Haven’t you ever found yourself in situations – where you’ve a lot to do within a deadline but instead of starting those, you keep doing something else? You know that you should be working for that project or studying for the upcoming exam, yet you are browsing the social media or binge-watching a Netflix series? Well, most of us have been there sometimes in our life! This is a common phenomenon known as Procrastination.
“Procrastination” is the act of delaying or postponing tasks unnecessarily. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off the important tasks until the last moment. Then when it’s too late to finish before time, we regret and panic why we didn’t start earlier! This is such a loop which is not that easy to break. That’s why people who procrastinate, find themselves doing it every time, even though last time they vowed never to repeat the same.
Some researchers have viewed procrastination largely as a failure of self-regulation. While some others say that procrastination is not about laziness or poor time management. The difference between lazy people and procrastinators is quite simple. Lazy people just don’t do anything while procrastinators have strong desires to do their work but get it hard to start and finish! There can be various reasons behind procrastination. According to which, procrastinators are divided into five categories.
1.The Dreamer : They enjoy making plans than taking actions. For which, they spend most of their time in planning than actually doing the work.
2.The Avoider : Most of them have confidence issues. They get scared to take on tasks as they think, they would do some mistake or mismanagement. So they rather put off task than be judged by others.
3.The Busy Procrastinator : This type of procrastinators are the fussy ones. They can’t prioritize their tasks and end up doing nothing.
4.The Perfectionist : These people pay too much attention to the minor details. That’s why they are afraid to start a task as they get stressed about getting every detail right.
5.The Last-minute Worker : They are the ones who deliberately push back work until the last minute! They don’t feel like working unless it’s the eleventh hour. To meet the deadlines, they rush everything.
Now that you’ve identified what type of procrastinator you are, it’s time to take some steps for stopping procrastination. Here are some tips that might be helpful to get over with this never-ending loop –
Big task to small chunks
While it feels good to dream about doing everything in a single-go, that becomes hard and exhausting in reality. That’s why we start procrastinating afterwards. If we just break the task in small pieces and set specific time for each, it’ll be more effective. In this way, one gets the winning vibe after finishing a chunk which motivates him for doing further.
First go, first do
The task which is more urgent, do it first! When there are different tasks with different deadlines, you should do the one which has got the shortest time left. Then what happens when different tasks have the same deadline? In that case, start with the hardest one!
Even when you’ve a lot to do in a shorter period, don’t skip taking breaks. Relaxation actually restores our lost energy and gives boost to our productivity. So take rest in every while.
If the plan is for a longer period, we usually find no motivation to do the task in that very moment. Because the result goes to our future-self always. This is why, it’s important to reward your present-self after completing each chunk of work!
Everyone has a peak-time and a down-time in a day. Find out the time for yourself and try to do more work in the peak hours. Monitor timing for every small chunk and try to finish them on time. You may take help of some apps like Pomodoro Timer, Toggl, HourStack etc.
Anything that interrupts your focus is a distraction. It might be the notification-beep of your phone or the scorching heat of that room or the people around you. Identify why you’re being distracted and try to get away from it.
Doing chitchat about ideas and goals works in both ways. After you reveal your goal to others, it becomes a challenge then which you must fulfill. Again knowing about others’ plans and works, will give you a push to do something.
Nevertheless after reading the whole article, you may find yourself procrastinating again. Don’t just lose hope. Grab a grip on yourself and try to overcome this old-bad practice day by day.