the act of putting off doing something that you should do till another day or time because you do not want to do it
Do you think so? If yes, it is a wake-up call!
It is robbing you off, of your precious time and resources. You could have achieved so many milestones in life, had you not procrastinated. If you put off tasks out of sheer laziness which has a negligible impact on your life, it is permitted. But if you postpone most of your tasks and start working when the deadline is on your head, you need to do some serious rethinking. However, it is not a disease that needs a cure but you need to follow a rule book for better time management.
Procrastination is an act of unnecessarily postponing decisions or actions. Usually, such people find starting the task the most challenging part and often will continue to do the task after a few minutes and complete it.
If you are regular with this habit and keep postponing things now and then, you are a procrastinator.
A procrastinator is someone who repeatedly and unnecessarily postpones decisions or actions. For example, if a person repeatedly delays working on assignments until right before their deadline for no reason, even though they know that it would be better for them to start earlier, that person is a procrastinator.
Now, you will say that I am just being lazy and not compulsorily a procrastinator.
Procrastination and laziness are two different concepts: procrastination involves delaying unnecessarily, whereas laziness involves being voluntarily unwilling to exert necessary effort.
There are six different types of procrastinators: Perfectionists, Dreamers, Worrier, Defier, Crisis-Maker, and Over- doers. You need to check which is the one you are!
How do you stop procrastinating?
5 Ways to Stop Procrastinating
- Reduce the number of decisions you need to make throughout the day. Every decision we make has an energy consequence.
- Finish your day before it starts.
- The nothing alternative.
- The next action habit—focus on something doable.
- Adjust your environment.
There are certain other practical rules to follow:
- You need to find out what is distracting you like be it your phone/laptop/Facebook/Instagram. Identify and work around it. Just resist using these when you have work to do.
- Set a timer before starting a job so that you are alert and start the job on time.
- Set a time–bound timer and start working even though you don’t want to, you can always start working and stop when the timer stops. At least you have started the task, after all, well-begun is half done.
- Just relax and assess how you feel when the timer goes off. Assess your work progress and note that you will feel happier.
- Remove some hidden blockage in your mind, that this is not the right time to do this job, there is still time, you will do it then.
Procrastination is not laziness or poor time management skill. It is difficult in coping with negative emotions associated with a particular task. Besides, it could be stress, anxiety, insecurity, or boredom associated with a task. When we put a task off, we trick our brains into believing that it is someone else’s problem, why should we bother? This is a short-term idea of avoiding stress, but in the long run, it will raise its head.
It is important to identify the root cause of Procrastination. Most people procrastinate because they pursue perfectionism, are fearful of doing badly at the task, or are simply too disorganized with their time and resources. Are you the one procrastinating because of these reasons?
It is amazing to know how many people procrastinate even when they know it will affect them negatively. But in reality, there are three types of procrastination: classic procrastination, creative avoidance, and priority dilution.
So, how does procrastination affect you, as you have been taking it lightly?
Over time, chronic procrastination has not only productivity costs but measurably destructive effects on our mental and physical health, including chronic stress, general psychological distress, low life satisfaction, symptoms of depression and anxiety, poor health behaviours, chronic illness, and even hypertension.
As I mentioned above, procrastination is not a disease, it is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behaviour. This means that you probably can’t break it overnight. Habits only stop being habits when you avoid practising them, so try as many of the strategies, below, as possible to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding.
- Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past
- Commit to the task.
- Focus on doing, not avoiding.
- Promise yourself a reward.
- Ask someone to check up on you.
- Act as you go.
- Rephrase your internal dialogue.
- Minimize distractions.
- Turn off your email and social media.
- Avoid sitting anywhere near a television while you work!
The first step to overcoming procrastination is to recognize that you are doing it. Then, identify the reasons behind your behaviour and use appropriate strategies to manage and overcome it by following the above strategies.
This way you will be happyHo.