Have you ever over-planned everything inside your head but haven’t got the time to actualize them? Yup, been there! Being an introvert, I spend a lot of time making sense of my plans and goals — only to end them piling up and abandoned. Yup, that’s procrastination.
But is procrastination an introvert thing? Do introverts procrastinate more than extroverts?
Truth is, both introverts and extroverts can struggle with procrastination. According to a 2019 study, introvert personality doesn’t significantly correlate to procrastination. While introverts have tendencies to think too long inside their heads, extroverts also may get easily distracted with people interaction, leaving them with unfinished tasks.
6 Tips to Reduce Introvert Procrastination and Actually Finish Your Tasks
Now, how do introverts overcome procrastination? Introverts are awesome but it’s undeniable how we function differently from extroverts. That said, I’ve listed 6 tips you can try which I personally try myself. Here we go:
1. One goal at a time. Be patient.
Introverts are idealistic people. They may spend too much time building concepts and end piling up a ton of abstract plans. Unfortunately, little to none has ever been accomplished. Worse, it becomes overwhelming since our idealistic minds wish to fulfill everything at the same time.
That said, practice slowing down. Realize that you can only do so much in a day and some projects require months to complete. Nonetheless, you have to show up every day and take one task at a time.
- A crochet blanket needs a month or two to finish, but it gets done with one knot at a time.
- Washing the dishes is frustrating, but washing one plate at a time eventually gets it finished.
Be patient and don’t try to finish projects all in one go. Visualizing the big and “grand” picture too much may cause impatience so stick with little accomplishments at a time.
Break down your tasks and you won’t notice you’re already halfway there.
2. Practice the power of unfocus.
Do overthinking and overplanning exhaust you? Or is the task too tedious and it drained your creativity to the limits? Same here.
We all get drained at some point. Despite writing since 2018, I still seldom struggle with writer’s burnout. I used to be frustrated when I’m all piled up with tasks but my mind doesn’t cooperate anymore.
Well, in truth, our minds can only do so much. While taking action allows you to finish a task, the state of unfocus or detaching for a while helps you remember, reorganize, and restructure your thoughts.
State of unfocus is also called… surprise, surprise, procrastination!
Take a 10-minute rest in between your task. As for me, I can procrastinate up to 2 days from work and use that time for research, regaining my creativity, and rethinking the tasks I’ve done. It’s the time I reenergize my creative juices. Do this so when we go back into action, it doubles introvert productivity!
3. Hang in there for more or less 66 days until you develop a habit.
Do you give up on a goal after a week? Or get an outburst of motivation that only lasts a day?
Before you give up on anything, I suggest you hold onto it for 2 weeks to 8 months. According to a study, it’s the duration where people develop a habit. It takes an average of 66 days to make a task ingrained within you.
Push yourself to get up in the morning and start your day early, set the doubts aside and take the pen to write, or swallow up the criticism and actualize your startup plan. Do it!
The beginning may be the hardest, but the task goes lighter in the next few weeks. Track yourself within 66 days — more or less — and the task should’ve become easier.
At first, it may look like you’re not moving anywhere, but that isn’t true. Growth happens at a micro-level and a consistent course of action slowly works on your psychological mindset.
4. Phone? Hide it at the farthest corner of your room. Now!
Distractions. It’s the ultimate villain against productivity. The most popular source of distraction is, of course, your phone.
I, myself, am guilty of checking my e-mail as if I would receive one every 2 minutes. To avoid it, lock in that phone at the farthest corner of your room. With this, instead of grabbing your phone from time to time, you will remember it’s not even beside you and will push you to go back to whatever task you’re doing.
It works really well!
5. Setting a timer and having short breaks will be awesome.
We lose track of time and accomplish nothing. And it can be so frustrating since we wasted a day by checking inboxes, and mindlessly opening and closing browsers.
But what helps me to maximize my time is to set a timer for myself. Set yourself a definite timer for your tasks. For example:
- I will leave for shopping now so I can be at home after 2 hours. I’ll start at 1 PM and be home at 3 PM.
- I’ll clean my room for 45 minutes – nothing more.
Let’s take this post for example. When I started to write this post, it’s currently 7 PM. I mentally set a timer to finish it before 12MN. Well, I must admit I took breaks in between and replied to my friend’s messages, too. But since I set myself to finish before midnight, I’m trying to pace myself up.
A mental timer always works to pace me up and you can try it, too.
P.S. I finished the post at 11:22 PM.
6. Surround yourself with people who inspire — not those who force you.
Yes, we need alone time. But at the same time, introverts must surround themselves with people – not those who hammer down pressure – but those who will inspire them to take action.
Surround yourself with people who do more and talk less. Follow people or influencers who actually walk the talk. Learn from successful ones. Birds of the same feather, remember? You’re the average of all the people you hang out with.
Choose friends you will take advice from. Pick their advice wisely.
Introverts and procrastination can vibe together when done properly.
As mentioned above, the state of unfocus, in the guise of procrastination, is a significant factor to catapult introvert productivity. There must be room for action and a room for rest.
We can’t be working all the time nor be lying around every minute. That said, instead of completely stopping procrastination, we must set a good balance between the two.
These are the 6 tips I do to battle introvert procrastination.
If you’re waiting for a sign to start your task, this is it! Time to drop this phone and start to get things done!
My Personal Book Recommendation for Building Habits:
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