Practical Approach for overcoming Procrastination.
13 ways to crawl out of the rabbit-hole of procrastination.
Procrastination is an almost paralyzing, all-consuming trait that can ruin initiatives, demoralize teams, and jeopardize careers. That horrible feeling of immobility has afflicted people at all levels and in many fields, and it never goes away completely. We can use productivity strategies to combat procrastination, but we need a more comprehensive remedy for the deeper feelings of indifference and resistance.
There are two categories of procrastinators. Active procrastinators put off their commitments in order to work with the adrenaline that comes with an approaching deadline, whereas passive procrastinators are more avoidant, crippled by doubt and indecision. Both the categories have the potential to be extremely effective.
• Passive procrastination. Passive procrastinators can easily keep themselves occupied by avoiding critical activities, according to Perry, by doing less important tasks that are vital.
• Active procrastination has its own set of problems, such as increased stress, a need for external pressure, and the potential for self-sabotage, but the sense of urgency it creates can be a powerful motivator. With the use of false deadlines, procrastination can also be used to one’s benefit.
Work, chores, studies, or anything else we don’t feel like doing right now are all activities that encourage procrastination. Surfing the Internet, watching television, sorting our pencils, talking on the phone, or napping are all options for procrastination. Dilly-dallying and shillyshally are excellent synonyms for this word.
You’re not alone if you’ve repeatedly put off crucial activities. Many individuals, in fact, procrastinate to some extent. The key to breaking this unpleasant habit is to notice when you procrastinate, understand why it happens, and take proactive efforts to better manage your time. In a word, procrastination occurs when you delay doing something that you should do right now.
How to Overcome Procrastination:
Step 1. Recognize that you are procrastinating.
If you’re being completely honest with yourself, you’ll know when you’re procrastinating. Here are some helpful clues to assist you to recognize when you’re procrastinating:
1. Spending your time on low-priority things from your To-Do List.
2. Reading e-mails multiple times without determining what to do with them or beginning work on them.
3. Sitting down to begin a high-priority task and then disappearing to prepare a cup of coffee nearly immediately.
4. Ignoring a task on your To-Do list that you know is important for a long time.
5. Saying “Yes” to insignificant things that other people ask you to undertake regularly, rather than completing the critical tasks already on your to-do list.
6. Waiting for the “right mood” or “perfect time” to take on a significant activity.
Step 2: Implement Anti-Procrastination Techniques
Procrastination is a behavior pattern — a deeply rooted habit. You cannot break it overnight. Use as many techniques as possible to enhance your chances of fighting procrastination. Habits only stop being habits when you stop exercising them consistently. Some suggestions will work better for some persons and for certain projects than others. Sometimes all you need is a new perspective to overcome procrastination.
These general pointers will assist you in getting moving:
1. Create your own incentives. For example, if you finish an assignment, reward yourself with a nice flapjack at noon. Also, remember to appreciate how satisfying it is to complete tasks!
2. Have someone else monitor you. Peer pressure is effective! Slimming and other self-help organizations operate on this concept, and it is universally recognized as a highly effective strategy.
3. Determine the negative repercussions of failing to complete the assignment.
4. Calculate how much your time is worth to your employer. Your employers are paying you to do the things they believe are important, so if you aren’t doing them, you aren’t delivering value for money. Embarrass yourself into getting started!
5. Every day, try to accomplish the most uncomfortable task first thing!
Remember: the more time you can go without procrastinating, the better your chances of permanently breaking this damaging habit!
Why do we procrastinate?
Temporal discounting, which sounds terrifying but is actually very simple to comprehend, is one of the most important elements contributing to procrastination. We have a propensity to choose tiny short-term gains above greater rewards later for chores that will win you a clear reward. Sure, filing your taxes early may save you time and possibly even money, but that’s a long way off, and right now, our brains are much more susceptible to the reward of watching idiotic YouTube videos. Temporal discounting also influenced impulsive behavior.
We can categorize the main reasons we procrastinate into 5 distinct root causes:
1. Obsession over Perfection: People procrastinate because they want things to be perfect, not what they actually are. For perfectionists, it’s safer to adhere to the set goals on paper, besides their words, but never make it a reality. There is no perfect time or circumstance better than what you have right now.
2. Fear of the unknown: We’re all hard-wired to fear the unknown. Avoiding and fleeing from uncertainty is the best self-defense mechanism humans have ever developed.
3. Lack of Motivation: The next cause of procrastination is that we just don’t feel like doing what we should do. How you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally can affect your level of motivation. Learn how to motivate yourself even when your motivation is low by clicking here.
4. Distractions: Social Scientist Herbert Simon explains how to create a distraction-free environment. He says the key is to focus on something that doesn’t consume your attention. He quotes, “If you want to get away from distractions, find a new way of doing it.”
5. Resistance: The ultimate cause of procrastination lies in the task itself: you just don’t feel like doing it. The first key is that you don’t need to do them all yourself delegating and automation can be a two-minute hack. You can schedule tasks, schedule them in advance, and implement the two-minute hack to get them done.
It is important to replace the bad routine with a good one, which will lead to greater productivity in life. As the cue, the Running shoe takes you to the routine of running that you’ve developed. Running leads to the reward of a sense of accomplishment when you’ve finished your run.
Other than strategic procrastination, there is nothing good about generic procrastination. And as suggested in the blog title, here are some ways to beat procrastination.
1. Timetable — Create a timetable for your day — hour by hour to know what you’re going to do in each hour and how much work is possible in the time available. Remember to be flexible with your schedule, because you cannot control everything that happens to you.
2. Plan ahead — Plan ahead the next time you feel the urge to give up, try to remember why you got started. Without commitment, even the best-laid plans are worthless. If plans don’t immediately devolve into hard work, they’re only good intentions, according to Peter Drucker.
3. Establish realistic goals — Do not try to accomplish in one hour what would normally take you or anyone else three hours. Having too high of a goal can discourage you quickly.
4. Have a daily checklist- Keep a daily to-do list that goes beyond the normal routine tasks you are expected to complete. As you complete them, mark them off on your list. Discovering how much you can accomplish in a single 24-hour period may jolt you into action.
5. Start rewarding and punishing yourself. Engage in a pleasurable activity For those who cannot complete their tasks on time because of a lack of effort, punish yourself. Refrain from doing something you enjoy.
6. Be disciplined. With self-discipline. As a “chronic” procrastinator, this will take a lot of time and effort on your part. You can start small by getting up early and working out, eating well, and going to bed when you need to go to bed. Every day, make sure that you work on improving yourself. Each task is an opportunity to improve your discipline.
7. Break down the hard projects into smaller chunks. This way, the completion of the individual chunk of work will be enough to source the motivation for you to complete the daunting task easier than perceived.
8. Communicate effectively, early, and often. Sometimes, just by exchanging updates and ideas, it also opens up newer ways to complete the task at hand, creates an opportunity for work delegation and automation.
9. Publish a deadline: Procrastination can be cured if you share your plans with other people. In case others are involved in this process, it lends some heft to your commitment, since failing to deliver will embarrass us and no one signed up for that, naturally.
10. Don’t isolate yourself. Working in isolation creates a bubble of anonymity that can add to your tendencies to keep things on the back burner. Interact, exchange ideas, and ask for feedback and suggestions. You might come up with a fantastic idea of what might change the way a task is to be completed.
11. Kill distractions. Make it known to your friends and family that you’re running late for something very important (or whatever amount of time you can handle, but start with a reasonable amount). If you ask them, they will understand. Time to manage your distractions. Remove any apps that send you notifications, as they can distract you and steal your attention. Turn off the music and the television. It’s time to go home.
12. Stay Calm and focused. Minutes of mindfulness meditation will help you focus better. There are a lot of apps available these days that help you access free guided meditations.
13. Set reminders. If you haven’t been keeping up with your schedule, set an hourly alarm on your phone and a reminder on your phone to check. It may seem difficult, but even if it is only 15 minutes a day, commit to it. Your planned time chunk should be extended slowly. Keep reminding yourself that it’s possible.
There are a lot of ways to stop procrastination, but all of this will be useless unless you understand why you are putting in the work in the first place. For anyone, no productivity tips would help unless we have an emotional and psychological attachment to what we are doing. Hence, the best way to get started is to start a 5-second countdown, giving enough time for your mind to be made up but too little to change your mind from doing it and then physically start doing that you have sworn to complete. Just do it anyway, because probably no one else will.
~ Deepansh Pratap