Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks, work or decisions. Everybody has a different reason for procrastinating. Some people have a lack of motivation, some have a fear of failure, and some may have low self-esteem. Regardless of the reason for why you are procrastinating, it is important to recognise that it is happening and to take steps to stop it from happening in the future.
Some people procrastinate because they are afraid that they will not be able to complete the task at hand, and will end up with negative consequences. This fear can stem from negative experiences we’ve had in the past, but we have to try not to let past experiences hold us back.
Apart from anxiety, procrastination can also stem from perfectionism. If we like to ensure everything we do is perfect, we can feel like it’s not worth tackling a task, as we worry it won’t be done perfectly. By setting high standards for ourselves, it can then lead to delaying tasks, and wasting time.
What Are The Signs of Procrastination
Procrastination is a mental state that causes us to postpone or delay actions. It can be caused by different things, including perfectionism, low self-confidence, fear of failure or success, emotional instability and laziness. The following are the signs of procrastination:
- An inability to start jobs on time
- Doing jobs without fully completing them
- Doing smaller tasks first before completing larger ones
- Doing anything other than the task at hand
How Can You Stop Procrastinating?
Whilst procrastination can affect us all, there are techniques we can follow to try to reduce our procrastinating, and you choose a technique which works best for you. Let’s take a look at some of those techniques;
Setting Timers – by setting timers, you can give yourself a fixed amount of time to complete your tasks, before taking a break. This will give you focus, and help you to be more productive.
Track Your Time – if you plan ahead, and decide what you need to do and by when, you can see what you need to do and by what time, so you can plan accordingly. You then might see a pattern of where and when you’re most productive, so you can try to emulate that productivity.
Turn It Off – nothing is more distracting than social media and mobile phone notifications, so utilise your phone’s ‘do not disturb’ feature to ensure you’re not distracted when you need to try and be focused.
Stay Organised – Keep your desk clear at all times so it doesn’t become a distraction with papers, cables, etcetera lying around tempting you to procrastinate unnecessarily with unnecessary distractions that are easy to avoid by cleaning up once you’re done working each day.
Don’t Put It Off – When you are faced with an unpleasant task, break it down into smaller tasks that will take less time to complete or do at the same time as something enjoyable like listening to your favourite music or TV show.
Procrastination is often seen as a vice, but it can be harnessed for good. The time spent looking for something to do, or surfing the internet, could yield valuable insights or creative solutions. This is why it’s important to try and cut back on procrastination.