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- Recognize that procrastination stems from habit. New habits will be needed, and these take time and commitment to develop.
- Harold Taylor defines procrastination as the intentional and habitual postponement of an important task that should be done now.
- Understand the cause for procrastination, then develop strategies to fix it.
- Recognize the difference between an appropriate decision to delay, and an irrational postponement without justification.
- Fix procrastination by working on a) tasks and b) your environment:
- Unpleasant tasks rarely turn out to be as bad as you think.
- Complete these tasks first. Schedule them for early in the day. Give yourself a reward for doing them.
- Something looms ahead of you: starting a small business, getting a job, preparing the annual budget. The job is too big or will take too long to do now, so you put it off.
- Break large jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks. Plan and complete a start-up task, no matter how small.
- People delay because they can't make up their minds.
- Determine a time for making a decision and the criteria for making it. Share your deadline with someone else.
Fear of failure (lack of self confidence)
- People don't want to face the consequences of failure, so they delay. (Some people suffer from fear of success too!)
- Develop a clear mental picture of the completed task and how you will feel at that time. Maintain a focus on the end result, not just the process. Remind yourself how good you'll feel when you're finished.
Lack of interest
- You are tired or lazy. You're just not very interested in the task.
- Reward yourself for accomplishments. Go out for special lunches when major projects are completed. If you don't earn the reward, don't take it.
- Schedule the task for when you will be at your peak.
- People delay because they want to get the project perfect.
- Set deadlines for yourself. Tell other people your deadlines and encourage them to check up on you.
- Maintain your high standards, but recognize that sometimes 80% for you may well be 100% for someone else. Don't spend hours conducting a detailed cost breakdown when a rough estimate would suffice.
Hostility towards a boss
- People delay because they don't like the person who assigned the task.
- Review with your boss what exactly is needed. Clarify the expectations.
- Make a game out of unpleasant tasks. Give yourself points, or do a running commentary on yourself as you do the task.
Distraction, lack of focus
- Sometimes losing concentration causes delays.
- Create a to-do list with priorities.
- Block your time for projects.
- As you get distracted from a work project, make a rule that you are not allowed to move out of your chair, make a call, surf the net, pick up a book etc. until you return to your task.
- Complete something. Make a very small task for yourself and finish it. Very small. Then, make another one.
- Tailor your environment for work. Close your door, clean up the clutter on your desk.
- Remove distractions such as water coolers, snacks, in-boxes, coffee machines and magazine racks.
- If you work at home, treat your office as an office. Don't go out to lunch before lunchtime or watch television before the end of the day.
- Tell your family that you are not to be disturbed in your home office.
This information was compiled by a company called Pace Productivity and the company provides solutions for the business world and this information can be used individualy as well. You can visit them here.