How to Overcome Procrastination by Seema Naik Life Coach6 min read
What is Procrastination
With the enormous use of social media, the term “Procrastination” is commonly used nowadays. People misunderstand that laziness and procrastination are the same whereas, in reality, both are entirely different.
Procrastination can be described as -“deciding, without a good cause, to postpone or fail to complete a task or objective you’ve taken on and replace it with something less important, even though doing so might have unfavorable effects.”
In simple words, Procrastination is also defined as: – “putting off”, “postponing”, “delaying”, “deferring”, and “leaving any task to the last minute”
The human Brain is the most amazing creation of God. If you know how to take charge of your thoughts and emotions you can create wonders. But if you give the remote control of your emotions to your mind you will lose yourself. Procrastination happens when a non-disciplined person high on impulsivity, has to complete a task involving hard work, discipline & commitment.
The Gap between intention and success is the right action at the right time.
Reasons that affect Procrastination
There could be many reasons for a person to procrastinate than take action. Some of the most common factors that lead to procrastination are:-
- Lack of Emotional Regulation (Self-control)
Having fewer negative emotions to deal with automatically makes you energetic enough to do necessary tasks on time. Lack of self-control gets in the way of productivity. Procrastination seems easier for people who lack self-control.
- Limiting beliefs
Sometimes, a perfectionist delays completing tasks on time, simply because of the worry about the outcome being less than perfect. In 2017 study confirmed the fact that perfectionist tendencies were also more likely to engage in procrastination. This causes unnecessary stress and anxiety.
- The complexity of the task
The bigger the task, the greater the chances of procrastination. Bigger tasks can be broken down into smaller chunks with an achievable deadline. The complexity of a task could cause a lack of motivation. So the brain tries to avoid doing it altogether by choosing to be in its comfort zone.
From leaving bed in the morning to going to the bed at night we make several decisions. As the day goes on your things get piled up and your willpower hits the rock bottom. you might delay the tasks you have written in your “TO DO LIST” This is because “you Just don’t feel like doing” is the common answer to that. This could be because of a lack of motivation.
- Fear of Judgment
Humans are social animals and we love when our society loves, appreciates, and involves us. We get very easily affected when the same society criticizes, judges, and neglects us. The fear of being judged does not allow us to make decisions for which we procrastinate the important decisions of our life. The world will judge us anyway, no matter what you do or how much you do but procrastinating things won’t give any solution to the problem, nor help you to grow in life.
We live in a world full of distractions. With smartphones in our hands and social media on our mobile phones, we cannot resist staying in that dopamine rush. We might sit down to do an important task but end up watching an unfinished series.
Research states that our brains aren’t wired to focus for long periods. If not trained properly, it gets distracted very easily. Throw in a bunch of chatty colleagues or the desire to aimlessly scroll social media, and you’ve got a recipe for ultimate procrastination.
- Inability to Prioritize
You might have seen a motivational speaker say “ Do the most difficult tasks in the morning and leave the easiest one for the night” but you often do the opposite. You keep yourself busy doing the least important tasks and important ones keep piling up. When there are too many things on your plate, properly prioritizing your tasks saves you from getting into a mess. Lots of time gets wasted when we wrongly prioritize our daily tasks.
- Failing to set deadlines
Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands to fill the time available”.
It is one of the worst things for a procrastinator to take up a task without setting up a fixed deadline. There is a great possibility of leaving the task unfinished forever. If you procrastinate regularly and continue delaying important tasks it becomes your habit. This habit of procrastination can affect your work, relationships, and career. Ultimately, it hinders you from reaching your true potential.
Overcome procrastination and start taking action.
Here are some tools and techniques that will help you to overcome procrastination and start taking action.
- Make your “WHY” stronger
Procrastinators focus more on short-term goals. Avoiding an important task to watch TV or doing something less relevant. They might ignore the long-term benefit of completing the task. You might feel more relieved if you complete your task on time and you can enjoy doing other activities after that.
- Delete Distraction
Nowadays social media is the greatest distraction for almost everyone. Instead of letting social media use us, we need to take that responsibility into our hands and control it. Switching off all notifications in our electronic gadgets would help to have better focus. Besides that, healthy boundaries with our friends, family, and relatives help us to be more productive.
Break the total working hours into small blocks the famous Pomodoro technique of breaking the long hour task into small blocks of time. After every block of time take a few min breaks. For example, if the time block is 30 min then take a break of 5 to 10 min. Likewise, the work will be over without further delay. This will save you from feeling overwhelmed, and remove procrastination.
- Create a productive environment
A healthy and motivating environment can work like magic for you. Block 2 hours for deep work and turn off all mobile notifications. Keep your workspace clean and minimal. Don’t take up any calls unless there is an emergency because this might lead to procrastination. Keeping your phone away and blocking out your working hours will increase your productivity and you will surely meet all your deadlines
- Delay gratification
It is amazing to set deadlines for a task, but it is also necessary to reward yourself when you have successfully met those deadlines. An award can be anything you love. For example:- Only and only after finishing your college assignment can you reward yourself by eating out with your friends or you can watch the movie or series you have been wanting to watch for a long time. Your brain will absorb this system and cooperate with you while doing a task you don’t like because of the reward you have set up for yourself.
- Just start
When you run behind perfectionism you wait to take action until everything is perfect. Rather than being perfect, focus on being better than the day before. Don’t run behind excellence, put your efforts into getting the task done. The feeling of getting the task done is greater than the feeling of getting it perfect.
Now, to get rid of procrastination you need to take action and apply these techniques in your life. You can procrastinate while taking action. But it all starts with small steps. Take one step at a time and keep moving forward. Don’t let procrastination take away you and your success.
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