to have to be a bit more creative. The problem with rewarding yourself for completing tasks is that it can cause you to feel like the work you do is meaningless, because once you've finished it all, what's left?


In order to combat this problem, try rewarding yourself for progress instead of completion. For example: If your goal is "write 10 pages," reward yourself after writing your first page; then again when you get up to 5 pages; and so on until you reach 10 total pages written (or whatever number works best).


Another way of doing this would be giving yourself an incentive every time something goes right or well--for example: If someone tells me they liked my presentation at work today (and they usually don't), maybe I'll buy myself some ice cream afterward! Or maybe if I finish outlining my next novel chapter within two hours instead of three days...


Keep track of your progress and celebrate it!

My favorite way of beating procrastination is to keep track of your progress. Write down all the tasks you need to do, and then prioritize them. For example:

  • Task A (the most important one)

  • Task B (the second most important one)

  • Task C (the third most important one) and so on...


Takeaway:

The takeaway is the last thing you want your reader to remember. It's the most important part of your article, so make sure it's clear and concise. The takeaway should also be a benefit for them: what will they get out of reading this article? How does it help them? Finally, think about how you can make your takeaway memorable--you want readers talking about what they learned from your work!


Conclusion

Procrastination is a common problem, but it doesn't have to be! By following these steps, you'll be able to overcome your procrastination and get things done more efficiently.




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