If understanding our flaws is the first step to overcoming them, then I guess I need to do some research about procrastination.
Let’s just say that if procrastination were a sport, I’d be a world champion. In fact, I procrastinated about writing this article about procrastination, which turned into a weird journey into self-awareness that was way too much like the movie Inception (minus DiCaprio).
So when I finally decided to get down to the topic of procrastination, I was thrilled to find the following infographic from 20px.com, that is useful in identifying exactly what type of procrastinator you are, or in my case, which 7 types of procrastinator you are.
So, now that you know what type of procrastinator you may or may not be, let’s cover a few tips that you can use to be more productive.
Start with Easier Tasks
Starting with smaller, easier accomplished tasks essentially allows you to build momentum in what you are doing. Not only do you build momentum, but your brain is more likely to bug you about smaller tasks until you complete them. This is a psychological phenomenon known as the Zeigarnik Effect, which basically states that unfinished tasks are more likely to get stuck in your memory.
Break Big Tasks into Smaller Tasks
Taking what looks like a daunting project, and breaking it into smaller, more easily accomplished tasks is a great way to get moving on big undertakings. Looking at a task as a whole is like looking at building a house as one single step. Divide, prioritize, conquer.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Believe it or not, as easy as it is to beat yourself up about procrastinating, it is not a good practice. The truth is that you’re better off understanding that you are naturally a procrastinator, than you are beating yourself up about it. Self de-motivation isn’t any more productive than procrastinating.
Remind Yourself WHY
Every task has a reason for why it is being done, and reminding yourself of the WHY you are doing something, can be the motivation you need to get moving. More specifically, why YOU are doing it, and what the task means to you. Psychology professor Fuschia Sirois of Bishop’s University in Canada, says that when you are preparing to complete a task, “You’ve got to dig a little deeper and find some personal meaning in that task.”