Do you find yourself constantly postponing tasks until the deadline, despite wanting to finish them earlier?
Do you struggle to focus on the essential things and find yourself easily distracted?
Do you feel stuck in this loop?
If so, you’re not alone. Procrastination is a common problem. According to studies, 20% of Americans procrastinate every day. In addition, between 80% and 95% of college students put off doing homework.
So, if you’re ready to overcome procrastination, keep reading to discover how to stop procrastinating and start achieving your goals.
What does procrastinating mean?
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, procrastinating means ‘delaying something that must be done because of its unpleasant or boring nature.’
For example, you know that doing your assignment on the last day of submission will be challenging and cause a lot of stress. But you still need to work on the assignment right before its deadline for no reason.
So if we break down the meaning of procrastination, it includes
- The habit of unnecessarily delaying or avoiding things.
- Delay is, maximum of the time, unintentional because the person procrastinating intends to get things done on time.
There are various ways a person procrastinates.
Like browsing social media when you should be working, despite feeling annoyed with yourself and wishing you could just get going; playing electronic games or watching movies late at night when you know you’ll be exhausted the next day; cleaning your room when you should be finishing a school assignment or performing other essential tasks; delaying making a selection until the time comes when the two options are no longer accessible.
Why do you procrastinate?
There’s no one reason why you procrastinate. It includes fear, exhaustion, stress, decreased motivation, and self-control.
There are two types of drives,
Drive to delay and drive to act.
The drive to act reflects how hard people can push themselves to perform.
It mostly depends on your drive and self-control, which various factors influence. Your mind and physical energy level may influence your motivation and self-control at any time. Issues like tiredness and concerns about the future can interfere with self-control and motivation, lessening the will to take action. Many other problems, like depression, ADHD, and low self-efficacy, can have a similar effect.
On the other hand, the drive to delay reflects how strongly you are compelled to refrain from doing an act.
It mainly depends on the desire to feel better for a while by avoiding or suppressing unpleasant emotions or situations and only engaging in pleasant ones. However, to safeguard your feelings in the short term, you wish to prevent actions and decisions because it entails a number of problems like anxiety and perfectionism.
Due to these problems, procrastination frequently involves intention-action gaps, in which you put off doing something important while having intended to do it.
So when we list down the reasons behind your procrastination these might fall under them:
- Prioritising Short Term happiness by avoiding unpleasant situations.
- Avoiding an essential task because it’s frustrating or tedious.
- Anxiety or fear of the outcomes.
- Feeling overwhelmed and needing clarification about where to start.
- Searching for perfectionism.
- Low motivation due to exhaustion and stress.
- Time management issues.
- Low self-control.
- Problems with your work environment.
It is important to understand the reasons if you are trying ways on how to stop procrastinating.
What are the negative impacts of procrastination?
Many people believe that procrastinating is detrimental. They find it annoying and want to cut back on their procrastination. These are the reasons for avoiding procrastination.
1. Can lead to other health problems:
Chronic procrastinators have higher stress levels and are more prone to develop serious health issues, such as; sleep issues, stomach issues, muscular spasms, and discomfort.
2. Can lead to neglect in health checkups
By postponing crucial doctor’s appointments, people who procrastinate run the danger of developing health issues. The fear of test results makes them delay their checkups, worsening their symptoms.
Can be the reason for low academic performances
The percentage of college students who admit to procrastinating ranges from 80% to 95%. Delaying assignments or studying might result in lower marks, poor results on tasks, and increased stress.
3. Can lead to low self-esteem And Depression
How to avoid procrastination?
Before working on strategies on how to stop procrastination, you must understand and acknowledge that ‘you are procrastinating.’ For example, You might be delaying a task because you had to rearrange your workload’s priorities. Of course, you only sometimes procrastinate if you briefly delay an essential task for a genuinely effective cause.
So try to figure out your pattern first.
After understanding that you are procrastinating, find the ‘why.’ Finding out the reasons for your procrastination will help you develop effective strategies.
Procrastination is a deeply rooted habit. This indicates that it’s unlikely to be broken in a single day. To increase your chances of success, try as many of the habits below as possible.
1. Stop being hard on yourself:
The first step on how to stop procrastination is by forgiving yourself. Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past. This can help increase your motivation and positivity by making you feel better. If you keep blaming yourself, you’ll find it hard to move forward.
2. Say yes to your task:
The second method on how to stop procrastination is practicing commitment. Commit to doing your task, and don’t dwell on reasons not to do them. Instead, write down the tasks you need to complete and work on them according to their priorities. This will help increase your productivity, and you can easily tackle your work.
3. Practice rewarding yourself:
The third and an effective step on how to stop procrastination is rewarding yourself. Consider rewarding yourself with a treat, such as a piece of cake or a cup of coffee from your preferred coffee shop, if you finish a challenging task on time. And be sure to note how satisfying it is to finish something.
4. Avoid piling up your work:
Deal with tasks when they arise rather than putting them off for another day. This is an important step if you are trying to learn how to stop procrastination. This can help you avoid pile-ups. If you see a lot of pending work, your motivation decreases, and you start avoiding things. So it’s better to act as you go and get all your work done.
5. Minimize your distractions:
Another way on how to stop procrastinating is to stop distractions. While working, turn off your email and social media, and stay away from any area with a television. Try to make your environment calm and peaceful so you can work comfortably. You can also try meditation to calm your thoughts and avoid distractions.
6. The unpleasant ones go out first:
When you start working, rather than keeping the challenging and boring tasks at the end, try to finish them first. Completing these tasks will help you feel motivated and push you to complete all your tasks easily. This is a great way on how to stop procrastinating.
7. Keep a to-do list
An effective way on how to stop procrastinating is by keeping a to-do list. You won’t be able to forget about those unpleasant or demanding jobs if you do this. This will help you swiftly determine which tasks you should concentrate on and which you may disregard.
8. Set deadlines for yourself
Setting reachable deadlines can help you stay on track to reach your objectives and ensure you don’t have time for procrastination. Goals should be reachable. Set goals that are manageable. Go slow and steady. This is an effective tool on how to stop procrastinating.
9. Taking breaks can be useful
Despite what it seems, taking a break can increase your productivity. It is different from simply delaying the task till the last minute if you are strategic about your break and set a specific amount of time to be away from your crucial task. Try the Pomodoro method for studying or other crucial tasks if you have trouble holding yourself accountable after your breaks it will help you learn how to stop procrastinating and start studying.
10. Practice Self- Talk
You can reach your goals using constructive self-talk. Believe in your ability to complete your task. Try to incorporate phrases like’ I choose to complete this task’ rather than ‘should’ or ‘must.’ This will increase motivation and positivity within yourself and make it easier for you to focus. This is a great way on how to stop procrastinating.
In conclusion, procrastination is a problem many people face and can harm a person’s motivation, productivity, and general well-being. These were some of the ways on how to stop procrastination. But with a few straightforward techniques and some extra work, you can break this behavior.
You can control your time and accomplish more by breaking things into smaller chunks, defining precise goals and deadlines, removing distractions, and developing accountability. However, it may take some time to establish new routines and habits when trying to overcome procrastination.
But if you are persistent and patient, you can overcome the procrastination cycle and succeed in your endeavors. If you want to know how to develop habits into a routine, click here.
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