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7 Tips for Preventing Procrastination and Stress

January 11, 2018

Procrastination can rob you of a lot of things in life. It ruins school/job performance, damages relationships, and keeps people from achieving their dreams. Procrastination can also cause a lot of stress. You can prevent this stress and beat procrastination with seven mindful tips.

The American Psychological Association discovered 15 common procrastination rationalizations, ranging from, “I work better under pressure,” to “I need to be in the mood” to do the work. Rationalizations like these keep millions of people from achieving their goals. In fact, according to some reports, 95 percent of us procrastinate with one thing or another.

Continuous procrastination can actually affect your health. Waiting until the last minute to finish an assignment can lead to reckless decisions, sleepless nights, and increased caffeine intake. It can even lead to risky behavior such as increased alcohol consumption. All of these health consequences can also increase your stress.

With a new year, it’s time to beat your procrastination once and for all. Listed below are seven tips that can help you do just that.

  • Live by to-do lists. To-do lists are your friends—make them a part of your everyday life. Use fun paper, pen, highlighters, and other supplies to create a master to-do list. Keep your to-do list in sight at all times as well.
  • Take it one step at a time. Break down your major responsibilities into little tasks. You’ll find great satisfaction to be had in completing portions of a big assignment and scratching them off tasks on your list.
  • Manage your time. The key to beating your procrastination is making sure you have enough time to get the job done right. Schedule your tasks in a planner and don’t forget. Set alarms on your smartphone as reminders.
  • Set aside extra time. If your tendency to procrastinate is strong overestimate how long it will take to complete your tasks. This little time cushion can come in handy. You never know when something might pop up. Also, try self-designated deadlines set a day or two before the actual deadline so you never miss a due date again.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings. You’re more likely to get things done if you’re in the right environment. Try going to a coffee shop or library. If you’re in a well-lit, clean, and organized space and surrounded by people who are busy at work, you’ll be more likely to get things done as well.
  • Take breaks. After you finish a task reward yourself with a little break. Get up and stretch your legs. Go outside, grab a coffee, watch a YouTube clip, or chat with a friend. Get your mind off work and have a little fun. This will satisfy your need to procrastinate—just be sure to get back to work afterward!
  • Try, try again. Procrastination is a hard habit to beat. Don’t get upset when you have a setback. Take it as a lesson, make adjustments to your schedule, and try again!

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