“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.”-Wayne Gretzky
Turns out, most of us procrastinate like a boss, like its our job and we get paid for it in measures of the big glorious word ‘nothing’.
From what all misconceptions we have about Procrastination the thing is that procrastination is not just delaying or putting things or tasks off for some time but it is actually the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks and giving them more preference over the more urgent ones or, as rightly put in other words, doing more pleasurable things instead of less pleasurable ones that you must have to do otherwise but are avoiding till the very last moment.
Now Psychology Biggies have stated that we sometimes instinctively seek pleasure and avoid pain in order to satisfy biological and psychological needs. In layman’s language, one prefers to avoid negative emotions and delay the tasks that might lead or create stress and are down right unpleasant.
The things people usually put off often tend to be the ones that they consider boring, hard, time-consuming, or maybe they lack any meaning to a specific person or sometimes we even worry that the results won’t be perfect.
Little do we realize that the avoided thing still hangs over you, causing guilt and stress.
Actually, on the other hand, putting off an UNimportant task for last is not procrastinating really. So, by that we can easily conclude that in order to fight the habit of procrastination, one must recognize first what procrastination is really instead of relying on our faulty definitions of it.
So, to break it down for you – procrastination is – sitting down to start a high priority task, and almost immediately going off to make a cup of coffee/tea or leaving an item on your To Do list untouched for a long time, even though you know it’s important or regularly doing other uninportant tasks that come your way or people ask you to do, and filling your time with these instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list.The most common one by far is waiting for the “right mood” or the “right time” to tackle the important task at hand.
Oh well, if you have been at any of these or even close, you know you have got the Procrastination Itch too, now, how to deal with it?
Start out by knowing the reasons behind.
Why you procrastinate can depend on both you and the task. But it’s important to understand which of the two is relevant in a given situation, so that you can select the best approach for overcoming your reluctance to get going on with the task.
One of the firsts that tops the list is Stress.
When you feel stressed, or worried, it’s hard to work productively. In certain situations procrastination works as a coping mechanism to keep your stress levels under the control but now for any good (just to clear out).
A wise solution to conquer this weakness as we might put it to be is to reduce the amount of stress in your life when possible, such that you can spend more time working because you want to, not because you have to.
Next would definitely be Laziness.
Often we procrastinate because we feel too physically and emotionally drained to work. Now, we all must have heard about the term Inertia, right? Once you fall into this pattern, quite aptly as one might state – an object at rest tends to remain at rest. When you feel lazy, even simple tasks seem like too much work because your energy is too low compared to the energy required by the task.
Am I right or Am I right?
Other reasons can very well range from lack of motivation on your or other end or lack of discipline or lack of knowledge of time management tactics etc.
Thankfully, there are ways you can prevent it or keep it under control.
Techniques to face Procrastination Head On.
Now don’t expect to get rid of this habit overnight but for sure the following points can help you keep a check on it!
Timely rewards. A popular tactic.
Now for this all you have got to do is set simple goals for the day and set rewards for yourself that you can give yourself once you are done with any of the task like, maybe, treating yourself with a cookie or chocolate or listening to your favorite song or cuddling with your pet? You can go notches higher considering the importance or scale of your task, for example, if it’s a big office assignment that matters, you might just as well gift yourself an outing to a place you love to visit!
Peer Pressure the Positive Way
Now, most of the otherwise negative things can be turned to work out as extreme positive, an instant example would be –Peer Pressure. How about asking someone to keep tab on you and your progress on your important work?
Realize before it gets too late the unpleasant outcomes of not doing the task or doing the task in an improper way at the last moment.
Other helpful measures that you can take for the same is to start maintaining a prioritized Things To Do List, marking it with labels like ‘Urgent’, ‘Important’, ‘Not Urgent’ and ‘Not Important’! It works magic!
Most importantly, focus only on a single task at a time (since, taking up even that single important task cost you work against procrastination you certainly can not afford to do multiple tasks at a time till you let go of Procrastination completely)