Are you one to put off tasks until the last minute? Feeling stressed over upcoming deadlines? Sometimes our to-do list can seem overwhelming, so we try to avoid or delay the task until later. In the short term, we trade an undesirable task for something that seems more exciting or is easier to accomplish. Once the more exciting task is complete, we are left with more stress and less time to finish our initial task.
Avoiding procrastination and practicing good time management can positively impact our health and well-being in different ways such as:
- Reduced Stress – Procrastination can lead to heightened stress levels as deadlines approach. Over time this can negatively impact your overall well-being. By addressing tasks promptly, you can alleviate stress and experience a greater sense of calm and control.
- Extra Time – By managing tasks effectively and avoiding unnecessary delays, you can allocate more time for things like physical activity, sleep, preparing nutritious meals, nurturing personal relationships, and self-care.
- Improved Time Management – Overcoming procrastination requires effective time management skills. By organizing your tasks, setting priorities, and sticking to a schedule, you become better at managing your time overall.
Instead of delaying the least desired tasks, here are a few tips to avoid procrastinating and get things done:
- Make a To-Do List – Prioritize which tasks are short-term or long-term tasks. Tasks can also be sorted by daily, weekly, or monthly tasks to stay on track.
- Set clear goals: Clearly define what you want to achieve and break down your tasks into smaller, manageable steps. This will make it easier to get started and to stay focused.
- Avoid Multitasking – Multitasking or Context Switching can lead to more incomplete tasks. Focus on one task at a time to fully complete it.
- Minimize Distraction – Identify and minimize potential distractions in your environment. Put away your phone, close irrelevant browser tabs, or find a quite space where you can concentrate on your work.
- Hardest Task First – Work on and complete your hardest task first. Then the others will seem like a breeze!
- Pep Talk – Stay positive and give yourself a pep talk and tell yourself you can and WILL do the task ahead!
- Give Up Perfection – Thinking all tasks need to be completed to perfection can slow down the process and may even keep us from getting started. Aim for completed, not perfect especially when doing something new.
- Find Accountability Partners – Share your goals and deadlines with a friend, colleague, or family member who can hold you accountable. Having someone to check in with and provide support can significantly reduce procrastination.
Now that you have some strategies to avoid procrastination, it’s time to take action! Try out a few of these strategies to see what may work best for you and your to-do list.
By, Coach Sarah