5 Ways to Tackle Procrastination
Procrastination is part of life. 85 percent of people suffer from it to some degree and 1 in 5 procrastinates every day. As ordinary as it sounds, it is the biggest killer of a healthy and productive day; it has also become the biggest problem since the pandemic.
However, procrastination is not a condition of the 20th century, it is a habitual struggle suffered by millions of people since ancient civilization. While the Roman Consul Cicero called it hateful, the Greek poet Hesiod described it as “putting of your duties of till tomorrow or the day after.”
Most people have heard the word procrastination, but do not truly understand what it is. Procrastination is postponing the decisions of today to the future. While some people know they procrastinate and have found ways to tackle it, it is detrimental to people’s success and achieving goals in their lives.
Procrastination is often confused with laziness, but it is not. Laziness is an inactive process, while the former is an active process and very complex. Studies found that procrastination is associated with fear, low self-esteem, stress, depression, and low self-confidence.
Furthermore, people suffering from a high level of procrastination experience panic attacks, hyperventilation, or fall sick before the day of the task.
5 Ways to tackle Procrastination
Forgive Yourself For Procrastinating
Most procrastinators reschedule tasks until they either forget it or become afraid of tackling the issue at hand. Identifying the cause and reasons why you procrastinate will enable you to forgive yourself and change for the better. A study found that students who forgave themselves for procrastinating did better in their school work but also overcame negativity and fear about work.
Self-forgiveness plays a huge role as it allows the individual in question to pinpoint their reasons for procrastination, understanding why as they confidently push through the emotion, and prioritize tasks accordingly.
Discover why you are procrastinating
Fear is the biggest contributor to procrastination. Whether it is the fear of succeeding, failing, or making mistakes, you need to understand why it happens, when, how, and its impact on your mental skills. Although some people are oblivious of the fact they procrastinate, most people are aware but cannot figure out why. For instance, how do you react to a task – a school work or project at the office? Do you find it tedious, unpleasant, annoying, boring, or challenging?
When you identify how a task makes you feel, that is step one. This way you can come up with a countermeasure for the feeling. Assuming a task makes you feel incapable, that is to say, the task is challenging. Figure out what is challenging about the task, pinpoint the areas of difficulty, and then you can decide what solutions best counteract those emotions or worries.
Asides from fear, poor organization skills also influence procrastination. How good are your organization skills? How you approach a task will determine the success and execution rate. So if you are whack from the start, you are buying yourself procrastination without knowing it. Stay organized, mentally, physically, and emotionally to overcome any task ahead.
Time yourself for every task
Among the types of procrastination is plenty of time procrastination. This involves pushing tasks forward because you have a long deadline. This usually happens to students and employees who struggle to start on a project or carry it through consistently.
If you fall into this category, one way to tackle procrastination is to time yourself for every task.
- First, list out all that you need to successfully carry out the task and state how much time you need on each step.
- Secondly, try to instill some fun and laughter into the task; this will enable you to overcome the fear and negative thoughts in your head associated with the task.
- Thirdly, stick with your timer, give yourself a break to catch your breath, and reassess your priority to the task at hand.
- Lastly, do not interrupt yourself. Procrastinators do this a lot; bring in things that are unrelated to the task, thereby emphasizing this habit in their lives.
Create a Manageable Task
Assuming a task at hand makes you feel overwhelmed and drained, break it down. By destructing the task, you can take action faster, feel energize, and follow up with each step to get the job done. Breaking up the task to a smaller bit also enables a quick organization, identification, and requirements necessary to achieve the goal.
While at it, start with the small things that will not take your time and are easy to complete. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and a push to tackle the rest successfully.
Stop Being a Perfectionist
Perfectionists are prone to procrastinate, especially more as they fear their mistakes, flaws or weaknesses will reveal who they are to the world. Most times perfectionist procrastinators aren’t bad people or disorganized people. However, seeking to be perfect at every task makes them take more time to conclude a task.
These negative emotions affect their jobs, relationships, and self-confidence. For instance, a writer finishes a book but is afraid of getting the wrong feedback hence holds to it. He might even re-read the book all over, criticizing the work and even canceling it because it’s not good enough.
While it is okay to create premium content, being a perfectionist pushes your level of procrastination through the roof, causing unnecessary delay and never able to meet deadlines. Remember that perfectionism is not a bad thing. When it affects your way of thinking, career, and emotions, it is time to reassess your priorities and use them to your advantage.
Learning to tackle procrastination requires self-discipline. As with every behavioral problem, the solution is consistency and determination. The techniques listed here are ways to start tackling procrastination in your life.
There are many reasons why people procrastinate, and the feeling is different for everyone. However, understanding, identifying, adjusting, forgiving, and acknowledging that you a procrastinator will help you to tackle procrastination.
Finally, if you keep finding yourself stuck in a loop and pushing forward the things you need to do, try the steps above. You should get over it with a little nudge.
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