One of the essential factors in reducing the speed of growth and progress is postponing important tasks and here we are going to explain how to do not postpone tasks. Procrastination comes in many forms. It may be easy for us to do something, but at the same time, we look for the most trivial excuses to postpone it to the future. Even prioritizing tasks makes it complicated to deal with accessible programs and tasks. Thus, every day we feel that we are spending busy days while at the end of the day, we have postponed many previous tasks to the coming days. This issue not only does not help us but also strengthens our feeling of despair. This problem stems from our brains being programmed to procrastinate.
In general, we all have an unconscious tendency to resist the timely completion of our defined tasks and postpone them instead of trying to complete them. The reason is that it is easier for our brain to process defined processes than to encounter new and complex things; Thus, the difficulty of doing complicated things will be more tangible and difficult in comparison with unknown and uncertain situations that will occur in the future. So the pleasant short-term effect (procrastination) easily wins over the long-term impact. But how to get rid of this unconscious short-sightedness? The solution lies in creating a balance in analyzing costs and benefits.
Try to make the benefits of doing the tasks more important than the cost. One of the best ways to do this is to include rewards for prompt completion of tasks. Thus, receiving a reward and creating motivation can reduce the terrible feeling of doing work. But rewarding yourself isn’t the only way to combat procrastination.
Visualize the future as if you have done things
In a study, volunteers were shown an image that had been digitally made to look older; As a result, it was found that people who had seen these images of their future were more willing to try to build their future. The reason for that is to create an accurate picture of their end, and this issue has resulted in more efforts to have a better retirement. With this technique, you can create a simple mental image for any task you fail to do and imagine the positive results of doing it. This can create a good motivational factor for you to do that work. So if you have to call someone or send an email to your manager, take a moment to think about the positive results of doing these things and then do it. In this way, you act with a sense of satisfaction toward completing your duty.
Keep others informed
One of the best ways to get something done is to make a promise to someone. Most of our brains are very active toward social responsibilities; By promising to perform a task by a specific deadline, the level of pragmatism increases, and the probability that the desired task will be postponed is minimized. Research results show that our respect for others and even strangers can be an important factor in improving our performance. Because we don’t want to seem mean or lazy to other people, when we tell someone, “I will send the email by night,” we have defined a responsibility for ourselves that does not create a pleasant feeling.
Deal with passivity
The results of studies have shown that we unconsciously have a problem with correctly evaluating our situation. When we are busy assessing the advantages and disadvantages of a new task, we are more busy evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of not doing that task! This phenomenon is known as ‘neglect bias,’ which leads us to overlook things like the apparent benefits of doing a task. The more exciting tasks we undertake, the more temptation and thirst we have to do them; However, this same temptation can be a reason to postpone doing it. If we admit that tomorrow is too late to do something and it probably can’t be done, there will be more chances to do it on time, and that’s when the gears start to work, and the work moves forward.
Know the first step
Sometimes the reason for avoiding doing things on time is because of the fear of doing them. To have a better view of the whole collection, it is better to know the first step. For example, if the job we have defined for ourselves is ‘learning French,’ we can contact a friend who has already started learning French and ask him for guidance on how to get started. Where to start? What books and tools should we use? And how to set goals? This way, we have enough motivation and a clear path to move, and we take the following steps better and more clearly.
Identify and eliminate a potential threat that can be an obstacle.
By identifying the first step and relating it to what needs to be done, we will significantly reduce the anxiety of doing the whole thing. In simpler terms, we need to tie the part of the path we avoid to something we are not worried about doing. For example, plug in something like reading a magazine or book while cycling at the gym. Therefore, in the short term, the cost-benefit of physical exercises will have a different definition for you. In another example, you can promise yourself one of your favorite drinks at the cafe if you complete an important task on time.
Remove hidden obstacles from your way
Sometimes, instead of taking the first step in a new task, we may return to doing a useless task over and over again. Probably something like “Yeah; What a wonderful idea… but.. no! It can’t,” screams in your head; In these situations, we should ask ourselves questions to find a better view of what is hindering pragmatism and moving on to the main path. Be patient and ask yourself some “why” questions. ‘Why does this seem hard to do?’ and basically ‘Why this!?’ and similar questions. Such questions will help you identify obstacles quickly. Most of the time, it is a minor obstacle on the way that is the main obstacle to arousing enough motivation in you.
For example, imagine you will wake up an hour earlier than usual in the morning. Asking a few “whys” and answering them can challenge you to make the reason for this decision clearer to you and create a stronger motivation to take this decision seriously and carry it out. Reasons such as eating a full breakfast with the family, exercising, and showering for health, freshness, and more efficiency at the beginning of the day and similar things can be good.
It is enough to spell out the reasons for the decision with yourself only once. This way, it becomes easier to step on the positive path to do what you promised yourself. Of course, it might be better to review these reasons with yourself every night so that the motivation increases more and more. Identifying the needs of the brain and mind helps us to be less confused and misunderstood and to perform better.