When it comes to learning, whether it’s improving our English, or anything else that is important to our self-development, we tend to put them aside for later as we deal with more “urgent” matters. This is called procrastination, and almost all of us are guilty of this.
Back in college, I used to study for exams at the last minute, start assignments the night before deadlines and keep holding off doing things that could help get me ahead. As I’m older now, I’ve learned a few tips that I have personally implemented to overcome my own challenge with procrastination.
1. Create 3-month goals to achieve
Having New Year resolutions may be the thing that most people talk about, but I find that having 3-month goals is more practical. When you set yourself a goal every 3 months, the end date is not too far off that you can’t imagine its outcome. Nor is it too short of a time that you can’t achieve something substantial.
2. Set reminders on your phone.
At 10 am every morning, I have my top five goals pop up on my phone as reminders of the things I need to be focused on. So if I’m scrolling through my Facebook news feed at 10 am, these reminders will tell me that I need to stop whiling my time away and do the work that matters most.
Here’s another idea. Write down your goals on a piece of paper, take a picture of it, and set the picture as the wallpaper of your phone screen.
3. Piggy-back the important activities on stuff you already do every day.
What existing daily routines do you have? Since we humans are creatures of habit, there are certain tasks that we do every day that we don’t really put much thought into. It could be something as basic as brushing your teeth every morning, or having lunch at 12 noon. Now tell yourself to do the task you’ve been procrastinating an hour before you brush your teeth, or before you have your lunch.
I usually set myself to do the activity after, but doing it before is said to be more effective since you’re giving yourself a deadline to keep to.
There are many more tips to help you with procrastination, such as writing down your goals with pen on paper, setting weekly goals, and breaking up difficult tasks into bite-sized chunks. Figure out what works best for you, and slowly introduce the tactics in your daily routine. I always find that lasting change works best when we start slow and stay consistent.
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