Overcome Procrastination Before It Takes Over Your Life

Overcome Procrastination

Overcome Procrastination Before It Takes Over Your Life

Is there anything that you are postponing for days, months or even years? It could be exercise, learning a new skill, taking a course, getting married, writing or anything. 

We all delay certain things sometimes at some point in our lives. However, procrastinators habitually avoid tough or unpleasant tasks and may knowingly consider distractions. Procrastination inclines to reflect your skirmishes with self-control sometimes. Habitual procrastinators may not even realize, over time this habit takes over their responsibilities, and goals and places them on a descending spiral of adverse emotions that discourage future efforts. 

I used to postpone my fitness alot. Doing fitness is my one weak point, I do not like making that much effort toward fitness. I used to delay and give excuses to myself that now I am going out for some work so I will start when I will be back, now I have to attend  a function so I will start after that and so on.

Think about it, what are you procrastinating about in your life? I am asking you to recognise this because postponing or delaying things is not as simple as many of us think.

The postponement also comprises some level of self-deceit. Sometimes, procrastinators are conscious of their actions and their significance but shifting that habit demands even more effort than completing the task. Delaying tendencies begin to structure your life and control your actions if left unmanaged.

Highlights:

  • Procrastination is not simply about time management failure rather it mostly happens due to boredom, anxiety, and difficulty handling negative feelings.
  • Most people know their postponing behavior and how it is affecting them but they are still doing the same even when they want to stop. 
  • Avoiding or delaying any kind of essential errands leads to worse consequences in the long run such as regret and stress.
  • You can overcome postponing inclinations by modifying your mindset, rewarding yourself for accomplishments, avoiding perfectionism, and practicing self-affirmations to weaken adjourning tendencies. 

Understanding Procrastination with Life Coach Ritu Single

Let us comprehend the term procrastination first. It is the act of putting off or delaying errands till the last minute without any genuine reason and by looking for excuses. Research states procrastination is the failure of self-regulation exemplified by unreasonable hold-ups of tasks despite possibly negative outcomes

Whether you are delaying finishing a career-related project, sidestepping homework assignments, or putting off household chores, postponement can significantly impact your career, academic grades, and of course, your life. 

In many cases, short-term procrastination does not indicate a serious problem because it is a normal tendency that many people give in at some point. But chronic procrastination is a thoughtful problem as it can lead to increased stress, missed opportunities, and worse performance. 

One most common example is, many people want to do morning exercise or go to the gym but they never do. One of my friends who is a gym trainer told me that a huge number of people join the gym and pay their gym fee but they do not come more than twice or thrice a month. I also know plenty of people who plan to go to the gym or do exercise at home and they certainly want to do it but due to their procrastinating habits, they keep delaying. They look for excuses, and keep delaying for coming days, etc. even after knowing that it is negatively impacting their health. 

Even sometimes we procrastinate to make a call, to meet someone or to go for a walk. These are some short term procrastinations. The major quality of postponement is, we are not saying no, that we will not do this, we just put it off. 

Postponing your actions or decisions without any considerable reason. For instance, you have to make a presentation for a very important office project but you are delaying it unnecessarily. You want to make that but you are not feeling like working or you are finding it difficult because you are procrastinating. Then just before the deadline, you remember about the presentation and you rush to it. Possibly you may not give your best, because you are doing it at the last minute, it could be much better if you have started earlier.

Procrastinators Vs. Non Procrastinators:

Non-procrastinators prioritize the responsibilities that need to be accomplished. They are not governed by negative thoughts and they have a passionate personal identity that allows them to focus and line up essential tasks. Non-procrastinators carry personality preciseness that contributes to persistence, self-discipline, and personal responsibility. 

While procrastinators always look for excuses to delay tasks, usually it begins with short-term tasks and gradually it becomes a habit. They know what they should do but still, they get distracted by other stuff. For instance, many students know they have to do their homework and other school assignments but still they get distracted by their phones or social media and delay their homework. 

Laziness Or Relaxing is Not Procrastination

A lot of people misunderstand procrastinating behaviors with laziness, however, both are different. Procrastination is a functional process, instead of performing the errands you know you should be doing, you opt to perform some other task. On the other hand, laziness implies sluggishness, unwillingness, or inactivity. 

Usually postponing includes overlooking an unpleasant but important chore in the indulgence of other pleasant tasks. In the long run, it can bring serious consequences. For instance, even short-term procrastinating behaviors can make you feel ashamed or guilty leading to missed opportunities and unaccomplished goals. 

Lazy people do not like doing anything and they are perfectly fine with that. On the other hand, procrastinators want to do a lot of things but they are unable to allow themselves to begin. 

Also, procrastination is not relaxation. Getting relaxed, refreshes your mood and revitalizes you with more energy. In absolute contrast, deferment trench it from you. When you have less energy, you are more likely to feel stressed and there are higher chances that you will put off your responsibilities. 

That means the reverse of procrastination is getting stuff done and being able to feel relaxed by accomplishing your responsibilities well. 

Some Most Common Indications for procrastination

  • Always waiting till the last minute or the deadline, to begin with. 
  • More frequently saying, I will begin it tomorrow or I will commence it from Monday. 
  • Finding yourself dipped in social media, while you should be doing your assignment. 
  • Getting trapped by unnecessary distractions even when you know you have much more important things to do. 
  • Delaying highly essential tasks without any logical reasons. 
  • Repeatedly postponing the responsibilities you do not find pleasant. 
  • Committing yourself to something and then recurrently pulling your feet back. 
  • Delaying tough, unappealing, or boring errands.
  • Always find excuses for the things you do not feel like doing. 

If I have summarised all these indications in one question you can ask yourself, do you habitually postpone things when you know you should not? If your answer is yes, it simply means you are a procrastinator or likely to procrastinate. 

What Causes Procrastination?

Have you asked yourself, Why do I Procrastinate? Why am I delaying a certain thing? 

In order to treat a disease or illness, first you need to identify the cause of the disease. Right? For example your stomach is upset, so you need to realize what went wrong, have you eaten something wrong, is there an infection or what else. 

If you want to overcome the habit of putting things off, you should ask yourself this question. Procrastinating tendencies may arise because of various habits and thoughts. Fundamentally, you delay tasks when you do not enjoy performing them and you do not want to be unhappy by doing these tasks or you fear that you could not do that well. 

You may also postpone when you are baffled by the intricacy of a task or when you are excessively distracted or exhausted. For example, you have to fill out the Income tax form and it is a complex errand for you. So, you will keep delaying it, till the last date of form submission. 

Psychologically, there are a variety of factors that causes procrastination such as anxiety, low self-confidence, lack of structure, lack of self-motivation, and becoming obsessed with negative thoughts. 

Often, procrastinators are perfectionists. They are good enough to never grab a job other than to face the probability of not performing it perfectly. They are extremely concerned about what other people will think of them and they are willing to risk their future to evade judgment.

Here are the most common factors that lead to procrastination:

  • Prioritizing feeling pleased now even if it will make you feel worse later. 
  • Being more concerned about being disapproved of for your efforts. 
  • Feeling puzzled when having more than a few tasks, which to pick first. 
  • Avoiding a task because you think you could not do it perfectly.
  • Inability to associate your tasks with their upshots or low expectation of attaining outcomes.
  • Not establishing clear, realistic, and well-defined goals. 
  • Inability to manage your time and prioritize responsibilities or tasks.
  • Depression, low energy, or lack of sleep.
  • Lack of self-control and self-discipline.
  • Working or living in an environment that is loaded with distractions.
  • Disregarding the worth of time.

Negative Influences Of Procrastination

If you procrastinate a few times, it’s normal and maybe because of time management failure. However, if it becomes chronic, it’s more like a lifestyle habit. Continuing procrastination is a serious issue that can have damaging impacts on your personal life, career, and social life. 

Procrastination

One more thing, initially procrastination tends to give you pleasure, you postone the things and feel relaxed that ok I will do later, now I have  a lot of time, I can do anything. But when it becomes a habit, you are going to suffer for the long term. So it’s better to be unpleasant for a short time, while doing your important errands because it will give you long term pleasure. 

Procrastinating behaviors can impact various facets of your life. Suppose, you are not paying your monthly bills on time, not paying your child’s school fees on time, not beginning with big projects till the deadline, not preparing for your exams till the last night before the exam, postponing your regular health checkups or delaying filing your income tax returns, etc. What will be the outcomes? Just think if the same continues for months, it’s going to ruin your life, relationships, and career.

Let’s see how

  • Increased stress and illness
  • More workload on the job
  • Bitterness in relationships
  • Missed opportunities
  • More failures in life

How To Overcome Procrastination:

So now you know all about procrastination now you definitely seek some effective ways to stop procrastinating.

Thankfully, you can overcome procrastination by putting in significant effort. Earlier I discussed everything you need to be aware of before you begin with the steps to overcome postponing tendencies. 

Are you ready to structure your life with these miraculous tricks?

  • Recognize that you are procrastinating:

It’s very important to realize that you are procrastinating. Only then you can find out why you are procrastinating and what triggers it. You can ask someone to observe you. If you are putting off tasks repeatedly or switching your focus just because you do not want to do tasks, then possibly you are procrastinating. Moreover, check with the above-enlisted indications to know if you are procrastinating. 

  • Find out what is making you procrastinate:

As you realize, you are adjourning, ask yourself and try to find out why you are postponing, it will help you tackle it better. For example, if you are avoiding doing a certain task because you find it unpleasant or boring. When you know the reason, you can take steps to make that particular task interesting so that you can enjoy doing that. 

For instance, you have to clean your house or rearrange some stuff but you are delaying it for more than a few days because you find it boring. You are not liking it but still, you are postponing it. What you can do here is, listen to some music while doing it, to make it a little enjoyable. 

  • Take immediate action:

Start taking action immediately and do not let any kind of distractions impact your actions. Create a 5-minute rule I am sure will work for you as it worked well for me and many others. Whenever I feel like I am knowingly or unknowingly delaying something I apply this rule to myself. 

For instance, I make sure to read a good book before I sleep at night. But I usually procrastinate about it, feeling like not reading today. I want to read but I am saying to myself that  first let me write something, let me prepare for tomorrow, let me do this or that. This way I keep delaying the main thing that I should be doing. So here I apply my 5-minute rule for myself. I made a firm decision that after finishing all other stuff, I will read for just 5 minutes and then I will sleep. I did not even realize when I finished a chapter. 

Try this magical rule on yourself as well.

  • Do not crave perfectionism:

Looking for the perfect time? Looking for the perfect accomplishment?

No perfect time is there or I will say if you are waiting for the perfect time, it will never come. When you wish to do something, just do it and whenever you start doing it, this is a perfect time. 

Scared that maybe you could not do it perfectly?

Do not expect perfectionism from yourself all the time because nothing is perfect in this world, everything has a few or more flaws and that is completely ok. Just do your best, whatever you do. At least you are doing it, when you keep doing it, it will become perfect. Do not prevent yourself from taking action just because you feel that you may not perform it perfectly. Do not seek perfectionism every time. 

Concentrate more on being better than being perfect. Attempt for fineness and get the job done.

Let’s suppose you freshly learned to drive a  car but you are not driving because you feel that you are not perfect. You are delaying it because you are seeking perfectionism. All you need to do is, sit in the car, take the steering in your hands, put your car in first gear, second gear and go for it. When you will practice driving, you will be perfect one day. However, if you keep procrastinating and do not begin with it, you can never drive. 

  • Establish precise and sensible goals:

Your goals should be clear and achievable. Don’t set unrealistic goals, that will make you delay even more. For instance, If you are planning to start morning walks, set a  specific goal that you will walk 5000 steps (realistic goal) every day. Don’t just begin with 20000 steps  (unrealistic goal). Begin with an easily attainable goal and then increase gradually. 

  • Measure your progress:

Overcome Procrastination

Knowing your progress is highly encouraging, it gives you immense happiness when you make achievements. See how much you have done and how near you have reached your goal. You realize that you wanted to do it and you are doing it very well. Be proud of yourself for your progress, it will motivate you to achieve more. 

  • Establish deadlines and reward yourself:

Establish deadlines for yourself, that I will complete this particular task within this time. When you stick to the deadline, it will prevent you from procrastinating. When you complete the task within or before the deadline, don’t forget to reward yourself. Motivate yourself by rewarding yourself for your achievements. 

You must understand procrastination is more about emotions so managing your emotions in a good way is a better solution. Our brain loves rewards and it performs great when you allow it to do something better. 

  • Practice self-forgiveness:

When you procrastinate, later it makes you feel guilty or embarrassed as you experience consequences. Forgiving yourself allows you to feel more optimistic about yourself. It reduces the possibility of postponing behaviors in the future. 

  • Practice Self-affirmations:

Practicing self-affirmations rearticulate your inner dialogue. Craft affirmations such as I choose to, I love to I am enjoying doing that, or I am doing. Such affirmations imply that you have no other choice. It gives you the power to do your job without delay.

  • Identify the triggers:

It is very important to know your triggers, what is stopping you to do a certain thing. It may be TV, social media, your friends, some other responsibilities or anything. 

Watch out for the activators when procrastinating thoughts begin to creep into your head. If you are thinking that I do not feel like doing this now or I will do it tomorrow, tell yourself that you are about to postpone. Make sure you do not give in to the tempted feeling to procrastinate. Instead, push yourself to give a few minutes for that task. Trust me you will feel that it’s much laid-back to complete once you start. 

  • Learn to prioritize:

Prioritize the most important and hard tasks. Perform the tough tasks first and then go for the easier ones otherwise you may procrastinate when it comes to hard tasks. Challenging tasks require more focus and energy so it’s better to take them first. Prioritizing the most significant task, release the workload and make you stress-free. 

Beat procrastination with these simple anti-procrastinating approaches by Life Coach Ritu Singal

I will not say that breaching the postponing habits is easy but better understanding and the right tools can make you successful. With my years of experience as a  life coach, I can teach you tactics to make it easier to commence those vital tasks.

Here I am  sharing a  few of them

  • Commence by taking the baby steps
  • Break bigger tasks into small manageable ones
  • Allow yourself to make mistakes
  • Accept imperfections
  • Prepare yourself in advance to make it easier
  • Try to add some enjoyable elements to your responsibilities
  • Abolish probable distractions 
  • Decide deadlines for yourself and stick to them
  • Be prepared to manage obstacles
  • Know and confront your fears
  • Load up some motivation factor
  • Take much-needed breaks to rejuvenate yourself
  • Add or place reminders for yourself

Procrastination is more like a habit, a deep-seated behavior pattern. That means you may not get rid of it overnight. Habits are no more habits when you stop practicing them. Before you take action to tackle your postponing habits, it’s essential to understand them well. I am sure now you know everything about procrastination and how you can overcome it. 

Read: Reasons Why You Need A Life Coach

You can try all these tricks which you find are more relevant to you depending on your triggers and tendencies. As a life coach, I meet several people who are struggling to manage postponing behaviors. For more such tools to restructure your life, you can visit me for a personal session.

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