Who doesn’t procrastinate, I mean, just the moment where you have a lot of stuff to do, but you don’t do anything, for as long as humans have been around, we have been struggling with delaying, avoiding and procrastinating on issues that matter to us. The reality behind this amazing term ‘Procrastination’ that if you just don’t procrastinate and do something anyway, you will feel more accomplished and satisfied.
But, is there any way that we can curb our tendency to procrastinate?
Let’s take a look at the process of procrastination before we get on ‘How we can actually stop procrastinating?’
What is procrastination?
Procrastination is basically the tendency to delay a task, needlessly. As it was said, human beings have been procrastinating for centuries, I guess it just runs in the blood but doesn’t mean ‘it always will.’ With proper steps, it can be controlled and anyone can be more productive.
Why do we even procrastinate?
Definitions are good, everyone knows what procrastination is, but why do we even procrastinate? I mean, everybody knows that it brings no good, but still we are not able to escape it, what is the reason behind it?
Let’s bring some science here ‘Behavioral Psychology’ and a phenomenon known as ‘time inconsistency’. So, the world we live in today values instant gratification more than anything like you want food? Just order it online. You want to go out on a date? Just swipe right, and the list is too long. But, what does it all have to do with procrastination?
It has everything to do with it. Anything you said out to achieve requires efforts, dedication, consistency, hard work, all the words of wisdom put together fall short to achieve something major in life, so why would you not procrastinate? I mean, a person will be doing something for which the results might not be certain, but the actions need to be taken in the present itself. It’s almost as if like, you in future want to be fit, but the at present you want a cheeseburger. See, it just doesn’t work this way. The results are clear, but we still tend to procrastinate, because that is what human nature is.
So, what needs to be done?
Well, the solution is simple and clear, take action. But, to get to the point where you will be able to take action is the major part. How do you get there? If you’re not clear with what you want, you will keep procrastinating. What I mean here is that if you don’t know what your goals are, you will never take any action towards it, and I don’t mean that just stating that ‘yeah I need this report to be done’, no, what I mean is that, state it clearly, I need this report to be done by 10 PM, today, now this is how you gain clarity, of course, you will notice the difference, it will start coming naturally in your attitude. With that being said, I would suggest you write down ‘Why you’re doing, what you’re doing?’ For sure, it will be beneficial.
The report is just an arbitrary example, start doing this with any goal. I do this personally, I state my goals-
I will exercise for at least 1 hour every day for the next 2 months.
I will write 1 article every day for the next 7 days.
I will [__]. (We will talk about this later)
There is a mind and body connection when you sync them up, results will be amazing. But, easier said than done, the body wants to stick to the old routines, it will take time, but it’s not impossible.
Make procrastination painful.
We all love to reward ourselves whenever we achieve something, but what about losing? Ok, I know we’re talking about procrastination, same book, different chapters. The reason we procrastinate so much is that the consequences generally are not severe, but what if we make them severe? It’s good to reward yourself, but if you said out something to do, didn’t do it, make it painful, it’s not enough to just take responsibility, but also, punish yourself. Just like you would reward yourself with an ice-cream if you do something, punish yourself by banning ice-cream for a week if you don’t do something you said out to.
If you start following this practice, results will be amazing, you’ll get more disciplined and you wouldn’t have to worry about deadlines anymore, because you’ll be completing tasks way before them. All you need to worry about is getting more disciplined and you’re all set.
Feel more satisfied.
Yes, we feel satisfied and accomplished when we achieve something, how to make it easier? Set goals that are more achievable, it’s just that simple.
Don’t say, I will finish this book today, say I will finish 2 chapters by the next hour. So, once you know what your long term goal is, you can break it into parts and praise yourself for achieving those goals, in that way you can make the process more enjoyable.
If you take a look at an athlete work plan, there are many components, winning a gold medal is the ultimate goal. Components are waking up early, training every day, strict diet plan, sleep cycle, etc. So, following this strategy is actually simple, because it kicks out the fear of looking at the whole book and makes it more comfortable to read those 2 chapters.
Be more consistent.
What’s all the knowledge, facts and figures if we are not able to apply it, so is there any way that we can make it more practical and achievable?
Yes, there are many ways, but to begin with, a basic approach is to write down what you want. Write down at least 5 things you want to do by the end of the day, and don’t switch in between a task, so if you’re doing task A, don’t switch unless it is done, that’s how it needs to be done. Once you write those 5 tasks make sure you prioritize which task needs to be done first and so on, this way you won’t waste your time thinking where to start and what to start with.
You know why completing that first thing in the morning is so crucial? It will give you that boost to go on for the next task even more effectively, that feeling of elation we get when we achieve something major or not, doesn’t matter, just keep going, and keep ticking off your to-do-list.
You will soon become a person of ‘I will’ and this is really amazing, I wrote this quote a long time ago, that ‘Everybody can, but very few will’. That’s how it is, everyone has the ability to do it, but very few will do it. Once you stop procrastinating, you will become a man of ‘I will’ because you no longer will be playing the ‘Talk-game’ and you will start playing in the game.
With time, you will start to see major changes in your life, you will become more productive and that’s a good thing, change takes time, don’t force anything on yourself, give yourself some time to be comfortable with it and celebrate any major achievement, like not eating unhealthy for a week, going for a jog for 10 days without a break, so these things need to be celebrated, don’t shy away from doing so. And, if at any point you feel a little demotivated or aimless, look at how far you’ve come, everything till date has turned out to be perfect, and that progress will motivate you to make even tougher decisions, but here is a thing if you want to see a change in yourself, you have to suffer a little and that is the only way.
I guess change is better than regret, regret kills your soul, change is a bit painful, but it’s all worth it in the end.
Hey, if you’ve read so far, check out some more relatable articles, you’re on your way to apply some of those useful tips you read about above, so why not to do a little more?
- Just like changing some of your habits is a journey, ‘Success is also a Journey’
- How to Become the Best Version of Yourself?
- It’s okay if you’re going through some tough times, but have you ever tried changing the way you look at life?
I’ve also written about a ‘2-Minute Quick Rule’ to overcome Procrastination. Make sure you check it out because if that rule is applied, it has the potential to change anyone’s life. Click here to read it.
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