Procrastination is the act of putting off tasks or delaying your work until the very last minute or even past the deadline. Sounds familiar? It does to me, too!
There have been so many times that I find myself procrastinating and to be totally honest, I have spent more time wondering about my reasons for procrastination than actually using up that time to complete my tasks!
Let me elaborate on what I’ve figured out so far!
Why do we procrastinate?
- There is an interesting theory called the “Self-worth theory of Motivation” which tells us that Procrastination is directly connected with our “self-worth”. We often procrastinate, not because we hardly care or because we are too lazy, but the thought of trying a new task or putting in that extra effort and failing in the end, would make us feel quite uncomfortable. People would rather avoid a task altogether than risk the humiliation of getting it all wrong or making mistakes!
- The perfectionist approach ~ If you’re a perfectionist, you would relate that these kinds of people usually have a very high standard for themselves and want to excel at anything they put their foot in! There isn’t anything wrong with having high standards but with them come high expectations, which if not fulfilled might make us feel extremely rejected.
- Trouble Focusing ~ Psychologists have found a strong link between people who find it difficult to concentrate with procrastination. They usually have a hard time trying to pick up a task and when they do, they find it difficult to prioritise and plan and hence, procrastinate their way around..
So, how do we deal with procrastination!
- It is important to understand the reason why this happens! It’s not always about being lazy or a “spoiled brat”. Sometimes, there are different reasons why we end up delaying things. The best thing after releasing your specific reason would be to forgive yourself for procrastinating your way in the past! Acknowledging and owning up is literally half work done!
- Try to minimise distractions. If you have a project to complete, try prioritising and scheduling! Try to time yourself while using social media or hanging out with your peers and devoting only two hours in a day solely to your project! Over time and with consistency, you wouldn’t even realise, but you’d finish your project in a matter of days!
- Try to maintain a to-do list! The thing that helped me most was planning a to-do list every night before going to bed to prepare myself for the next day. It does wonders! Having a realistic to-do list can help you keep track of your work, achievements and also keep you prepared for the same.
- Rephrase your inner critic. Almost everything is possible BUT if you are not kinder to yourself, it wouldn’t get better! We all have a voice that talks from a place of fear, so try overcoming the inner critic by either using affirmations that you find effective or by just being kind to yourself and trusting the process, each and every day. Even though this is the hardest to deal with, remember that nothing is impossible
- Promise yourself a reward! As a child, my mother would give me a treat whenever I would complete my work on time and that made me work harder to stay consistent. Try to show up for yourself and treat yourself because small achievements are important too.
- Ask a close friend to check on you weekly. As we’re all aware, peer pressure and support for that matter from a close friend does wonders! This would definitely help you to be on your foot until you make it a habit.
Procrastination is quite common but it is also important to understand the root cause and work on it, as it would help you reach your goal and your fullest potential!
If you’ve reached this far, thanks for reading (and not procrastinating on it!). Yay!