Procrastination undermines efficiency, lowers spirits and creates negativity. The best way to stop procrastination is to think positively.

Why Positive Thinking?

Positive thinking helps stop procrastination because it focuses on rewards. Everybody always does the fun tasks first, and while fun at the time after that momentary sense of achievement you realise those dull tasks are still there.

One way around this is to take the dull tasks and do them first thing in the morning; that gets them out of the way. Your reward for completing them is to be able to spend the rest of the day doing interesting work and being able to enjoy the fun stuff without that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that there’s still drudge-work to complete. It’s common to feel more productive and positive in the mornings, or at the beginning of a work shift, so it’s the perfect time to tackle the dull jobs head-on.

Break it Down

ProcrastinatingAllocate a time slot to do the tasks that you could happily leave until another time and think of a reward at the end of that time slot for doing them. For example, the promise of a ten-minute break with a cup of coffee whilst browsing the internet might help to keep you motivated.

Once the task is done, you will feel pleased with yourself for completing such a tedious task and not putting it off; you will feel a sense of achievement for doing that task that you were not looking forward to, and now you can tick it off your list.

This way of working also makes for a much more positive day at work, ensuring that you leave work in a much better mood and with a general all-round sense of positivity.

If a task is going to take longer than a workday to complete, then that task can be broken up into shorter time periods over the week with the same reward principles applied. Changing your mindset with regards to these tasks is also important – for example, if you find yourself procrastinating because something seems too difficult, then look at it as a chance to learn new skills. Something that scares you or that you find intimidating could be seen as testing your mettle – taking it on and getting through it will boost your confidence in your abilities.

If it is a mundane every-day task then try to think of ways to make it more interesting and rewarding, or even work out if there is a way to change it to benefit the business or eliminate the need to do it. This would give more time to do other tasks, thus increasing productivity.

Lift Your Mood

If it is allowed, then listen to music whilst working on your tasks. Research shows that our favorite songs or types of music have a positive impact on our mood and productivity. A positive attitude can lead to success not only at work but in all areas of life.

Identify your time sinks

It can also help to identify what you are spending your time doing while procrastinating.  Below we are going to look at some common time sink and how you can prevent yourself from wasting time doing these activities.

Youtube

Watching YouTube is a very common way to procrastinate.   A good way to prevent this is by editing your host file on your computer to prevent you from accessing YouTube.  Doing so will make you unable to visit Youtube in your browser without editing the host file again.  Editing the file is very easy but it still reminds you that you do not want to watch YouTube videos.  You want to work.

The same technique can be used with other websites.

Online gambling

Online gambling is another common way to procrastinate.  Instead of doing what you are supposed to do you decide to award yourself with a little excitement.  You start out thinking that you are going to play ten spins on your favorite slot machine and then get back to work, but you end of spending hours gambling.  Online Casinos are designed to make you forget the time and play more than you had planned.  Spending a lot of time gambling when you should be working can be very expensive.  You lose money at the same time you are not getting any work done.  It can have a very negative effect on your life.  Read more about problem gambling.

There are several ways to limit how much money you spend gambling.   You can use the same technique as described above for YouTube.  You can also use an addon such as StayFocused for crome.  This addon allows you to limit access to online casinos and other sites to certain hours.  You can prevent yourself from accessing your favorite online casino during work hours.  A third, more permanent option, is to contact the casino and ask them to block you from gambling with them. Most casinos will do so if asked.

TV

Make sure not to have a TV in the same room you use as an office.  You should not be able to watch TV without leaving the office.  You are a lot more likely to use the TV to procrastinate if it is in the office.

Gaming

Make sure that none of your gaming consoles are in your office.  Keep them with your TV.   Create a second profile on your computer for gaming.  Remove all gaming icons from the desktop and menus in your work profile.  There should be nothing there tempting you to play a game.  Out of sight, out of mind.  You are less likely to play a game if you do not see the game launcher tempting you to play.