It’s almost five in the afternoon on a Friday. And yet instead of preparing for a night out with your friends, you are all too focused on completing a task before the clock strikes five. You are furious about the fact that you put off doing the task all too often. You are quietly cursing yourself for being too lazy to get it done and realize its time to deal deal with procrastination.
What could you have done wrong? What were you thinking putting a huge task like this off?
Why do you find yourself in this position?
You know you are guilty about reading the emails about the task with directions on what needs to be done. The guilt about choosing to check your social media accounts instead of working on the plan on how it gets the job done. You took extra minutes on those coffee breaks and then made an excuse that you needed all the extra time to think. You worked on other tasks that you could have waited until next week because they were not the most urgent.
This narrative definitely sounds familiar. If it is your story then do not fret because you are not alone with this problem. The story of your life is what defines procrastination. It is practically the trap that many people fall into. In fact, a study reveals that almost 95% of people procrastinate whenever they find the chance to do it. While it may be comforting to know that you are not alone with this problem, the thought of it holding you back can be very sad. Is it possible to manage procrastination? Is there anything you can do about it?
Are You Just Being Lazy?
Most of the time, when people are asked why they have chosen to put off some tasks, they couldn’t explain it. But when their colleagues and friends were asked about it, laziness, they say, is the reason why.
Procrastination is often related to the idea of laziness. But there is a huge difference between the two. Laziness is when a person chooses not to do anything at all. Procrastination, on the other hand, is the active process of choosing to do something else instead of dealing with the most urgent. Laziness is all about inactivity and the unwillingness to accomplish anything.
Procrastination is all about ignoring the unpleasant aspects of a task, even though the person has knowledge that doing the task is the most important thing at the moment. They favor the task that is much easier and more convenient at the time.
However, giving in to the urge to only do what is easy comes with major consequences. For example, people deal with feelings of guilt even though they have only procrastinated on something simple or easy. Such feelings could lead to reduced levels of productivity. Sadly procrastination could lead people to miss out on their goals.
When procrastination is done over a long period of time, it can lead people to become delusional. They no longer have an idea what needs to be done and they choose to tell themselves that the task at hand is not as important. Such thoughts could lead to depression and in an extreme case the loss of a job.
How Do You Deal With Procrastination?
As with all the other bad habits that you may have, procrastination is something you can break. When you follow these simple tips, you can make anything happen:
Tip 1: Admit to the procrastination.
You have decided to put off the task. You know that it is an important task, but you still chose to reorganize your workload. If you are only doing it for a brief moment to take care of something more urgent, then that’s not procrastination. However, if you are putting things off indefinitely, then it should be already a cause for worry.
It is important that you recognize that what you are doing is procrastination, it is only then that you can think of ways on how to avoid them. Watch out for the red flags. There are signs that you are procrastinating, so be brave enough to recognize that. It’s the only way you can deal with it accordingly.
Tip 2: Find out why you need to Deal With Procrastination
Right after you realize that you are procrastinating, it is important that you get to the bottom of it. Why are you doing it? Why are you putting off a particular task? Do you find it boring or unpleasant? If you do, make sure to deal with it accordingly, so you can move on and get the job done.
Are you putting it off because it is not in your to-do list? The lack of organization could lead people to procrastinate. Maybe you need to look into how you plan your day ahead. A to-do list can help you get everything in place, prioritized like they should be. Use tools to get your schedule fixed or your to-do list done.
Sometimes, people fear failure as much as they fear success. They feel that if they get successful at doing something, others would see that as a strength. It might make them ask you to do more.
If you are procrastinating because you don’t know what to do first, then stop and take a moment. Instead of putting off taking action, it is best to look into what needs to be done and just do it.
Step 3: Put an anti-procrastination action plan in place
Procrastination is one of those bad habits you want to get rid of, but you can’t do it overnight. You have to be prepared for the fact that it might take some time. Remember that the goal is to stop the habit, so make sure you keep yourself from doing it. Try as many strategies as you can. When it comes to putting an end to procrastination, you have to be open to trying many things. Some of them could work wonders for you while there are others that will only teach you a lesson. Instead of blaming yourself, here are a few things you can try to help you stop from procrastinating:
- Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past.
- Commit yourself to completing a task
- Give yourself a reward for completing a task
- Make a commitment to someone about the tasks you need to complete.
- Keep the distractions to a minimum.
All these could help you overcome procrastination. You will still feel the urge to put off things, but you will have a different approach to it. You will not give in, but instead will work on getting things done.
What’s Your Takeaway on How to Deal With Procrastination?
Whenever it seems as if putting off a task is easier than getting it done, remember to focus on your goal. The decision to work on the task, no matter how scary or difficult it may be, is one of the things you should applaud yourself for.
Procrastination is a problem that you have to deal with. Unless you are willing to change, you will deal with it every single day of your life. Is that what you want?