How to stop procrastinating: An ultimate guide for the lazy millennial

Updated on:18 December 2019, 17:25pm IST
Do you often delay important assignments till the last moment? Well then, this guide will tell you how to stop procrastinating at work.
Dr Samir Parikh
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Umpteen distractions at work? Learn how to stop procrastinating nonetheless. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

We are surrounded by a plethora of distractions. Each time we sit down to get something done, there is a phone call to attend, a tweet to like, a story to respond to, a message to take care of that keep derailing us from whatever it is that needs to be done at the time. These distractions are so engaging that you often don’t realise how much time has elapsed, and in the process you end up trying to play catch up.

This doing-things-at-the-last-minute phenomenon is also contingent on how successfully you are able to pull it off. If there are no strong repercussions other than an upset adult or a boss–it gets ignored. 

If you bear no costs on account of pushing things till the end time when they are due–we often feel there is no need to reassess and redirect our approach.

Not to mention, if you don’t see any benefit in changing your strategy then the motivation to do things differently doesn’t build up.

Additionally, if you are fearful of a task or unsure of your skills to be able to successfully attempt it–it too may lead to a delay in doing things. You see, at this moment anxiety kicks in, thus preventing you from proceeding with the task–despite the understanding and knowledge that the way things are unfolding at the moment is not the best. 

In order to circumvent such a situation there are some things, which if kept in mind, can be helpful in avoiding getting stuck in this cycle of procrastination.

Let’s take a look at some of these:

1. Create goals you identify with and that have meaning for you
Besides the expectations that are attached to being in the role and position you occupy in your life, it is helpful to set some goals which are personally relevant to you. Having a purpose that is driven through accomplishing certain goals is helpful in overcoming procrastination. Simultaneously, your personal investment becomes rewarding in its own self.

2. Create an optimum environment for yourself 
What you surround yourself with and how your environment is structured is critical to determining how conducive it is to you avoiding procrastination. Make sure you have only what you need around you for your work at the time you sit down to do it. Don’t have too many gadgets next to you. Ensure that the place is relatively calm and quiet so you can stay focused. 

how to stop procrastinating
Keep your desk clean to declutter your mind. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

3. Steer away from perfectionism
The need to do things just so and in the most perfect manner too can be a deterrent to getting things done on time. It often creates delays and can also altogether prohibit the accomplishment of tasks. This can become a big hindrance and it is instead beneficial to strive towards excellence while also staying focused on completing the task.

4. Be forgiving
Be forgiving towards yourself, allowing yourself to make errors and mistakes. Recognise that feeling anxious is normal especially in the face of deadlines. However, also keep encouraging yourself to move towards doing things which will allow things to stay in perspective and not become overly difficult to manage.

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Dr Samir Parikh Dr Samir Parikh

Dr. Samir Parikh is a psychiatrist and director of Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences and Fortis National Mental Health Program at Fortis Healthcare