It’s 1 a.m. and you’re still in front of your computer putting the finishing touches on that project you kept pushing off for weeks until “tomorrow”. Now tomorrow is here and because you procrastinated you have to work until the last minute. We’ve all been there. Sometimes, a project can seem so intimidating that we prefer to shove it to the back burner instead of dealing with it right away. But then we end up with stressful nights and lots of headaches. Do you want to break the cycle? Here are 4 things you can do:
- Remember the misery: take a minute to reflect on the last time you postponed a project and how anxious and stressed it made you feel. That wasn’t fun, right? Try to store that feeling in the back of your mind, and the next time you are tempted to do the same, return to it. That memory should provide at least a little bit of inspiration to get you started.
- Set milestones: a big project can seem unmanageable. But don’t just focus on the big picture, break that assignment into smaller goals or milestones, and it will feel less overwhelming. Moreover, when you identify those small tasks inside of a larger project, you get a strategic action plan too.
- Tackle it first: now that you have split the project into several smaller tasks, put them at the very top of your to-do list and start each day with one of them. This is effective because it gets the task out of your way immediately, and it makes you more motivated to conquer the rest of your day. Plus, you chip away at the big assignment one day at a time.
- Reward your achievements: nothing inspires you like a little reward, so treat yourself whenever you cross a task off your list. Try something restriction-based, like not allowing yourself a second cup of coffee until you finish the task, or something incentive-based, like treating yourself to a dinner at your favorite restaurant when you finish the entire project.