Procrastination is the act of postponing delaying or putting aside something, mostly habitually or intentionally.
In other words, it is deciding not to do something when you are supposed to, deciding to delay or postpone it till some other time, which some might call “the right time”, which might never come.
Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into. In fact, 95% of us procrastinate to some degree. While it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone, it can also be grievous to realize just how much it can hold you back.
And also procrastination is of different forms:
According to my own research, Hehe… I feel like some kind of professor saying that, I found that there are 2 types of procrastination:
- Limited Procrastination, and
- Unlimited Procrastination.
Limited Procrastination is the type that your task at hand has a deadline, so you find a way and manage to complete your task at the last minute. For example you’re given homework in school and you decide not to do it at home until you come to school the following day. The question now is, what stopped you from doing it at home? Was it because you wanted to watch TV, or maybe your friends came over.
The whole thing is you were given a time frame for the task but you decided to constrict your time and rush it.
So for the second one, Unlimited Procrastination which is the most dangerous
And sometimes procrastination is often confused with laziness, but they are very different.
Procrastination is an active process, (you choose to do something else instead of the task that you know you should be doing). In contrast, laziness suggests apathy, inactiveness and an unwillingness to act.
Procrastination usually involves ignoring an unpleasant, but likely more important task, in favor of one that is more enjoyable or easier.
But giving in to the feeling can have serious consequences. Even minor episodes of procrastination can make us feel guilty or ashamed. It can lead to reduced productivity and cause us to miss out on achieving our goals.
If we procrastinate over a long period of time, we can become demotivated and disillusioned with our work, which can lead to depression and even losing our jobs, in extreme cases.
6 REASONS WHY WE PROCRASTINATE
- Lack of Motivation: Motivation is the key to igniting any form of success. Lack of motivation might result in the loss of focus or even depression. It is also not the same as laziness when someone is lazy, they don’t want to work or perform any difficult task, even when they have the energy to do so.
- Absence of structure: The lack of imposed direction that’s become common in the workplace might contribute to the increase in procrastination. For example, you are supposed to do something but you don’t happen to have enough understanding of it or you have no idea what to do, you procrastinate.
- Unpleasant tasks: The most common of procrastination is a task that is considered difficult, it is then considered as boring, or not interesting.
- Perfectionism: Sometimes we tend to delay or postpone an activity maybe because we feel it’s not as good as we want it to be (or not perfect enough). We then push it up and claim to wait for the “perfect time” which might end up never coming.
- Fear of the Unknown: We often create scenarios in our minds of things that might happen if we try something. Most of the time, the thoughts tend to be negative if we’re trying something new, but also consider the positive side. A quick example will be: “You are thinking of quitting your job to pursue your dreams. You then begin having negative thoughts like, what if I lose my only source of income, what if I’m not able to take care of myself anymore. But also look at the bright side, you get to do something you’ve always dreamt of doing which might also be your new source of income and also lifestyle.” You never know until you take the first step.
- Distractions: In the current age, things like social media really takes a huge toll on us. We wander off the minute our buzz, and might never get the time to get back to what we were doing prior to that.
6 WAYS TO LIMIT/OVERCOME PROCRASTINATION
- FIND YOUR POWER HOUR
When do you do your best work? There really is such a thing as being either a morning, afternoon, or evening person. Find the hour that makes you feel at your very best, at your most optimal mode of functioning, and set aside the time to do your most urgent and demanding tasks then. The power hour could simply be one hour of intense focus and productivity.
- SET GOALS
If the first thing you do in the morning is to perform the most challenging task, then, any other tasks that follows for the day will seem less distressing. Do the task you find most demanding, or most likely to have you procrastinating over it. Knowing that you’ve confronted the most difficult task on your list not only takes you a step closer towards actually achieving your goal, but also gives you a nice motivational boost. And tasks might seem threatening when they are broad and vaguely-defined. Make your goals specific, and set a deadline for every task, that way they won’t be so broad.
- FLEX YOUR SCHEDULE
Make your schedules less rigid and restricting. Some days will be busier than others, but you don’t have to be bound to completing a list of a hundred things, just to be productive. Prioritize, and delegate when necessary. A rigid and inflexible schedule not only tempts you to procrastinate, it also makes your daily plans seem more overwhelming.
I think I’ll just check the news, or my Facebook feed for a bit. That brief lapse and redirection of your attention could very well stretch out into another full hour of non-productivity. Try limiting your distractions and that includes people who draw your attention away from the task at hand. Disconnect from the Internet, put your phone on silent, and tell others you are not to be disturbed during this time. Your brain will look for reasons to pull away from that important and demanding task; don’t give it an opportunity to do so.
- DON’T TRY TO BE PERFECT
Perfectionism is the partner-in-crime to procrastination. “I won’t start because it won’t be perfect until I say it is.” Wanting to do a good job is great, but striving for perfection rarely helps. Paralysis by analysis occurs when we absolutely must have every single instance of information before making decisions. Don’t waste all your valuable time, take a leap.
- DON’T PUNISH YOURSELF INSTEAD REWARD YOURSELF
We will still end up procrastinating on a few occasions. It happens sometimes to the best of us. Don’t punish yourself when you do, your responsibilities and demands are challenging enough. Cut yourself a little slack. Celebrate small victories for having completed your tasks. Let your brain know that you will reward it for focusing on and achieving a single goal.
You might still feel the urge to procrastinate one way or the other. If you do, ask yourself these questions:
- What am I afraid of?
- What could happen if I decide not to do it?
- What is the worst possible consequence that could happen?
- What will I gain in the long run by refusing to do this?
- How often do people actually die from doing this?
- Am I trying to convince myself of something that is not true?
- Am I scared of the process or the result?
- Why can’t I handle the outcome?
- Am I the first person to ever try this or would I be the last?
- Am I actually scared or was I just told this was scary?
You can take your time to think about it, but don’t take too much time. You’ll never know until you try so just take the first step, you have nothing to lose.
More strategies to help against procrastination.