Vincent Mays understands the pains and frustrations of procrastination. He has dealt with the problem of procrastination often through his career in mental fitness consulting and looks for new ways to overcome the feeling.
I’ll do it later. I’ll pay the phone bill on Monday. I’ll start my diet first thing tomorrow. I’ll start chasing my dreams soon. Sound familiar? We all do it, put it off, whether it’s small things like folding the laundry after my show is over or I’ll study for my test right after I level up on my video game. With so many distractions in our lives and finding it more enjoyable to check our social media feeds rather than finish that report that was due two hours ago, procrastination can quickly take over our lives. So, Vincent Mays asks, how do we get on top of procrastination and back to our daily lives?
Working with numerous individuals, Vincent Mays has developed a few key concepts for defeating procrastination:
Admitting and recognizing you have a problem will be the first step. Once you are aware you are doing it, ask yourself Why? Bored, or maybe you just don’t want to tackle some other bigger project, or just avoiding doing something else.
Start with a to-do list. This should start with small things so they become habit. Find tasks you don’t like to do or the ones you recognize as the things you avoid doing and put them on the top of the list to do first. Commit yourself to the job and if you need, get someone to make sure you are working at it.
Minimize distractions around you. Close out the phone or computer, or if you are working on the computer, close the social media notifications so you can better concentrate on the job at hand. You can check on all that later.
Reward yourself. It can be a sweet treat or extra time for a video game, or just any other activity you like to do. Find something that you actually consider a reward. Also, tell yourself ‘job well done’ and relish in how good it feels to be done.
Time management includes finding the time you are at your peak performance. If you work best in the morning, put the most difficult task in that time slot. Once that is finished, your afternoon will be a breeze.
Be nice to yourself over it. Don’t beat yourself up if you missed a deadline or just didn’t finish in time. Everyone does it, just recognize it and be aware of it the next time.
Depending on the task, ask for help. You don’t always need to burden yourself with overwhelming tasks. Asking for help will make the job go twice as fast and can make it more pleasant to share an unpleasant activity with someone you like.
Weigh it. How long will it take? If it’s a quick thing, like putting away the dishes, just do it. If it’s something that requires a lot more time, do some time preparation beforehand, break it down and do it in sections. If you can visualize it, it will be less complicated and should take less time.
Procrastination is a habit we can fall into. Find whatever method works best for you and pretty soon, you will be on top of all the chores you are dreading and putting until tomorrow.
For additional tips on beating procrastination and other life/mind hacks, be sure to follow Vincent Mays on Quora and ask a question related to your unique situation.