Equating the Habits of Procrastination: 5 Tips to Avoid or Reduce
What is Procrastination?
Procrastination is the action of delaying, avoiding or postponing doing a particular task that needs to complete or accomplished by a certain deadline. The Greek word “Akrasia” is procrastination which means lacking self-control. In simple words, it is when you are doing something else when you are expected to do more important work on priority.
What are the causes of Procrastination?
The 4 main causes of Procrastination are given below:
- Fear of Failure: When we feel fear of failure, naturally we succumb to procrastination. You try to delay the things you feel will be a total failure if you try.
- Excessive Perfectionist: When you are an exceptional perfectionist, you always find it difficult to take the necessary action as you are never satisfied with the end results.
- Low Energy Levels: When you are overloaded with so many things, then you will always feel low in energy. Which will drain you to an extent that you do not want to try out the work at hand?
- Lack of Focus: When you do not have a sense of direction or a goal to pursue then you will not be focusing on the work at hand and tend to delay the completion of the work.
Following are some tips to help you stop procrastinating:
Step 0 – Acknowledge that you are procrastinating:
To begin to fix delaying behavior, you first must admit that you are procrastinating. If you indefinitely are leaving things unfinished or purposely avoiding a task simply because you do not want to do it, then you are procrastinating. You may also be procrastinating if you are not completing particular tasks even if they are important, spend a lot of time only deciding what to do, and end up not starting with anything, wait to be in a good mood to do tasks.
Negate the procrastination triggers:
Find out why you are delaying a particular task. Find out if it is because the task is boring or not rewarding or difficult or frustrating. Now try to think about the task from a different perspective, the reverse way. Make the idea attractive, think about the reward, or what you will learn while doing it. Try to feel differently about the task. Instead of thinking of it as something you are forced to do, make a choice to do the task.
Increase your resistance:
When you save stuff for doing ‘when you have time’, it usually keeps getting delayed more and more. Make it a habit to mark a schedule for all your tasks. Make a to-do list or set calendar deadlines. Try to resist the immediate excuses that generally cause regret. Set up an encouraging environment for working. Minimize all distractions like phone calls and other notifications. Do not burden yourself to do perfectly. Ask someone to check up on you. The slight pressure of not having an answer that is good enough really helps you to try harder.
It is easier to keep going with something if you have somehow convinced yourself to begin with it. Because generally once you have started, you realize that the things that kept you from taking up the tasks were not worth it. Once you have started, you will want to put it away not before finishing it off. Researchers say that we worry more about incomplete tasks than the ones we are yet to begin. You will get work done faster if you just push yourself to start.
Promise yourself a reward:
Reward yourself with a treat to your favorite restaurant or watching a show or checking your phone or getting meals if and only if you complete a certain task. Use your distractions wisely, use them as rewards to motivate you to get things done. Make sure you recognize how nice it feels to complete tasks.
List the consequences of delaying:
Make a list of what procrastination might cost you – like your job, or it could cause stress, or affect your salary, or impact your health. We always try to convince ourselves that delaying has little to no cost which is generally false. It can have grave tangible effects. Consider these consequences, take them seriously, and understand why you should not put your tasks away for later.
There are two types of Procrastination mainly. They are
- Passive Procrastinators: They usually delay task because they cannot make decisions and take necessary action on time.
- Active Procrastinators: They usually delay the task purposefully because working under pressure motivates them and keeps them challenged.
So, no matter how organized you are, there will be a time when due to one of the four reasons mentioned above you may try to delay your work and get involved in procrastination.
The guidelines mentioned above can help you to reduce procrastination. But there could be many other reasons which could lead to procrastination which you have to sort out and that can be done with the help of the expert coach.