Last-minute assignment submissions, missing the deadline for submission of that project, or simply delaying taking the trash out till the bin is overflowing. Almost everyone has been in these situations, where you just keep pushing the things till the last minute. The dreaded word that is at play here is called procrastination.
If you are constantly putting off work, almost like a habit, then you are a serious procrastinator. It can affect your professional life or studies, and also your personal lives. It’s not a modern problem though. Like everything else, you can’t blame smartphones or the internet for this. Procrastination is an age-old problem. Human beings have had a habit of delaying things, no matter how important they are if they don’t feel like it.
But why do we procrastinate? It could be because you don’t find the task at hand interesting enough, rewardful, or adding value to your current self. Or it could be because you are finding the task hard to get started on, or you are afraid of doing it, maybe due to the fear of rejection.
The first step to solving any problem is diagnosing it correctly. Some signs can let you know if you are a serial procrastinator, so to say. You don’t complete your work on time, you keep denying things, or you wait to be in a ‘mood’ for a particular task. If you check this list, then you need to read on.
Ways to Overcome Procrastination
Forget the Past
The time that you have procrastinated will never come back. Don’t procrastinate thinking about it. It’s an endless loop, the sooner you come out of it the better. Forgive yourself for once and start afresh. Now that you have identified your weaknesses and accepted them, you’ll be motivated to work on them. Get real with yourself. Accept what you are and figure out how you can make yourself better.
Interest and Reason
If it’s urgent work, then it becomes interesting on its own. But when you have delayed gratification, you will need to make the process interesting too. As Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost anyhow.” Find that reason to keep you going. Explore the need to do that work, be open and flexible.
Meditation and Mindfulness
If you need to bring focus to your work, practice meditation, and mindfulness. It’s much easier to complete a task if you are in it with all your focus. Don’t invest your energy in unnecessary jobs. Map where you are wasting the most of your time, try to reduce it, and invest it in productive work. Soon enough, it will become a habit.
Cross the End Line of the Race
When you start any work, finish that. This is how you will learn to be consistent about each and every work you perform throughout the day. Don’t put off finishing the work when you have already gained momentum.
Put a Prize
You may remember that in childhood if our parents or elders wanted us to work for them, they promised us chocolate or a video game. Even when you are older, you need that candy at the end. Promise yourself a reward for completing a particular task, maybe a marathon of your favorite series, or a dinner out at a fancy restaurant.
Get Tough with Yourself
To be more focused or more productive you have to develop your willpower. Decide that you won’t put off this task, and set a deadline for yourself. If you want to quit an addiction that is
leading to procrastination, then it becomes more important to avoid that temptation. For this, develop your willpower and get tough with yourself.
If you are finding it absolutely impossible to get started on a task, lay the groundwork first. If it’s a study, then collect all the material and organize it. Starting small will not overwhelm you about doing a big task and you’ll complete it bit-by-bit in no time.
We hope you didn’t procrastinate reading this blog! If so, then congrats you are already in the right direction. Go seize the day.