Everyone procrastinates. No matter how young or old you are, we all find ways to delay a few tasks until they are due.
Perhaps you have decided to put off working on a big project at work by working on the easier, less critical tasks on your docket. They give you a sense of accomplishment because you can complete them quickly. And yet, at the back of your mind, you know that you still have to work on that big task, and it’s going to require a lot from you.
To be honest, you know that you will have to deal with the effects of procrastination at the end of the day. However, you know how to solve your problem. You simply have to identify the most crucial task of the day, clear away everything else, and break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
These are not easy solutions, but whatever solutions you choose to utilize, they only work if you keep yourself aware of what you are and are not doing. Simply put, you won’t be able to identify your essential tasks unless you admit that you are procrastinating.
You can’t break them into smaller, more manageable tasks unless you admit that you dread doing the job. You won’t be able to clear away those distractions unless you actually realize that they are distractions and that you don’t have to give in to the urge.
Awareness is the key to procrastination. The problem isn’t finding the solution to it. Rather, it is about being aware of the current situation and feeling the urge to act on it.
Why Do You Procrastinate?
The real problem that pushes people to procrastinate is their refusal to be totally aware of the situation. Being mindful of such awareness plays an essential key to overcoming procrastination.
Here are some reasons for procrastination that make it seemingly impossible to get anything done.
Giving in to the urge
Distractions are practically everywhere, and they can be just about anything. From gardening to checking your social media accounts, all these can serve as distractions from really looking at the task that needs to be done.
You give in to the urge to check your mail or scan through other people’s posts on social media simply because they are easy to do. Sometimes, you give in to the less challenging tasks because they keep you feeling confident and comfortable in your safe zone.
You can beat these urges if you recognize that they are actually just there to distract you.
Dreading the task
The human mind tends to focus on the parts of the tasks that are hard to do. In a snap, you label these tasks as scary, hard, time-consuming, or a bit overwhelming. If you become aware of this, it is reasonably easy to deal with the problem at hand.
In truth, you can easily solve the problem and deal with each one. What looks like a difficult task, in the beginning, can easily be broken down into smaller, easier ones.
Procrastination is actually fear
The fear of failing is what usually fuels someone to procrastinate rather than deal with the problem. People begin to doubt themselves and what they can do. However, we don’t recognize our procrastination as fear. But when we do, it is easier to tackle it head-on.
Whenever you look at your fears, you will realize that these are simple things that your mind has blown out of proportion. The truth is that the chances of your failure are far more minute than your chances of actually getting things done right.
Lack of motivation
Every time a hard task comes by, you ask yourself why you put yourself through it. You ask because you lack the motivation to keep going. However, when you remind yourself why it needs to be done, you can focus on the task at hand. When your motivation seems unclear, remember that your motivation is the only thing you can hold on to when it seems the situation has become uncomfortable.
While every person has their own reason for procrastinating, those included in the list are the most common. Perhaps the more important question is: how can you make yourself aware that you are already procrastinating? How do you remind yourself that you need to be aware? Indeed, it is a battle from within.
How Do You Overcome Procrastination?
While you may have identified that awareness is the key, what makes it even more challenging is that you can easily get caught up with your day to day activities.
For example, once you open the computer, your habitual responses automatically kick in. Before you know it, the project is due, and you haven’t started it. You have been procrastinating all this time, and you didn’t even know.
The strategies for overcoming procrastination vary from one person to another. Some may work for others, but they don’t necessarily mean that they could work for you.
But then again, might as well try, right? Here are some strategies to try.
Recognize that putting off tasks is bad
It isn’t good because it keeps you from achieving your dreams and reaching your goals. Because it is causing you to feel anxious, it makes you suffer in more ways than you can imagine.
Commit to getting it done
You need to commit yourself not only to get the project done but to do it with conviction. Ask someone to help you keep track of your progress.
Set your intentions
Be mindful of your intent when taking on tasks. For example, when you go online, your goal is only to check your work email. So when you are tempted to check up on social media accounts or do other things online, go back to your intention. Through time, you will get better at it. Count in a lot of time for practice.
Remember that these are things that you cannot master overnight. It will take time, so allow yourself to adjust to it naturally. With commitment and great practice, you can kick procrastination out of your system for good.
Article from Spirit Science