How to Stop Avoiding Difficult Tasks (That You Don’t Want to Do!)

Stop Avoiding Difficult Tasks

Everyone put offs things that they need to do every now and then. We know we should be getting something accomplished, but sometimes it seems impossible to get ourselves to start the task. If you find that this happens often, it might be time to try a few different things that can help. There are several simple things you can do to help get yourself get motivated so you’ll stop putting off the tasks you’ve been avoiding.

Don’t Make It A Big Deal

Often when someone puts off a big task, it’s because they’ve made it out to be bigger or more important than it is. If you’ve built it up to something big in your head, you might have a hard time starting it.

Convince yourself that the task isn’t as big or as important as you’ve made it to be. Whenever a thought like that comes up, remind yourself that it isn’t as big of a deal. It may help you when you say to yourself over and over that the task isn’t so bad.

Break It Up into Smaller Tasks

If you are putting off a task repeatedly, it may be because it seems like too big of a task. There’s an easy way around this. Break the task up into smaller and more manageable tasks. You’ll find that you’ll be less overwhelmed by the individual tasks. This will help you conquer them even though the task as a whole seemed like too much.

Work in Short Bursts

You may hate the idea of spending an hour on a task you don’t want to do, but what if you only have to spend five or ten minutes on it? Consider doing your task in short bursts. Say that you only need to spend a certain amount of time working on it. Not only will this make you more likely to start working on the task, but once you’ve hit the timed mark you’ll probably keep going. Often the hardest part of a task is getting yourself to start it, and once you’re a few minutes in you’ll want to keep going. If not, at least you’ve started and have gotten a piece of the task accomplished. You can then return to it later that day or the next and spend another short burst working on it. It will take longer this way, but you will get the task accomplished. It’s a lot better than never starting the task at all.

Focus On Long Term Gains

When you procrastinate, it’s often because you are focusing on the short-term. You don’t want to work on it now. You want to do something else instead. What you should try to do is reframe it. Instead of thinking about what you’d prefer to be doing now, think about the long-term gains of completing the task. Think about how completing it will benefit you. What will you gain from it? It may also help to visualize how you’ll feel after the task is completed.

Stay Away from the Internet

It’s really easy to avoid doing something we don’t want to do by “surfing” the web. It makes us seem like we’re busy doing something even when we’re not. When you want to work on a task, set aside that time as when you’re not allowed to surf on the Internet. There’s a good chance that without being able to do that, you’ll work on the task instead. If not, at least you won’t be wasting time, and will hopefully do something else that you need to accomplish.

Stay Positive

Often when you’re avoiding doing a task, you’re negative about the task. Make sure you stay positive about it. Tell yourself that you can do the task, and that it’s something you want to do. Think about the good things that will happen after having the task accomplished. If nothing else, it’ll be off of your to-do list and you won’t have the task weighing on your mind anymore. The more positive you can be, the more likely you are to start working on the task and will stop avoiding it.

Set A Deadline

If you tell yourself that you will do the task but don’t say when, you’re only going to continue putting off the task. If you set a deadline to having the task done, you’re more likely to start working on it, and then finish it. So set yourself a deadline to have the task completed. If you want, you can set yourself deadlines on the way too, for having each part of a task completed. Something else that could help you is if you set rewards for when you hit these deadlines. For each small task you complete, you could give yourself a small reward. Then, when you finish the whole task you could give yourself a bigger reward.

Be Held Accountable

Sometimes you wanting to do the task isn’t enough. But if you tell someone else that you want to do the task, you’ll feel that you have to do the task. In other words, they end up holding you accountable, whether they know it or not. It can be anyone, a friend, family member, or someone professional. But knowing that someone else thinks you’re going to have a task accomplished by a certain date is often enough to get you working on it.

Work on Something Equally as Important

Sometimes you can’t get yourself motivated enough to do a certain task. But if you’re not going to do the task you need to do, at least force yourself to do something that is equally as important. That way you’re getting something accomplished that you need to. This is a win-win situation. You’ll either work on another task you need to do, or you might change your mind and work on the original task instead.

Becoming and staying motivated can be very difficult, especially when it is a task you don’t want to do. But with a slight change of mindset and breaking it down into more manageable pieces, you can accomplish anything, so set a deadline for your tasks and get moving today!


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