Procrastination is not a new concept, it happens to everyone from time to time. Are you yet to start, or complete that article, or blog post? When do you intend to start that team project, propose to that special one, or organize your kitchen, closet, and your garage?
Writing this post took me a while, so I am not left out. I will be sharing some tips I find helpful in overcoming procrastination.
What is procrastination?
The Cambridge dictionary defines Procrastination as, “the act of delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring.” In my opinion, contrary to the aforementioned definition, there are other factors responsible for procrastination. Let’s look at the cons
Consequences of procrastination
Some experts like Michal M. Schödl, Teaching, and Learning Center et al (March 8, 2018) believe that:
“People who procrastinate often pay a heavy price . . . illness, stress, and poor performance. Because procrastination has harmful consequences, we predicted that avoidance motivation, a self-regulation system that protects people from harm, would also protect them against procrastination.”
What is a self-regulation theory?
According to Wikipedia, self-regulation theory (SRT) is a system of conscious personal management that involves the process of guiding one’s own thoughts, behaviors, and feelings to reach one’s goals.
Signs of procrastination
The following shows a person procrastinates:
1. Often puts off tasks until the last minute;
2. Makes excuses why the task was not done or completed;
3. Blames others for not getting tasks done, i.e. team members, family, and friends;
4. Say to themselves, “I work best under pressure”; and
5. Do nothing, as the task is too difficult or intimidating.
Five ways to overcome procrastination
1. Be Honest with Yourself
If you fall in the aforementioned category, you can take baby steps today. I love writing on sticky notes, and pieces of paper and placing them in strategic areas of my space as reminders. It is my way of making myself accountable.
2. Evaluate yourself
Here’s how to evaluate yourself:
Take a piece of paper, draw a table;
write down the distractions stopping you from taking action, and write down the steps to take to kill inaction/distractions.
3. Your Alarm Clock and Timer are your friends
Set your alarm clock with a description of each task, and set your timer as you begin the task. This will keep you in check and condition you to stop distractions, and get the job done. Remember, you have already written a list of how to deal with possible distractions. Now it is time to apply measures and get results.
4. Break Tasks into Little Bits and Take Breaks
If you have the tendency to get bored, or if completing the task becomes challenging, you can face something else and later get back to the task at hand. Make sure you meet deadlines, it shows credibility. Take breaks to avoid burnout.
5. Discuss, Research, and Use Online Resources/Take Courses
Most times when a task is too difficult or intimidating, your answer is not far away. Get help from someone who is knowledgeable in a particular field, do your research online, or take courses.
6. Starting a project
If a project requires money, take baby steps, and see if you can start brainstorming on ways to raise the money or handle aspects of the project that are not capital intensive.
7. Talk to Someone or Seek Professional Help
I do not know about you but I find talking to someone you trust about your struggles is a great help. Always seek professional help from a counselor, or a therapist, or get mental Health wellness support.
In conclusion, nothing is written in stone so choose and do what works for you. The key is to take action right away, start from somewhere, and you would be amazed at what you achieve.
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“Procrastination” Web. July 12, 2022. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/procrastination
“Self-Regulation Theory” Web. July 12, 2022. https://en.m.wikipedia.org
Michal M. Schödl, Aharon Raz, Avraham N. Kluge (March 8, 2018): International Association of Applied Psychology: On the Positive Side of Avoidance Motivation: An Increase in Avoidance Motivation Reduces Procrastination among Students. https://doi.org/10.1111/apps.12147