How to Motivate Procrastinators
A lot of people are guilty of waiting until the last minute to do something important. Some people say that they really have a lot of work to begin with, and some things simply have to wait on the back burner and thus end up being done at the last minute. Other people say that they love the energy of the last minute working schedule, where they are driven almost entirely by adrenalin.
Still, other people use the excuse of procrastination to look like they are working hard on something, when all that they have done is to wait until the last minute in order to look like they actually have a lot to work with, when they could have done things little by little every day and still met the deadline without going through the stress.
In any case, procrastination is difficult to deal with, and if you get used to it, it can be a difficult habit to get rid of, much less deal with. In fact, procrastination in school can only be the bad beginning to a clumsy career, and if you procrastinate all your life, you may as well put yourself in the hospital or the stress will mess with you and your family. On the other hand, if you would like to help someone do better and get themselves out of the procrastination habit, then you can use the following tips to motivate them to get off their bottoms and start working:
- Don’t be self-righteous. You were a procrastinator, too, and you may have fallen into the Last Minute Trap at one time or another. The key to motivating anyone is to show them that they can get out of the habit because someone has done it before. Talk to them about your own experiences.
You can compare your work quality between something that you did when you were near a deadline and something that you did little by little and passed on time without worrying whether you would actually turn up alive at passing time. You can also compare what the last minute work did to your health, and how you were able to get yourself to do better.
- Set a good example. It will not do your apprentice any good if you as the master are as bad a procrastinator, or even worse. You cannot motivate someone to change if you do not show them how, so be prepared to show your stuff as you meet your own deadlines.
- Be open to questions. A procrastinator can be willing to change, and you may have some advice to offer.
- Offer the person rewards for a deadline well met, say a few days before. If this person is your child or sibling, you can offer money or a treat at a nearby restaurant as a reward. If this person is your co-worker or classmate, then treat yourselves to a movie or a game night if you are able to meet your deadlines well.
- The opposite works, too: if you are not able to procrastinate, find a way to slightly punish yourselves, say by cleaning your house or apartment, not going out for a few rounds of beer, or not spending over $5 for your dinner out.
- Encourage the person to set their own deadlines. Having a deadline days or weeks before the real deadline can make them more motivated since they’re breaking their own records!
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