It doesn’t really matter if you’re a student, or already in the work field, you can always manage to procrastinate. It happens to all of us, myself included. Leaving things for the following day because you think you will have more time later on; you’re too tired at the moment so you’ll get to “it” after a nap. Whatever the reason may be, the honest truth of it is that you are putting things off.
Procrastination has been a part of human society since the beginning of civilization but has increased it’s visibility during the Industrial Revolution, when time management started to be recognized as a skill.
Even though we all try not to procrastinate, most of the time we end up failing. As something that I personally have struggled with over the years, in no particular order, here are the top 4 things that I discovered have helped me better manage my time, hopefully you find them just as useful.
- Set a deadline. Putting a deadline on your work increases your chances of getting everything done as soon as possible. If your original deadline is on the 20th, try to get your tasks done by the 18th. That way you won’t feel as pressured and you’ll also have time to correct any mistakes.
- Prioritize. Separate urgent and important things along with their level of importance. High priority, urgent things must be done first, followed by high priority, important things, and finally finishing with low priority, important things. In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains this method further.
- Cut off distractions. Try putting your phone down. Facebook is an endless pit that will only lead to a lack of sleep because you are too busy watching that funny dog video your friend sent you. Putting your phone on airplane mode is what I found works best for me, allowing me to avoid any notifications and any pinging that may draw my attention away from what I’m currently focusing on.
- Do it right the first time. It is always better to take a little more time doing something with more attentiveness, and producing something of a higher quality, than doing something quickly without focusing on your work and then having to do it all over again. Take your time the first time you do something, and it’ll be so much more worth it in the long run.
Like I mentioned before, these are the different things that I have tested and tried over the years in order to help overcome my procrastination habit. Like with most habits we create for ourselves, it’s not always easy to overcome, or change how you do things, but once the reason becomes important enough, the task itself doesn’t seem too difficult to manage. Try them out and let me know what you think.