Almost everyone procrastinates now and then. It can be a good thing when it means that you’re tackling a tough project well rather than giving yourself an easy victory.
But there are many times that we use our task as an excuse to avoid important things, from getting up early in the morning to sending your résumé to the hiring manager. To be productive, it’s necessary to find the reason for your procrastination and replace that attitude with productive momentum and motivation.
Why We Procrastinate?
We procrastinate for different reasons. Here is a list of reasons why we put off our work:
Firstly, we often dislike what we have to do. It’s easier to focus on something that takes less time or effort than it is worthwhile, so we go on YouTube or Facebook and just browse. Because these online sites are geared towards instant feedback, meaning you can respond quickly and immediately, it becomes very easy to get sucked into their vortex without realizing how much time has slipped away from us during our browsing spree.
Another reason is a little bit trickier. We may have to do something very soon but we are simply unable to do it right now. If it is due in one hour, then there’s no sense in starting right now. There’s also a chance that we would have to start over if the Internet connection goes out or our computer crashes, which can be extremely frustrating and discouraging for us when we’ve spent a lot of time on our project already.
And the most common reason for procrastination is a habit. Many psychologists suggest we are so habituated to saying later and tomorrow when we received any work, that we derive comfort from it. So, we procrastinate both out of habit and to feel comfortable. And this habit is more heightened when someone is feeling anxious. The feeling of anxiety makes you want to play on your phone or watch another episode, instead of working.
And how can you stop?
There is no easy cure for procrastination. This is because, in essence, procrastination is a coping strategy we use to avoid an unpleasant task.
It’s hard to break the habit of procrastinating, but with some effort and time, we can change our actions. Below is a list of ways you can work on breaking your procrastination habit.
You have to know what your procrastination triggers are. You have to research the topic and find out what makes you want to procrastinate so that you can turn this into positive action.
You must set a timer or a stopwatch every single time you try to complete an action, such as when you go over your exercise sheet in class or when you prepare for an exam, etc. When it rings, get back on the task that needs to be done. This method will help by interrupting any sort of negative thought processes going in your head during the task execution process. it can be done!
Here are a few steps you can take to stop this bad (and time-consuming) habit:
1. Map out what you’re going to do and when
2. Make your tasks small enough that they won’t overwhelm you at the start
3. Practice saying “No” without getting down about it or feeling guilty
4. Do the hardest task first, and then the one you dread most
5. Reward yourself for each successful hour of focus
6. Use your own personal stimulus to keep yourself working on a project
7. Set rewards for desired outcomes, but don’t make them things that will create more work
8. Get support from friends and family when you need it
9. Don’t be hard on yourself; you just need to be persistent
10. Remember that it won’t happen overnight – but it will happen!
And if you are reading this article instead of working, you should probably get back to work!