The practice of delaying or postponing things until the very last minute or after their due date is known as procrastination. When people put off essential chores, they frequently give attention to smaller, more fun, less vital ones. Contrary to what many people think, procrastination is more than just being lazy or having bad time management skills. Telling someone to “just do it” doesn’t work when it comes to procrastination.
No matter how organized and dedicated you are, there’s a good chance you’ve wasted time on unimportant activities (such as watching TV or shopping online) when you should have been focusing on your work or other obligations.
Everyone delays things occasionally, but persistent avoiders of unpleasant activities may purposely seek distractions. Procrastination frequently indicates a person’s difficulties exercising self-control. The phrase “I don’t feel like it” often replaces one’s objectives or obligations for habitual procrastinators. This can lead to a downward spiral of unfavorable feelings that discourage future efforts.
Procrastination typically does not indicate a significant issue. Most people succumb to this prevalent temptation at some point or another. One of the main reasons why procrastination makes us feel so awful is self-awareness. When we put off completing a task, we are conscious of the fact that doing so is probably not a good idea. We still do it, though.
Procrastination is a means of dealing with difficult feelings and negative moods brought on by some jobs, including boredom, worry, insecurity, irritation, resentment, and more. It is not a special weakness in your personality or a strange curse on your capacity to manage time. The specifics of our aversion will vary depending on the activity or circumstance.
It might be because the activity itself is unpleasant in some way, such as having to clean a filthy bathroom or put together a lengthy, tedious spreadsheet for your employer. However, it may also be the result of deeper emotions connected to the activity, such as insecurity, self-doubt, low self-esteem, or anxiety.
Reasons behind procrastinating-
There are various reasons why people put things off. Sometimes it happens as a result of excessive familial pressure or perhaps from having grown up in a strict home. For instance, people may delay initiatives out of a fear of failing or receiving negative feedback if their parents have high expectations for them. Some people could refrain from acting in a rebellious manner. The following are some of the most typical causes of procrastination:
- Anxiety of failing
- Aversion to criticism
- Avoiding difficult tasks
- Lack of self-discipline
- Habit of pushing it till the last minute
- Difficulty prioritizing
There are six different types of procrastinators based on their behavior patterns and responses to procrastinating. We have listed them out below for your reference
- The perfectionist – A perfectionist’s dread of failure prevents them from starting the activity. Failure, on the other hand, is not performing the work ideally in the perfectionist’s eyes. The common belief of a perfectionist may be expressed as, “If I don’t complete the assignment exceptionally well, I’m a failure.” People that wait to launch their businesses until everything is organized and perfect are a fantastic example of this. These ideal conditions rarely exist since the world is frequently disordered and chaotic. Successful businesspeople frequently plough ahead even in the face of imperfect circumstances with the intention of fixing the problems later.
- The worrier – Because they don’t think they’ll be able to complete it, the Worrier doesn’t begin that essential or challenging work. They worry that they will fail. When they consider failing, they become anxious. Therefore, it is best to not undertake the work in the first place because you won’t experience the unpleasant feelings related to failure if you don’t try. The problem with this reasoning is that if you don’t start, you will undoubtedly fail.
- The over-doer – The over-doer is the third category of procrastinator driven by anxiety. A person who overdoes things commits to doing too much. The vital tasks are not prioritized, and as a result, they are not completed on time. The traditional procrastinator myth is, “If I don’t finish all of this, then I’m not good enough.” They take on too much and neglect the important chores out of a fear of falling short of their own unrealistic expectations or the imagined unachievable standards of others. These three kinds of procrastinators are driven by anxiety, in one form or the other. They avoid doing the task because they do not want to experience the negative emotions attached to it.
- The crisis-maker – The “Crisis Maker” thinks that in order to be driven to complete a task, one needs the pressure or stress that comes with acting at the last minute. They feel that without it, they won’t perform to their full potential. To break up the dullness, they require pressure. There’s a problem with that. There will be a significant difference between work that is started in a timely manner and work that is done at the last minute.
- The defier – The rebel who defies the rules is the defier. Anger is typically the motivation behind the defier’s feelings of dissatisfaction and rebellious behavior. In addition, this fury is undercut by the idea that “I shouldn’t have to do it!” They create their own schedule through procrastination, one that is unpredictable and unaccountable to anybody else, and thus act in a passive-aggressive manner. They act in ways that we want to see and speak. But they never seem to complete what they claim to accomplish. They are not aware of how crucial completing the assignment is. They accuse everyone else of failing to do the assignment.
- The dreamer – The dreamer doesn’t believe that achieving their goals should require a lot of effort. They believe they should receive everything as a gift. We’ve all encountered (or even been) dreamers. They tend to have grand concepts yet does not do much to address them. They just think, “I shouldn’t have to work hard to fulfil my dreams,” because the idea of having to do any effort either bores or irritates them. These kind of procrastinators are driven by a conviction that we won’t be able to handle or tolerate the annoyance of the routine, dull, or uninteresting components of a task or circumstance. Two feelings result from this: boredom or anger and disappointment.
How to deal with procrastination (active steps to achieve)-
- Consult a professional counsellor or life coach certified in dealing with lifestyle problems like procrastination.
- Make a list of all these tasks including the little ones and tick them off one by one so as to provide your brain with the satisfaction of getting things done. This will also increase your productivity and motivation.
- Prioritize your tasks from most important, or within a deadline to less important. Then start with the tasks that require your immediate attention before gradually moving on to the other tasks that can be completed later on.
- Eliminate all distractions from your environment including gadgets and the internet. If not completely, set limits to your usage using alarms to manage it positively.
- Reward yourself with little gifts after completing three tasks on your list, including watching an episode of your favorite show, etc.
- Monitor your productivity and accomplishments throughout the day to keep a check on your remaining tasks and devise a plan further.
- Start with only committing to 5 minutes worth of work, then slowly move on to hours, depending on the level of motivation.
- Set a definite goal with reasonable and achievable smaller tasks that can be done one after the other, without overwhelming yourself with huge unachievable tasks to start with. Let your brain know that it’s easy to finish these tasks without burdening yourself.
We end up procrastinating whenever these discouraging and impeding variables overwhelm our motivation and self-control. Then, before we can begin our work, we have to wait until the balance between them shifts back in our favor, which can often take a very long time.
Setting goals and determining how procrastination will prohibit you from accomplishing them are both necessary before you can quit procrastinating. The next step is to use this knowledge to develop a plan of action, which you must then carry out while making adjustments along the way.
If your personal life is getting affected, then seeing a mental health professional will drastically help you. These methods’ principal objective is to assist you in addressing the root causes of your procrastination. For instance, while it is generally accepted that “break large tasks into small, actionable pieces” is a time-management technique, its primary objective in this instance is to assist you in turning overwhelming projects into something that feels manageable, which will encourage you to stop putting them off and start taking action.
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