One of the biggest problems procrastinators face is they dread the idea of not getting work done. That may not sound like the trait of a procrastinator, but it is very real. To get fight this evil trait, there need to be consequences and rewards.

For this tip, we’ll explore the idea of creating our own system of consequences and rewards to not only get more done in a reasonable time, but get more done overall.

Creating Consequences is Harder Than It Sounds

There are natural consequences to not finishing things on time. If you’re late delivering work to your boss, you face their wrath. If you’re late delivering a paper to your professor, you could end up with a reduced grade. And if you’re late paying your electric bill, they may cut your power.

Unfortunately for procrastinators, natural consequences don’t seem to have an affect on motivation. In fact, it usually makes things worse.

So instead of focusing on natural consequences, create your own and stick to them. Set goals for tasks that require your attention and when you don’t follow through, dole out a punishment. (No masochism, please.)

For instance, if I was planning on going out with friends the night before something was due, I would say “I’m going to finish this task before noon or I’m not going out later.”

Developing the self-discipline required to actually face your own consequences will help you build the same self-discipline necessary to get more done in less time.

Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done, But Don’t Overdo It

Consequences should used more often than rewards, and not mixed together. Because rewards are extra incentives, you could procrastinate and not feel any loss.

What this means is, if I say “I’m going to get ice cream if I finish this task before noon. And if I don’t, I won’t.” Considering I don’t have ice cream now anyway, there’s no real loss if I decide to watch YouTube videos instead of completing what needs to get done.

Rewards should be big enough incentives to motivate you to continue working harder in order to avoid the consequences you set for yourself.

With Time, It Becomes Natural to Step Up More

This will work in the short term, and with real effort over time, will also help you start and finish more tasks so there’s less stress in your life.