If we tend to put things off, we may have wondered, “Why do I procrastinate so much?” alternatively, “Why do I continue to put off doing what I know is best for me?”
The answers to these questions are critical if we want to learn how to overcome procrastination.
What Is Procrastination?
Procrastination is delaying tasks till the last minute or past their deadline. Some studies describe procrastination as “irrational postponing of work despite negative consequences.”
Procrastination can harm our careers, our education, and our own life.
What Is The Main Cause Of Procrastination?
Procrastination isn’t just an issue of willpower, as many believe.
When deciding or completing a task, we rely on self-control. Our motivation, which is founded on the expectation of a reward, can boost our self-control and help us complete tasks on time.
Other demotivating things can make us more likely to procrastinate. Anxiety, fear of failure, and other negative emotions can cause unnecessary delays, as can an unpleasant task.
Some variables impair our self-control and motivation, making us prone to procrastination. Exhaustion from working all day can make it harder to exercise self-control late at night. A significant gap between finishing a task and receiving the reward can induce us to depreciate its value, reducing its motivational value.
If our self-control and motivation overcome demotivating forces, we can complete our tasks on time. When negative reasons overwhelm our self-control and motivation, we procrastinate, putting off our tasks indefinitely or until the balance shifts.
Overall, we procrastinate because our self-control and motivation are overshadowed by anxiety and dread of failure.
This causes us to fail to self-control our behavior, which means we postpone things unnecessarily, even when we know we shouldn’t. Procrastination often leads to a gap between how we intend to act and how we really act.
10 Tips To Stop Procrastinating
1. Recognize That We’re Procrastinating
Overcoming procrastination must be led by recognizing it.
We may have to reprioritize our workload, delaying a task. We’re not procrastinating if we delay an important task for a legitimate reason. However, we usually are if we put things off or change the emphasis to avoid doing something.
Filling our time with unimportant tasks other people expect us to accomplish is procrastination.
2. Break Tasks Down Into Small Chunks
Taking things step-by-step will help us not get overwhelmed. Thinking about finishing an essay or a week’s worth of activities can be intimidating. Break all we have to do into small pieces. We can start with a crumb and build up.
Creating a list of our “No Matter Whats” and “Essentials” will help us manage our tasks.
3. Manage Our Energy, Not Our Time
It’s only time that we must manage; we must also manage our energy levels.
Even with discipline, we’ll have productive and unproductive days. We also have peak and less productive hours.
4. Finish Our Day Before It Start
This is a continuation of where tip #2 left off.
We must take a few minutes to plan to avoid future procrastination. Instead of hastily figuring out what to accomplish, we should plan the next day at the end of each day.
We must make a to-do list of tomorrow’s tasks. Make one column for important tasks, like a big task, and another for non-negotiables, like exercise, meditation, and time spent with family.
5. Change Our Environment
Different environments affect productivity differently. Do our workspace and room make us sleepy or productive?
Sometimes, an inspiring atmosphere may lose its spark over time, so we should keep up with changing things a bit every once in a while.
If we can’t work in a loud space, find a quiet place to let our inspiration flow. This alone can help us beat procrastination.
6. Give Ourselves Some Pep Talk
Self-talk helps us stay focused and calm. Positive self-talk can help us achieve our goals or give us more motivation to continue working towards them.
7. Set Time-Bound Goals
Setting deadlines keep us on track to achieve our goals and eliminates procrastinating.
This requires some time management techniques. We must give ourselves enough time for each work, so we’re not rushed or lazy.
Self-imposed deadlines are helpful when we have no clear target date or external deadline. Lack of a deadline can cause us to procrastinate if our goals are tied to personal development, such as starting a business or losing weight.
8. Establish A Routine
A daily, weekly, or monthly regimen can help overcome procrastination.
We can complete creative work in the morning before checking our emails or social media to start our day productively and with a clear head.
Various people will have different routines based on their daily production cycles. Setting a pattern is especially vital if we have an inconsistent sleep cycle, leading to procrastination.
9. Reward Ourselves For Our Accomplishments
People procrastinate because long-term rewards are less tempting than short-term rewards. Associating short-term rewards with long-term benefits helps lessen procrastination.
We can make our accomplishments more rewarding by writing down every activity we finish during the day and reviewing them at night.
We can reward ourselves for starting, finishing, or working on a task. Rewards should be substantial enough to allow growth yet accessible enough to motivate in the short term.
10. Stop Over-Complicating Things
Waiting for the right moment? Or keep on searching for reasons we shouldn’t just do it?
There’s never a perfect time to get things done. Waiting for one will only hinder our progress. Perfectionism is a leading cause of procrastination.
When addressing procrastination, let’s not be too hard on ourselves. We’re human; therefore, we enjoy stewing in our own unfinished labor.
We must work hard to get out of it and continue working on it.
Let’s not be so hard on ourselves about task scheduling, and we won’t procrastinate as much.