HeyU Issue 54 - 24 April - Page 35

The main reasons we procrastinate are to avoid a certain amount of discomfort, boredom or mental strain, and we think that our future selves will have the motivation and enthusiasm to finish that assignment tomorrow. However, our future selves are a lot like our present selves and if you wait until tomorrow, you’ll have even less time to get that assignment done! But don’t worry, these four tips can help you curb your procrastination: Reframe your expectations We often think that we need to be in the right mood, have enough time and the right space to get the job done. However, these elements more often than not won’t magically come together in time. Try lowering your expectations for yourself by understanding that you don’t need to be in the right mood or have 100% of your attention and focus on your task. Even 20% of your attention on that task is better than 0%. Eliminate distractions As mentioned, we think our future selves will be more motivated than our present selves and that we won’t have a problem with avoiding distractions. Unfortunately, this is often not true. So make it easier on yourself and get rid of potential distractions ahead of time. Examples such as downloading an app or program that blocks the internet for an assigned period, doing the task away from home, and hiding time-wasters in very hard to reach places can minimise the temptation to procrastinate. Break the task into smaller steps Imagine that you have a stack of dishes waiting to be cleaned in the sink. If you tried to clean all the dishes at once, the job may feel overwhelming and you may not even start! However, if you change your aim to cleaning one dish, achieving your goal will feel more manageable and you will eventually get the task done. With any large task, write down all the steps it will take to complete the task and commit to completing one step at a time. Reward yourself One way to keep your motivation high is to allocate rewards for each task you do. If you continually deny yourself enjoyable activities, you may trigger feelings of deprivation, which can make your procrastination worse. Try setting small rewards that you would like to be doing instead of each task and commit to getting the work done before you indulge. For more tips on how to beat procrastination and get your work done on time, check out advice from practising psychologist Ann-Marie. Visit the HealthyU website.