3 Procrastination Strategies to Create a Sense of Urgency

Here I provide 3 procrastination strategies develop a sense of urgency so that you get things done. Has this happened to you before:

It's the day before your big presentation at work and you still haven't started! Your report is due tomorrow and there is so much more to do!

I wish I had started earlier...you say to yourself again as your stress starts to rise

This is a common theme for people who procrastinate.

Do you find that you:

  • struggle to meet deadlines?
  • arrive late to meetings and appointments?
  • leave things till the last minute?

If so, then these procrastination strategies may be for you.

These strategies do the opposite of procrastination by creating a sense of urgency. To create a sense of urgency here are 3 steps.

1. Chunk your projects down

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

It is the same with large projects. Project managers have known for a long time that in order to get a project completed they need to set shorter milestones and create a sense of urgency in achieving these milestones.

Well the same goes with your gargantuan and seemingly insurmountable project. Use this procrastination template and break down the task into smaller mini tasks with clear target dates and resources required.

By identifying the next logical step on each of your actions and scheduling them into your weekly planner or to do list you create a sense of urgency and commitment to move the project forward.

procrastination strategies

2. Make a deadline and go on public record

Often by putting a deadline on a task you can raise its sense of urgency. Make a deadline with yourself and tell others that you will have the job done by a certain time.

By putting yourself on public record you are likely to work harder to avoid disappointment. When setting your deadline, similar to setting SMART goals, make your deadline specific, measurable and achievable. 

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3. Positive reinforcement as a procrastination strategy for completion

Reward yourself for achieving your goal or deadline. By giving yourself a reward system in which you reward task completion you are able to shape the desired behavior.

This operant conditioning is often used as a training principle to acquire new habits or learning.

While these 3 procrastination strategies create a sense of urgency, there may be many causes of procrastination and better ways to deal with procrastination. For example:

1. Not wanting to work on unpleasant tasks. It can be easy to put off that unpleasant phone call or the disciplinary chat with a co-worker. I talk more about how to overcome procrastination for those unpleasant or uninteresting tasks.

2. Being over-committed or overworked. This cause of procrastination is increasing as access to information explodes. Learn how to overcome procrastination when overwhelmed and overworked.

3. Having unclear goals or shifting priorities. Whether it is personal goals or changing priorities of management, this can result in procrastination. Use these personal goal setting templates or career goal setting templates.

4. Being afraid of change or fearing failure. Making a change reduces our security and invites the unexpected. Fearing change is a natural human reaction – indeed our greatest fear is the unknown. But when this fear of change or failure outweighs the benefit of pursuing meaningful action, then procrastination is a costly time-waster.

Procrastination robs you of your potential and is a key cause of stress at home and in the workplace.

If you liked procrastination strategies then you will also like why do people procrastinate.

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