It is sometimes so tempting to postpone a task that you dislike in favor of a nicer or easier activity. Even if we know that it is taking the easy way out, it remains difficult to resist. But these tasks that bug us and that we cannot delegate, sooner or later we will have to do them !
In order not to abdicate, here are 10 techniques to apply or combine according to your preferences :
1- Re-motivate yourself
Although this task displeases you, it has its use. So, to restore its value and interest, put the issues into perspective. What importance does it have for you and for others ? What would be the consequences if the task is postponed, for you and for others ? Finally, what will I gain by doing it right away or lose by adjourning it ? Thanks to this fast analysis, you will recover motivation to take action and grab the bull by the horns !
2- Challenge yourself
To boost your energy, your fighting spirit (if not your courage), act as a gamer and challenge yourself ! By setting a personal goal, you put the fun back into accomplishing these daunting tasks. You can for example challenge yourself on the time required to complete the task by dividing usual time by 2 or by giving you ‘1 hour to the minute’. With a more extensive task, you can set a punchy deadline like finishing before tomorrow noon. Funnier, in case of recurring task, you can get used to time yourself and try to beat your record each time again 😉
3. Commit yourself
To avoid temptation of postponing a task to the next day, have someone as a witness of your agenda. By committing you to another person, you will feel almost obliged to go through. Fighting against procrastination is fighting against yourself and your own weaknesses. So the look of someone else awakens in you a sense of pride that will motivate you to show what you are able to achieve !
4. Reward yourself
Instead of being motivated by the pleasure of performing certain tasks, encourage yourself by planning to reward yourself after achieving them. You can decide to mark the occasion with a bit of relaxation, a discussion with colleagues, a phone call to a loved one, or simply by a small indulgence. In other words, apply to yourself the good-old carrot principle, you deserve it 😉
5. Isolate yourself
A much tougher remedy to procrastination : the method of the ‘padded cell’. In order not to be tempted to postpone the task in favor of other activities, withdraw from the world, far from any distraction, any loophole. The hard part with this option is not to live it but to gather together the right conditions. Instead of being able to isolate yourself at 100%, do your best by putting your mobile phone in silent mode, asking your colleagues not to disturb you, closing your mailbox, and refraining from going on the internet. It is a good start !
6- Be opportunist
After identifying repulsive tasks, take advantage of opportunities to get rid of them more easily. When you feel stuck on a project, chasing down blind alleys, change course and entertain yourself with these new tasks that will appear, in comparison, no more so unpleasant ! It will have the advantage of clearing your mind and allowing you to make a fresh start afterwards. In the same way, when you feel a little bit weak, take the opportunity to do those tasks at low speed, even partially, you will stand it better 😉
7- Make it a habit
Another method to fight against procrastination : establish a ritual. Take your calendar and book a slot during the week/day for such tasks (especially if they are recurrent). Repeat it for the following weeks/days. You will gradually get used with this appointment and, somehow, you will perform these tasks automatically at that time. You will no longer ask yourself whether or not to do them. As we all know : “there is a time for everything”…
8- Gather them
With unpleasant tasks, the hardest thing is to get started with it. So when you get on (for example by applying one of the offered techniques ;)), just keep on the way you are going and take the opportunity to make a series of tasks ! By killing several birds with one stone, you will get rid of a heavy burden at once and postpone the next risk of procrastination. Doubly effective.
9- Split them
Another workaround for procrastination : do the task piecemeal. This is certainly not the most effective way, but sometimes it’s your last resort to overcome the obstacle. Start with a first part that is fairly easy to encourage yourself. Then, carry on with the biggest effort. Finally, swept along by your momentum, finalize the work at an ultimate stage. By cutting your task into small pieces, you will make it automatically more easily digestible 😉
10- Delete them
You finally have a lethal weapon to get rid of a repulsive task : eradicate it ! All things considered, if you think that a task is neither pleasant nor important, then the simplest and most effective option is to delete it. Not only will you relieve yourself of a weight but you will also save valuable time. So when this happens, above all do not be shy, shoot !