A Little More On Procrastination

I’ve spoken about being a major procrastinator many times, but it’s time to go a little deeper into it and learn more. (If you’re a procrastinator like me and you’re reading this, chances are you’re procrastinating something right now, think about what it is.)

What does it mean to be a procrastinator?

To procrastinate means to delay something that needs to be done as soon as possible and actively finding ‘better’ things to do rather than doing the things that need to be done.
It’s knowing fully well, the consequences of delaying something yet doing it only to face trouble at the end – be it by rushing through work or a project or having to listen to long lectures from seniors.

Procrastinators are these exact people!
We tend to put everything till the very last moment knowing fully well the negative outcomes of it yet focusing our attention towards things that are less attention demanding and something that can distance us from the work that needs to be done in the present.
Procrastinators tend to have a much more optimistic idea of time and tend to push everything for later thinking they’ll ‘manage’ everything just fine. (Which is mostly just putting their luck to the test)

But then why is it that people tend to procrastinate?

(According to so many different sources)

It is commonly said that procrastinators only procrastinate to distract themselves from their fears of failure or inability to commit themselves to a particular work or continuously do it for a long span of time.
They tend to procrastinate only to have more control over their emotions.

According to some studies, procrastinators don’t really have control over their habit of procrastination, for them it is a response behaviour towards extreme authoritarian lifestyle one has had in the past or even in the present.

According to some other studies, procrastinators procrastinate because they tend to prefer the “now” and value how they spend it instead of planning or worrying about the future.
They prefer having fun and enjoying the present rather than waiting for it in the future.

Some studies also claim that most of the procrastination done by the average person is unconscious and can probably be avoided if people simply focus more on their everyday life and be more organized.

There is also the final group of people that think the people who procrastinate do so because they lack the motivation to actually work and are unaware of the powers of their own emotions – of the present and the future and the role these emotions can play in getting the motivation they need for getting things done.

But what is the actual reason for procrastination? Why is it that we feel so much better just pushing things to the side and instead focusing our attention to less important, more fun tasks?
The answer to this could be absolutely anything – it would differ from individual to individual, you will just have to look within yourself for this one.

Now if you do actually realise how or more importantly why you procrastinate – is there any way to stop procrastinating?
In the most honest way – no, there isn’t something you can do that will magically change you from master level procrastinator to the diligent, hardworking, good child.

You can’t change yourself just magically, but there are some things you could do to make procrastination better for yourself.

How to use procrastination better?

-> The first and maybe most important thing is to embrace procrastination as a part of yourself. Know that you can’t change everything about yourself, so instead of finding ways to change it and look for ways that you can be yourself and still get work done while being happy.

-> The most difficult step is putting aside distractions and getting to work. It’s really easy to say “Just do it” but real life application of that is a lot more difficult.
A few steps to consider before saying “Just do it” are
1) make a to do list – preferably with more easier tasks at first and the tasks getting progressively difficult.
2) making a mental (or physical) note of each thing you have to do and alloting time to it based on how long it will take you to do that specific task, and if you can, allot yourself some extra time just incase.
3) use deadlines to your advantage – while alloting yourself time to work on something keep the deadline in mind and allot yourself a timeline which ends earlier.
4) create “punishments” for yourself for work not done (no, don’t go beating yourself with a lamp like Dobby), make the punishments something that will test your self control, for example, something like no sugar for a whole week or not going on social media for a week.
5) control the distractions around you – as much as possible. It isn’t easy to turn everything off and live like a monk, and it probably isn’t the most wise thing for many people, but try to limit the distractions around you and try to hold yourself accountable for the things around you.

-> When setting up to get into the work zone know that it takes time to get into the rhythm of work and different types of tasks tend to have a different rhythm to it. So when you place work for yourself, try to group out similar tasks together to stay within the similar rhythm and not having to switch your mind from one type to another type of task.

-> When you get into the “Just do it” mindset, remember that it won’t necessarily last for hours. So whenever possible try to write down all the things you need to get done and the possibile steps to do it and the things to keep in mind – this will be your blueprint.
So the next time you feel even the smallest bit of energy, pass a glance at this blueprint and that will give you the idea and motivation to finish the task at hand.

-> Speaking of motivation – know that simply having an idea in your mind or a goal ahead of you won’t always motivate you to stop slacking and start working. Sure, it does help to have a visual idea of what you’re working towards, but sometimes feeling instead of simply seeing can be more help.

-> Lastly, learn that overcoming procrastination and using your bad habits for your own advantage will take some time and a lot of effort and relapsing back can be completely normal but you need to be able to overcome those hurdles and not fall back.

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