You are not alone if you, too, put off your assignments until the last minute, even after being aware of their negative consequences. Procrastination affects 15-20% of adults, with around 80 to 90% of college students claiming themselves as procrastinators.
The primary reason for procrastination is a problem with emotional control because we put off those things that will make us feel bored, anxious, afraid, or frustrated. Unfortunately, procrastinating does not help avoid those unpleasant feelings; it results in long-term misery when the delayed outcomes become apparent later. This article will discuss some of the best and easy strategies for Overcoming Procrastination.
What is Procrastination?
Cambridge Dictionary defines Procrastination as “the act of delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring.” It is described as a “form of self-regulation failure characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially harmful consequences” by some researchers.
In addition to harming your performance, procrastination harms your reputation and increases stress and anxiety. Procrastinators frequently struggle with time management, which makes things much more uncomfortable. Many people associate procrastination with being lazy, but this is not true. Even highly motivated and organized people occasionally suffer from procrastination.
Procrastination is a serious problem that can have detrimental effects. As far as humans are concerned, we all put things off, even when we know that doing so could have adverse consequences.
Examples of procrastination include putting off assignments until the deadline or cleaning up your room because you don’t feel like it right now. In this post, we’ll talk about why we put tasks off and why it happens, and we will learn some valuable strategies to overcome procrastination.
Why do we Procrastinate?
There is not any universal reason behind procrastination. It is correlated with mental health conditions and personality roles, which varies individual to individual. Sometimes, someone’s circumstances result in being demotivated, leading to procrastination.
There is not any universal cause for procrastination. It is associated with personality traits and mental health issues, which vary from person to person. Sometimes a person’s circumstances cause them to lose motivation, which causes them to put things off.
Sometimes the reason behind procrastination is ‘fear.’ Behavioral psychology demonstrates the phenomena of “time inconsistency,” which drives us toward procrastination. According to the definition of time inconsistency, this is the “tendency of the human brain to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards.
“Thinking about your present and future selves will help you comprehend this the best. When creating goals for the future self, you value long-term benefits or rewards; contrarily, when making decisions for the present self, an instant payoff is more worthy. Overcoming procrastination is crucial for your success.
Procrastination is a major barrier to meeting our desired goals, especially if the task is less pleasant or less appealing. The following list suggests some reasons why we choose to put off things rather than doing them:
- Having indecisive goals
- Being overwhelmed
- Inability to concentrate
- Facing personal issues
- Being bored too easily
- Setting unrealistic goals
- Being fearful of failure
- Making excuses to avoid work
Researchers have shown that developing a schedule, carefully planning tasks, and improving time management skills are all effective strategies to overcome procrastination.
Types of Procrastinators:
Most researchers distinguish between two types of procrastinators given below:
These people put things off because they struggle to make wise decisions and follow through on those decisions.
Delay the assignment on purpose so they will “feel challenged and more motivated” when working under pressure.
Tips for Overcoming Procrastination
There are many behavioral strategies for overcoming procrastination, which help you stay motivated, focus on tasks and help you achieve your goals.
These tips include:
Step 1: Recognize that you’re Procrastinating:
Some individuals postpone tasks because they need to reorder their to-do lists. Therefore, if someone briefly delays a crucial activity for a valid cause, they are not procrastinating; nevertheless, if they start delaying things frequently only to avoid the task, they are probably a victim of procrastination.
To fix a problem, you must first comprehend what it is. Therefore, to break the habit of procrastinating, you need first to consider the causes of your procrastination, the ideas that trigger it, and the effects of procrastination on your life. Similar to other issues, understanding and self-awareness can aid in overcoming procrastination.
You may be procrastinating if you:
- If you avoid a task because you find it uninteresting or unpleasant!
- Put off undertaking a task until you’re in the “right state of mind” or the “right moment.”
- Start an activity that is of the utmost importance, and then go off making coffee.
- Start the day with low-priority duties.
- Go through emails multiple times without deciding what to do with them.
- Instead of working on the critical chores on your list, you spend time doing unimportant tasks that other people urge you to.
- Maybe you question your skills and worry about failing.
- If you can’t make the right choices, you put things off to avoid making mistakes.
- Abuse of social media causes deviation.
- Research suggests some people procrastinate because of some serious health issues they are facing. For example, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression are linked to procrastination.
Step 3: Use Strategies for Overcoming Procrastinating
It would help if you practiced some strategies to give yourself the best chance for overcoming procrastination because it’s a deeply ingrained behavior.
a) Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past:
Self-forgiveness will not only help you in overcoming procrastination but also help you become more organized and committed to future goals.
b) Design a to-do list:
Make a plan or to-do list of the things you firmly resolve to complete, and stick to it no matter what. This will assist you in staying motivated, on track, and avoiding becoming worn out by demanding tasks. By doing this, you will gradually regain your confidence and finish the assignment successfully.
c) Set Goals:
Focus on the things you are interested in finishing, not the ones you want to put off. Setting achievement goals for yourself will help you focus on getting things done effectively.
d) Take baby steps:
It’s a good idea to break down the items on your to-do list into more minor, easier-to-accomplish activities to appear manageable.
e) Recognize the warning signs:
Try your hardest to resist that urge to procrastinate if anything triggers it. Force yourself to eliminate such impulses to procrastinate and focus on tasks.
f) Change your Outlook:
Modify the way you think. Look for appealing aspects and concentrate on the benefits of completing a project that goes beyond grades. Notice how you are thinking and your inner dialogues. Talk to yourself in ways that help you stay focused on your objectives.
Be careful and wise while choosing your workplace teammates. Stay in an encouraging environment where everyone pushes you to learn more instead of criticizing you for your mistakes. Engaging in useless activities repeatedly, such as “studying” in bed, at a coffee shop, or with friends, can be a form of procrastination and an attempt to avoid work.
h) Eliminate distraction:
Find the reason for distraction, whether it’s Instagram or Facebook updates or some online games, and ignore them.
i) Pat yourself on the back:
Every time you accomplish a goal, congratulate yourself and reward yourself with a treat or engage in other enjoyable activities you adore.
j) Design a flexible schedule:
Design a schedule that is predominantly flexible and only includes what is essential. This might lessen overwhelming feelings and boost your sense of accomplishment.
k) Ask someone to check up on you:
Peer pressure is adequate! The idea behind self-help groups is this. If you don’t have anyone to contact, an online tool such as Procraster can help you self-monitor. We frequently deceive ourselves about our ability to remember to hold on to a new habit. Visual cues serve as a reminder and motivation to progress in changing a behavior.
When your surroundings accurately push you, it is much easier to maintain healthy behaviors. Having a visual cue—like a calendar that tracks your progress—avoids that problem because it is a built-in measuring system. You can evaluate your progress with just one glance at your calendar.
- Aim to get those tasks that you find least pleasant out of the way early. This will give you the rest of the day to concentrate on work that you find more enjoyable.
- Another way to make a task more enjoyable is to identify the unpleasant consequences of avoiding it. So give it a try! Ultimately, you may find it’s not as bad as you imagined!
In this era of technology and revolution, where unlimited things around us provide recreation and amusing distractions, procrastinating is becoming widespread. It’s difficult to kick the procrastinating habit. Nevertheless, if it were easy, procrastination among students would not be high, estimated at around 80% to 95% of students.
Although procrastination is a hard nut to crack and is not something we can solve fast, several highly effective strategies can help you overcome the issue. By implementing those strategies, you can overcome procrastination and concentrate on reaching your goals without being distracted by unwanted distractions.