procrastination-blogTalking about procrastination – the number of articles that show up on the internet when you search “how to stop procrastination” alone states how common this issue is. In fact, statistics show that 20% of the population is affected by procrastination, which has quadrupled in the last 30 years. Not only that, but 40% of people have experienced financial loss due to procrastination, and 1 out of 5 people procrastinate to the extent that they put their jobs, credit, relationships and health in danger. When we get stuck and procrastinate, how do we get ourselves out of these situations and keep moving on? We need to identify the road blocks in our brain and how to break them.

According to the witty brains from unstuck.com, here are the four thoughts that prevent us from getting things done:

  • Waiting for Perfect – “This is not the right time, space or equipment yet.”
  • No Strain, No Gain – “I work best under pressure so I will wait until the last second!”
  • Productive Procrastination – “I don’t feel like doing this right now so why don’t I pick my favorite unimportant tasks instead?”
  • Second Guessing – “Well… Should I be writing this blog or should I schedule the social media? I cannot make a decision and I am pulling my hair out!”

How do we quiet these voices in our heads? Try these ways:

  • Make a To-Do List - only for the items you are or will be avoiding and set deadlines for them. To make this even more effective, make a sharable to-do list so that peer pressure can help you get things done.
  • Create Incentives for Yourself – if I get this blog done today along with all the other items on my special “to-do list”, I can get to my “movies-to-watch list” tonight!
  • Some People do Work Better Under Pressure – in this case, come up with a consequence if you fail to complete your checklist this week – just think about missing out on that concert you have been looking forward to because you need to get some work done that was due yesterday. Not so much fun anymore?
  • Know your Priorities – sometimes you will need help with this but that is okay. It is better to be clear up front than doing the wrong tasks. Your co-workers or team members could be affected too if you are distracted by side projects while they are waiting for you to complete the real priority.

Everyone procrastinates sometimes – even Nobel-winning economists do so! The good news is that you are not the only one, and it is possible to overcome procrastination as long as you are willing to put in some efforts (aka giving the above tips a try). Do you have other suggestions on tuning out distractions? Please share with us by commenting below.

Christine Olley

Christine Olley is the Marketing Project Coordinator for Devon International Group where she handles blogging for Devon Medical Products, Social Media Management, and a variety of other creative and administrative tasks for the Devon Companies.

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