‘I used to be a procrastinator.’
I usually put off tasks that I didn’t want to do till the last minute. I procrastinated in doing everyday activities. Household chores, writing papers in school and other things I hated doing, usually didn’t get started or done till the last minute. I even procrastinated on things I wanted to do, like starting a blog, for a long time.
So, what is procrastination?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of procrastination is to put off intentionally or habitually the doing of something that should be done. Early behavioral signs include saying to yourself you ‘should’ or ‘have to’ do something, instead of doing it. These signs are the start of not wanting to put serious effort towards doing something that needs to be done.
Procrastination results in missing good opportunities in life, not to mention all the guilt, stress and overwhelm that comes with it. This behavior has a domino effect and if you let it slip in your life then you will start to procrastinate more and more. This habit negatively impact your personal life as well as your career as depression soon follows and next thing you know you are going downhill.
There are many reasons that can make you procrastinate. You might do so because you are tired or lazy or simply because you feel overwhelmed of the things you need to do.
Fear is certainly the top reason why people procrastinate. Procrastinators often have the fear of not being good enough, fear of failing or even fear of being successful. I procrastinated on starting a blog for a long time because I feared that my blog was not going to be as good as the other blogs out there. But I could not procrastinate any longer. I had to start the blog in order to find out how good it is going to be. Some people think that they cannot handle the stress or consequences that comes with the success. That is the fear of being successful.
Another main reason you may procrastinate is because of the fear of being perfect. This is a common but serious problem as it will affect your self esteem. Nobody is perfect and nobody ever will be. Perfectionism is always craved by human race but it can’t be achieved. The main point to remember is that it just takes time in doing everything and if you start doing what you need to do today, you will get closer to your goals. If you let the fear part take over then you will always be compromising in becoming successful. You should not fear about making mistakes. Everybody makes them. Learn from your mistakes and better yourself.
You may procrastinate because you feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do. You may think it is too much work so you don’t get started at all. Being successful with anything you do takes time and effort. So, learn to take one step at a time. One day at a time. This way you do not feel overwhelmed but just think about what you have to accomplish for that day. Reassess your priorities and break your goals into small (monthly, weekly or daily) goals. This makes the task less overwhelming and you are going to be more focused in achieving your goals.
When something is forced on somebody that they don’t want or like to be doing then they tend to procrastinate. Instead of being forced on you, if you make consious decision on doing the task then you are more likely to carry it out. It is the human nature to procrastinate when you think doing something is more work then fun.
People also procrastinate because they are physically or mentally tired. People working longer hours tend to procrastinate more as working more can have negative effect on your motivation and productivity.
Everybody procrastinates to some extent but chronic procrastination can cause significant psychological disability or a dysfunction. There are a lot of ways you can fight procrastination. Some of the significant ways are:
- If you are really inspired to do something then you tend not to procrastinate as often. Being inspired to do something in life helps fight low motivation and in turn fight procrastinating thoughts and behaviors.
- Exercise is a great way to be physically and mentally fit. Often people that procrastinate have low energy levels. Increasing energy level by exercising is one of the most effective way to deal with procrastination. The more physically and mentally fit you are the more you can deal with procrastination.
- Diet is another way of stop procrastinating. Diet of mainly raw fruits and vegetables helps increase your energy levels and in turn makes you procrastinate less.
- Relaxed and stress free surroundings also helps procrastinate less. Stress free environment relaxes your mind and you will be more focused on your objective, hence become more productive as well.
- Motivation, self discipline and routine helps lower and eventually eliminate the procrastinating behaviors. Setting up goals in life and working towards achieving those goals no matter the hindrances is one of the best ways to fight procrastination.
- Rewarding yourself even for small achievements or success also tends to lower procrastinating thoughts. Too much reward however can have a negative impact in achieving your goals. But rewarding yourself often can really help maintain the necessary balance between fun and work.
What makes you procrastinate and what approach do you take to fight procrastination? Leave comments below and share your thoughts.
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