Getting Back on Track When You’re Putting Things Off

Once in a while, everyone is lazy enough to put off doing a task they know needs doing until the very last moment. And the scramble that ensues, to finish the report before the deadline or to submit the documents on time or to finish that cake before the birthday party, is never enjoyable. But why do we do it? Why do we delay, or procrastinate, when we know that the Everest long to-do list is going to be agonizing later on? Some suggest that it’s not about self-control and the inability to make decisions productively, but it’s more about the way we manage our surroundings which makes it hard for our brain to understand the import of the far-off reward. Thus, we must trick our brains into believing that doing the task at present is the better choice and not postponing it to a last-minute scramble. But how exactly can that be accomplished?

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Procrastination often occurs when the task seems too daunting and putting it off for an instant dose of dopamine, by scrolling through social media, seems like the best alternative. Thus, breaking a larger goal into smaller tasks can help to see them as more achievable in the short term and allows the procrastinator brain to realize that what seems like a huge burden to undertake is not that hard to begin, and this alone will enable you to follow through till the end. Often, the momentum keeps one motivated to finish the task once started. So like Nike has been saying for quite some time, just do it. Just start that pestering task!

Here’s some bonus advice: alternatively, you could have a friend keep a check on you while you complete your work. Accountability often helps in motivating and keeps one focused. Your friend could also help remove distractions around you so that you have minimal diversions. Procrastination can be quite exasperating, especially when you NEED to get stuff done, but with the right tricks, you can power through it.