Tips to Beat Procrastination


Your to-do list is growing larger, a pile of papers on your desk is not ready yet, the red light of deadlines is getting on your nerves… Welcome to the realm of procrastination!

Struggling with procrastination is a big problem; it creates a gap between intention and action, which may lead to high levels of stress and anxiety. Everyone puts things off until the last minute at one time or the other, but procrastinators chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions. However, is it the inability to manage time or the inability to regulate moods and emotions that creates the gap between intention and action?

It has long been believed that people who procrastinate have a faulty sense of time; they think they will have more time to get something done than they actually do. On the other hand, there is another suggestion that procrastination is linked to difficulty managing distress, which can lead to health problems and poorer performance, and can also hinder self-esteem with guilt and shame.

Why do people procrastinate?

1. You are not qualified: Self-doubt can be your biggest enemy; you may feel like the task is above your skill level, so you start creating excuses.

2. You do not know the next task: If you do not know what will happen after this step, you will procrastinate, because you are afraid of what comes next.

3. You do not have a schedule: If you plan to start the task when you have time or feel motivated, you will put it off longer and longer.

4. The task is uncomfortable: Many of the tasks we handle are challenging and not fun, and those are the ones we find most difficult.

How can you beat procrastination?

1. Stop exaggerating. One of the major reasons people procrastinate is because they make a huge deal out of something; it may be related to how tough or how boring it will be to complete the task. Break the big task into small ones and start right away.

2. Drop the perfectionism. Perfectionists are often procrastinators; it is psychologically more acceptable to never tackle a task than to face the possibility of falling short on performance. Instead of having an all-or-nothing mentality, focus on being better rather than perfect.

3. Focus on your “why”. Procrastinators focus more on short-term gains, avoiding the distress associated with the task, as opposed to long-term results, including the stress of not doing it, as well as the consequences of avoiding this task. Instead, try focusing on why you are doing this task and encourage yourself by anticipating feeling the sweetness of productivity.

4. Get rid of excuses. “I need to be in the mood,” or “I will wait until I have time,” are nothing but excuses. If you only procrastinate because the task is uncomfortable, schedule it first thing in the morning and start before you can object. Try to be the master of your mind and be honest with yourself.

Procrastination is not an epidemic or a plague; it is a quintessential breakdown of self-control and time management, which could be overcome with effort.


Cover photo source.

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