Fighting Procrastination in September

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Getting Rid of The “Later” Syndrome

Procrastination is the habitual and intentional delay in executing an activity.

“I will do it later”, “I’ll do it tomorrow”; these are all statements we all find ourselves saying, at some point, without any real conviction or intention of doing the said thing. It can seem inconsequential to push forward activities which one should be doing now, but it is quite a damaging habit to cultivate over time.

Procrastination is the habitual and intentional delay in executing an activity. Click To Tweet

People who procrastinate are not characteristically lazy; while they may have their similarities, procrastination and laziness are different. Laziness identifies as a passive attitude towards most things: inactivity borne of lethargy and an unwillingness to act. In contrast, procrastination is an active process which usually involves postponing an important task for a more enjoyable or engaging one.

People who procrastinate are not characteristically lazy; while they may have their similarities, procrastination and laziness are different. Click To Tweet

From a psychological perspective, seeking pleasure can be the driving force of procrastination. It is common for one to prioritize pleasurable activities above stressful tasks to avoid negative emotions (I’ll pick a good movie over cleaning any day, thank you very much). Consequently, psychologists identify this behavior as a coping mechanism for anxiety over starting or completing an activity.

According to a Wikipedia article some of the signs that indicate the emergence of this coping mechanism include denial convincing -  one's self that the important activity to be carried out is not of immediate importance. Additionally, distracting one’s attention from the said activity by exerting intense attention on other tasks is another coping mechanism.

Believe it or not, procrastination also has an impact on our health. Excessive procrastination has been known to result in stress, anxiety, and also a reduction in personal productivity. Not to mention the overwhelming pressure of having so much to look forward to doing as these activities build up over time. Whichever way you choose to look at it, procrastination is not your friend. To overcome this behavior, it is necessary to recognize the signs and nip them in the bud, posthaste.

Excessive procrastination has been known to result in stress, anxiety, and also a reduction in personal productivity. Click To Tweet

Poor organizational ability can also lead to procrastinating. Creating an effective schedule to help you organize your tasks by priority and deadline is a great way to reduce procrastination. The fear of failure is also a strong motivator for procrastinating; perfectionists are very often procrastinators. So, you should avoid setting unrealistic tasks for yourself.

Poor decision making is another major player in the game of procrastination. Indecisive people are more likely to postpone a task for fear of doing the wrong thing. To overcome this, you should commit to the task at hand and proactively go about setting up steps to executing the task.

Also, you could promise yourself a reward for completing a task, or relate the task to someone and invite them to check up on your progress. You might also want to minimize distractions, like social media, to make you feel more in control of your workload.

It is important to have a To-do list for busy periods, to ensure that you can track the goals you need to achieve and plot a direct path towards doing that. Click To Tweet

It is important to have a To-do list for busy periods, to ensure that you can track the goals you need to achieve and plot a direct path towards doing that. If you postpone projects because you find them overwhelming, you could adopt what I like to call the “chunking” process. Break the project down into smaller tasks, and go at them one at a time like separate tasks. Keep your focus on starting them rather than finishing them.

Take charge of your life this month by making procrastination a thing of the past!

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