By Peter Murphy
If you are not as productive as you'd like or tend to procrastinate, you can become motivated by changing your personal style.
The trick lies in making the activities you put off more interesting, easier, and less unpleasant. One way to make a job easier is to break it into smaller jobs.
If your task is to file your income tax return, you may view it as time consuming and tedious. But if you break it into smaller categories such as gather records, download tax software, and prepare a rough draft, the tasks don't seem as difficult and you are likely to complete them in considerably less time.
Some other ways to make those undesirable jobs seem more bearable are to prioritize, use self-discipline, and reward yourself for small accomplishments.
Try to do the least desirable tasks early in the day so you'll look forward to having the rest of the day to concentrate on more pleasant jobs.
Keep in mind that self-discipline is something you do for yourself, not to punish yourself. Make a schedule and stick to it.
Don't forget to reward yourself for each step you take in overcoming procrastination. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in changing negative behaviors.
Here are a few suggestions as to how you can get motivated and quit procrastinating:
1. Tasks will seem less daunting if you break them into several steps over a few days or weeks. Don't expect yourself to do everything all at once. Don't worry about doing the job perfectly. Once you quit procrastinating, you'll have more time to go back and perfect each particular task. Allowing yourself adequate time to finish a task will give you more time for corrections later.
2. Find a supportive co-worker or friend to help motivate you to get moving. Don't schedule important tasks at a time of day when your energy is low. Put the most difficult tasks at the top of your list and work from there. Reward yourself for reaching critical points in your least favorite jobs. Having something to look forward to is a great motivator.
3. All times of day are not equal. If you are a morning person, then tackle the most difficult tasks when you are at your best. Reserve your most demanding activities for the time when your energy is at its highest. Save the small jobs that require little thought for the time of day when you are at your lowest productivity level. Accomplish your tasks efficiently and you will see an improvement in your time management and motivational skills.
4. Start yourself down the road to success by setting clear, attainable goals. Break tasks into smaller pieces so they will seem less difficult. Get organized and prioritize your activities from most important to least important. Eliminating the harder tasks will leave you feeling good about your work and motivate you to continue.
Keep focused on the end result instead of concentrating on how hard it will be to break your old habits. Having a light at the end of the tunnel will make your efforts seem worthwhile and the reward waiting for you will keep you motivated to achieve your goals.
Procrastination is unproductive and can even be harmful to your well being if allowed to get out of control. Stop making excuses, organize your thoughts and tasks, and be on your way to get your life under control and get motivated!
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