Procrastination – | what, why and 5 ways to overcome procrastination |
We humans normally set some deadlines to accomplish a task. But most of the time, we end up procrastinating the task despite knowing that we will keep worrying about that the next day. It’s true that things never go by the way we planned. So, we usually end up with lame reasons or blaming others. But It’s not that way. It may be because of our habitual or intentional delay. If we notice well, procrastination has become part and parcel of our day to day chores.
Have you felt the satisfaction you get on accomplishing the day’s tasks as you planned? That makes you feel more productive. Right? Then why don’t we make those rare moments of productivity a routine?
Plunge into the article and come up with ways to clobber procrastination.
First, let’s know what is procrastination and what it is not?
The word “PROCRASTINATION” itself says, who he is.
Pro – forward
Crastinus – till the next day.
Altogether, procrastination is forwarding your scheduled tasks to the next day.
If you think procrastination is a form of laziness then I feel sorry for you. You are wrong.
Procrastination is also a kind of behavior that is described as “akrasia” by Greek philosophers. It is a kind of force that makes us get involved into another set of tasks even though we know we have some other tasks prior to those.
Now let’s get into the reasons of procrastination
Why do we procrastinate? Has been a common question and so the reasons are.
1. Blurry goals
If our goals are not specific, then our brain gets confused to identify on what to work.
For instance – Setting a specific goal like “I need to score above 97% in my exams to get my IIT seat” is far better than setting a general goal like “I need to score better to get my IIT seat”.
Research proves that when we don’t set specific goals, then our brain doesn’t cope up with the plans we make to achieve it leading to procrastination.
2. Too much of to-do tasks
When we get stuck up between too many tasks, we pause to think about where to start, what to do and how to get all those things done. When we fail to prioritize kinds of stuff, we only end up wasting hours.
“Done is better than perfect” -Sheryl Sandberg
Being perfect is perfectly ok. But working hard on tiny details that doesn’t matter gradually kills our time. This further leads to procrastination of other scheduled tasks.
4. Fear of failure
When we don’t have the guts to face the result, we procrastinate. We must be prepared to face the fear of failures too.
For instance – I procrastinated to attempt the “MAT” entrance exam held in February 2019 and I dared to attempt it by May 2019. I took three months of gap not because I wasn’t prepared, but because I wasn’t matured enough to handle failure.
5. Exhausted feeling
The next probable reason for procrastination is the kind of exhausted feeling we get after working hard for an entire week or a whole day. In such cases, that’s okay to find and make some time to relax and recharge our batteries.
6. Poor focus
When our mind fails to have a clear vision, then spotting out the importance of tasks becomes a problem. When we don’t know the importance of tasks, it becomes tough to frame a plan. When we lack a plan, we tend to do things whatever comes the way and then things get messed up finally. When you focus on the importance of things, then you can maintain consistency and get your work done as per your plan.
7. Lack of interest
I’ll tell my own experience again. Having around three days to prepare for my Finance exam, I found only one good last day to scan my notes. I wasn’t busy for the other two days but I had no interest in dumping myself into those books that always gives me a feeling of learning Latin and French languages.
Such tasks like “we gotta do even though we hate doing it” will find its way in putting off things to the next day.
After identifying the reasons, why not give a try into the ways that helps us to combat procrastination.
Ways to overcome procrastination
1. Knowing ourselves
The first and major step we need to do is to analyze and know ourselves.
“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom” – Socrates
On knowing our happiness, interests, inner feelings and values, we can decide on our needs and we can prioritize tasks accordingly. When we start knowing ourselves, we gain insights by which we can know values and goals that activates our willpower.
Knowing ourselves doesn’t stop with knowing our feelings and interests. It also involves analyzing our biorhythms (i.e)When we like to do things. This helps in scheduling our activities on knowing when our energy is at a peak.
I am a morning person and I have realized my energy level in the morning and the way my energy level got low when I tried to be a night owl. I have ended up many days in procrastinating the day’s task and at last, that started burdening me.
So, knowing ourselves results in knowing the causes of procrastination and helps you to prevent it from happening again.
2. Schedule tasks
We must first learn to frame a flexible plan. Scheduling tasks based on importance helps us to find plenty of time to relax. Another trick is to schedule tasks based on what you love the most. This is more important than scheduling the tasks based on the importance that probably helps you in overcoming procrastination.
Be keen and never frame rigid schedules that gives you an overwhelmed feeling and puts you under pressure.
3. Plan to face obstacles
“Social media” How many of you will agree that this has been one of the major reasons that have made us procrastinate our tasks.
“Avoid social media” is not what I’m going to preach. Instead, when we plan our tasks we should also find and schedule some time for tweeting and chatting. Does this sound unreal? But, You have no way other than believing me now and thanking me later.
Shreya Pattar, the famous freelancing content writer is a pro in managing her education and job as well. Long back, one of her fans questioned her how she gets things done as per her plan.
Shreya Pattar’s answer – I plan my day’s work the previous day. I allot time for everything. I even allow some time for series, reading and chatting. I work from 9 am to 6 pm and I don’t pick up any calls in between. I inform this earlier to my friends, family and clients so that they message me if there is an emergency.
It was very clear that when we don’t give time for distractions, then procrastination will be just a word to us and will not be a part of our behavior.
Develop the habit of celebrating even a small success that comes our way. This puts in more positivity and is a kind of self-motivation. Setting up rewards is very essential. As we start scheduling tasks, we must also insert some rewards in between. I don’t mean to reward ourselves with gold or silver coins. Whatever that makes us happy is itself a reward for us.
For instance, I reward myself with a small quantity of cashews as I complete the day’s task successfully. That may sound silly, but cashews have been a source of my happiness and continues to be.
So, begin rewarding yourselves even with little things that puts happiness and motivates you to stick up to the schedule every day. At the same time, be careful in setting rewards that creates you an addiction.
Initially, I was rewarding myself this way. When I complete a chapter, I can spend some time on social media. But, at the end of the day, I found myself with the same last page of the first chapter. That’s how I ended up in putting off the other four chapters to the next day.
Begin rewarding yourselves in a way that doesn’t procrastinate your day’s work but drives you to stick to the plan and achieve more.
5. Be optimistic and realistic
Last but not least, never ever set unrealistic targets to get done within a short span of time. When we tend to set such targets, we should also have patience until we achieve it. Develop the quality to accept that change doesn’t happen overnight.
Setting reasonable targets doesn’t push us into unrealistic expectations. This also builds positivity and prevents putting off tasks. So, we should start committing ourselves to tasks that we are confident in accomplishing.
To end up, I am still a procrastinator who is wishing to successfully deal with procrastination. I was procrastinating to write an article and finally landed up on writing an article on “procrastination” itself. Let’s join hands to adopt the ways of overcoming procrastination.
Hope I have added some values into your life!!