Everyone procrastinates at some point in life, and the chances are that you must also be procrastinating about something right now.
Are you an accountant and tired of procrastinating tasks and lowering your productivity? Is procrastination keeping you from achieving your life goals? Do you find it challenging to overcome procrastination on your own?
You might have read a lot of blogs about overcoming procrastination, and found most of them to be partially or fully ineffective. This post aims to solve this problem for good by including scientifically-proven methods.
Let’s take a systematic approach and deep dive into this matter step by step.
What is Procrastination?
Procrastination is the act of unnecessarily delaying tasks or decisions. According to the American Psychological Association, 20 percent of adults are chronic procrastinators, who have made procrastination a way of living. Also, almost everyone suffers from procrastination at some point in their lives, but the degree varies.
Procrastination is a serious problem but is not commonly addressed. It can lead to lower incomes, mental stress, physical and mental health issues, and more.
Why Does a Person Procrastinate?
Do you wonder – why does someone procrastinate? Is it just laziness or something more? The answer is that procrastination is much more complicated than laziness. It is a result of multiple factors such as low will power, fear of failure, low self-confidence, and more. A person relies on self-control to complete a task. Furthermore, his motivation, helps him finish the job and the reward acts as an additional bonus.
In short, procrastination occurs when the demotivating factors overpower the motivating factors.
So how can accountants avoid procrastination? Below are some scientifically proven methods that will surely help.
Methods To Reverse Procrastination
1. Start Easy
Initiating a task is difficult, but if you get past that first hurdle, everything else becomes easy. You gain a certain momentum and complete the task in hand.
Why? It’s all science, and this effect is called the Zeigarnik Effect. It is a phenomenon that describes that interrupted or incomplete tasks are recalled more quickly than others. That’s why writing something in your to-do list makes you remember it better.
2. Set Small Targets
Big tasks demotivate accountants more than anything else. A better approach is to break down big tasks into small targets. This way, you can reduce your fear of not completing the task; once you’ve started it, it will be easier to get going.
So, instead of thinking that you have to deliver a giant project next week, think, you have to complete baby tasks every day, and the project will be delivered as per the schedule.
3. List The Cost of Procrastination
This method works best when the accountants are procrastinating a crucial task — for instance, filing taxes for their biggest client. Make a list of everything that could go wrong if you do not complete the job and what all is there to lose.
Also, you can segregate this list into things that affect you personally and professionally; most times, they are interrelated. For instance, losing a big client increases your chances of getting unemployed, which may affect your early retirement plan.
4. Minimize The Use of Electronic Gadgets and Social Media
Our electronic gadgets and social media transfer us to a virtual world. But it makes our work habits unstructured and our responsibilities ambiguous (two significant triggers of procrastination).
So, if you feel that you’re not able to handle those numbers with the care they deserve, disconnect from any social media platform or electronic gadget.
5. Be Mindful
Obsessing over perfectionism or fearing the failure are significant procrastination triggers in accountants. They think that they’ll not fail if they do not start the task and keep on delaying it. To tackle this, science suggests that you should start listening to your inner self.
If you feel like you’re going to fail at something, try to build confidence in yourself with previous success memories.
6. Use Time Management Strategies During Accounting
Time management is an effective way of avoiding procrastination. Instead of delaying the tasks and wasting your time, utilize it better by learning some time management techniques and getting the work done. For instance, set up a clear target and prioritize your tasks.
You could create a schedule where you complete all the important work during the day and then reward your self with a well-deserved break. Stay focused and keep a target for yourself; you’ll see that your tasks are being completed quickly and on time!
Procrastination is usual, but, to a certain extent. If you think that it is becoming chronic and affecting your work productivity or life in general, it’s high time you should consider reversing it. We hope that the tips mentioned above helped and you become as productive as you wish to be.