Most of us have procrastinated at some point or the other in our lives. But one interesting fact is that about one in every five of us are compulsive about it. These people putt off tasks and chores nearly every chance they get.
Procrastination makes us feel great because we aren’t always fans of working. But what we don’t realise is that this is not so great for our brains
At home or at work: most of us have some tasks that we have to do. Some of these tasks are easy and quick to do, or they might have a very attractive reward waiting for when that task is completed. In those cases it is not difficult to start on that task.
But when the task gets complicated and can at times be boring our brains tell us to avoid that task for now to enjoy the simple free life and do the task later.
There can be many causes of procrastination: too many things to do, lack of clarity and not daring to ask or start.
You know that you have to do that difficult task, but you are postponing it. You also know that you can get into trouble: your customer or boss might call you asking why you haven’t done this yet.
That thought is in your mind during the postponement. By ‘doing something else’ you try to give yourself some space. But because you know that your behaviour at that point is not good, you only present yourself with more stress.
There are several common causes of procrastination, including:
* Complicated task anxiety
* Fear of imperfection
* Lack of self-confidence
* Priority confusion
* Lack of focus
Fortunately, there are also many solutions that can help against procrastination.
1. Get Well Organised
Having a clear idea as to what the tasks are and the timeframe and structure for each is important. Knowing the end of the task and what steps it takes to reach there can help you be more inclined towards the task rather than having a task that you cant see the end. If you cant see the end you will be more inclined to put it off due to its magnitude.
2. Become More Self Aware
Understanding yourself is key to avoiding procrastination. There has to be a constant communication with yourself where you tell your own self “No, I have to finish this”.
3. Create A Schedule
After you get Organised you need to create a schedule to complete them. This could be a study schedule for your big exam coming up , or it could be a task schedule you have to complete. Breaking an assignment into small chunks over time makes it much more manageable.
4. Block Out Distractions
Distractions are a part of life. They are all around us. Distractions could be an external source like Social Media, Annoying people, your favourite TV show. It’s important to rid yourself of all potential disruptions before you begin working so you don’t get needlessly sidetracked halfway through your task.
5. Embrace Imperfection
One of the reasons we procrastinate is to avoid having to make tough decisions and deal with a difficult task. If you’re trying to write the perfect paper, coming up with the perfect thesis can be so intimidating that you don’t even want to get started. Instead of always aiming for perfection, start intimidating projects by just getting started.
6. Use Incentives
Everyone loves being rewarded. It’s important to give yourself incentives, no matter how small. It could be something as simple as, “If I work on this assignment for an hour, I’ll watch an episode of my favorite TV show tonight.” Or it could be a bigger goal like, “If I get an A in math this semester, I’ll go to my favorite restaurant.” It’s easier to pay attention when something is at stake.