Procrastination is a sneaky little beast, and initially it can feel like a small boost, as if perhaps we have gotten away with something. We don’t have to deal with a situation or task at that moment in time. But, for most of these situations, there will come a time when the task at hand is due. The feeling of elation turns to anxiety and worry, which can turn into full blown panic at having waited too long.
Procrastination is an unhealthy way to deal with unwanted emotions around a specific task. Essentially, we think we're trying to avoid performing the task, when in fact, we're trying to avoid the feeling that lies underneath. Whether we feel uncertain about how to complete the task itself, or we feel self-doubt, anxiety, or otherwise, it's the feeling we're trying to outrun, not the task.
Remember that the good feeling you get from handling your tasks on time will last much longer than the short-term anxiety it will produce from delaying it. This will significantly lower your stress level as well. It does take some effort to break the bad habit of procrastination. But, it is entirely worth the effort.
Here are a few tips:
1) If the task is something you can do in less than 5 minutes, do it right now.
2) Set a timer. This will help you stay focused, thus be more efficient. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll get through each item.
3) Tell a trusted friend you need accountability to get a project done and by when. Be sure to check in with them by that date and/or time. This frequently works because you don't want to give them a lame excuse (again!).
Building a better habit starts with seeing where the issue is. Once you know that, you can take steps to do better starting TODAY.