Procrastination isn’t just for students waiting until the last minute to write their essay. Almost everyone has things that they put off. “Human beings have been procrastinating for hundreds of years,” says Alice Inoue, life expert and founder of Happiness U. “Greek philosophers developed the word ‘akrasia’ to describe this behavior.” Akrasia is the lack of self-control. Inoue’s example of akrasia is one we can all relate to. “It’s like watching TV instead of doing the laundry.”
Tips From Former Procrastinators
Here are a few manageable strategies from reformed procrastinators.
- First Thing’s First. “Do the things you don’t want to do in the morning."
- Play Tricks. “Put something else on your to-do list that you’ve been avoiding even more than whatever it is you’re procrastinating.”
- Fake Out. “Set fake deadlines for yourself to help you stay on track.”
- Use the buddy system. "Enlist the help of a friend. This motivational cheerleader can encourage you when you're feeling lazy."
- Write It, See It. “Write a list on an actual piece of paper and post it in a visible place.”
#1 Tip to Beat Procrastination
Inoue says that through her research for her latest book, Master Your Superpowers, she found that one of the most effective ways to overcome procrastination is to forgive yourself for putting things off. Then, do something about it. “Don’t wait until you feel like it or for your mood to match the task because it never will.” Inoue says. “Pick up a project and commit to doing it for just 10 minutes. Once there’s momentum, your progress becomes satisfying and because of this, you’re more likely to finish.”
So the next time you find yourself stalling or making excuses, try one of these tips. At least you’re attempting forward movement. And if you really find yourself stuck in a rut, Inoue encourages you to repeat the following affirmation, “My goal is to be present in every moment and to realize that my current actions determine my future happiness.” Your to-do list will thank you.