There are less than 90 days to the end of the year, and then we’ll enter another year.
One question to ask yourself is, have you achieved your goals this year?
For most of us, the answer is no. I mean, it’s very obvious.
Each one of us can go on and on to explain why we haven’t achieved the goals we set out to achieve earlier this year. From health issues, to government policies, to personal problems and so on.
But if you ask me, I believe it boils down to one word: PROCRASTINATION.
Procrastination is something every one of us have to deal with on an everyday basis. With the growing number of freelancers in recent years, and the number of jobs with flexible work schedules, it is no wonder why staying disciplined is more important than ever.
People that work from their computers often have some of the worst cases of procrastination. Sometimes, it is even hard to place too much blame the people themselves, seeing how the Internet offers an unlimited amount of alternatives to doing work. Even
Even office workers lose 60 hours each week due to various distractions, such as water cooler conversations, social media and even the weather. A study by the financial management firm Think Money, revealed that at least 10% of people achieve only half-an-hour of productive output per day. So if you feel like you have trouble concentrating on your work (and I bet you do), let’s look at some of the best ways of combating procrastination.
Identifying the Four Pillars of Procrastination.
According to numerous scientific studies (in this case, we are specifically looking at “The Nature of Procrastination”), there seem to be four pillars of procrastination that influence the majority of people. As we all know, getting started is the hardest part of overcoming any problem, so identifying which pillar is stopping you from reaching your full potential may be crucial in getting over the initial barrier.
1. Your Personality
While it may be hard to change your personality, it is far easier to control your environment. For example, if you work from home, try to find a quiet place, with no distractions. And if you are constantly worried about data leakage, why not start using a secure and fast VPN, and eliminate that distraction.
2. Low task value
Any task that we perceive as low value will certainly encourage our procrastination. So when a task seems boring and unengaging, you should try and add some more enjoyable activities to it, for instance, go to your favorite coffee place, and grab your favorite drink while you’re working on it.
3. Your Expectations
Simply put, if you expect to finish a task with no trouble at all, you are less likely to waste any time and procrastinate. While this may be more difficult to “hack” than the other pillars, the best advice is to commit at least 10 minutes to the task, and see if it’s really that hard as you imagined to be.
4. Fear of Failure
And now we come to probably the biggest pillar – the fear of failure. Everyone has confidence issues, and in order to grow, you have to challenge your own fear. And most of all, keep in mind that confidence is practice, and luckily for you – your brain is malleable and changeable.
If you have problems with confidence, I’m guessing that you can sometimes be a little bit too hard on yourself for procrastinating. But even that is counterproductive. A 2010 study on the subject revealed that increased self-forgiveness reduces effectively procrastination and lets you approach future tasks without the burden of past acts. Also, you should definitely try to redirect your energy during those long procrastination sessions into anything positive. Even small tasks like answering emails can help you get in the mood, and motivate you to get some real work done. Just as long as the task you are redirecting your energy to, has at least some relations to your goal.
Setting Micro Goals
While daydreaming too much can be a harmful thing for your concentration and motivation, a recent study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has shown that abstract, outside-the-box thinking can actually help you discipline yourself. But setting up grand plans comes with a problem – many people tend to get intimidated by their own expectations. Therefore, you have to find a balance, and the best way to do that is to set up “micro goals” every day. So while your ultimate goal will stay the same, these micro goals will help you keep track of your progress and help fuel the fire that keeps your motivation going.