Why We Procrastinate and How to Stop/Avoid it
Did you clear that heap of paper work that has been piling up in your office since the first friday of last month? What of fixing the front window of your personal bedroom , which you have ignored since the last day it rained? How about fulfilling the promise you made to your personal trainer to get back on your fitness program and stick with it for the next three months in order to shed off 6 more pounds of your obesse body? If your answer were to be no to any of the above questions if you were given the opportuity to do so, then you might be one of those affected by the procrastination phenomenon.
To begin with, lets define what procrastination is. As defined by the oxford dictionary, procrastination is the the action of delaying or postponing something. We have all suffered from procrastination one time or the other in our lifetime and I find this to be quite a big problem almost everywhere i go nowadays. Indeed I also struggle to deal with it sometimes though I am slowly recovering from it. Among my biggest challenges has been waking up early every saturday morning (which btw is my only free day in the week) to clear up my gabbage pile. Thankfully, due to the following tips I will be giving you, I am now doing better by far. My first question in my journey to recovery was "why is it so hard to overcome procrastination"? The following are the answers that I discovered:
You just don't seem to know where to start from
Thats right. Since you spend most of your time doing things that you are used to doing, your mind gets used or programmed to doing those tasks and when you meet a whole new challenge which you are not used to, though not necessarilly/wholely outside your area of expertise, it becomes such a big task for your brain to adjust and start finding solutions to them, that you usually resort to dilly-dallying here and there with other tasks and eventually end up procrastinating for a longer period of time. Hence it comes as no suprise to me that most people end up doing other unnecessary tasks in an attempt to try and escape from the reality and the hard work involved in finding solutions to the newer unroutine tasks, which might seem insumountable at first sight. To get over this psychological barrier, try to make it a habbIt of incoporating non routine tasks in your schedule more often and try to break larger tasks into smaller parts, thereby making it easier to know where to start from and how to progress from there on.
You lack motivation
Okay, this is a more serious one, lol. Well, atleast in the context of lacking the will to accomplish a task as compared to the other case above where the will is present but the experise or skill required is lacking. How do you attempt to win/accomplish something, for instance a chance to earn a free Zambian Music Promotion, if you've lost motivation for it in the first place? There are some people who lack/have lost motivation for certain tasks, not because of their lack of expertise, but because they cant just seem to see or realise the need for completing them or why they have to do them. If you are one who lacks/has lost motivation for certain tasks, first of all try to visualise the need/importance for completing the tasks and what the rewards will mean to you in the end before you consider doing other less important things like having a luxurious musical debate with a friend on social media platforms like facebook, twitter etc.
You have fear of failure
Have you experienced what it feels like to fail? If you have, how did you feel about it at the point of failure and afterwards? If you did feel the pain, how well did you deal with it and how well did you bounce back from it? If unfortunately it is a true that you didn't psychologically bounce back and/or didnt deal with it in an appropriate way, then there is a high likelihood you've injected a fear of failure in you and this coud be the reason why you are procrastinating/hesitant on certain tasks. It need not be visible to your superconscious mind in order to harm you; but ingrained in your subconscious mind that you dont even realise it unless after meditating upon it for some time.This is why you need to be careful and always try to do similar tasks more often to get over this fear and know how deal with it. Additionally, you get to gain more experience on how to complete such kinds of tasks.
You are lazy
I tried to ask my self a few times the differece between procrastination and laziness. The answer turns out to be that they are interlinked but quite different. For instance, I might have been working on this article at a slower pace before submitting it for review. Does that mean I am procastinating? Definitely not! But working faster could certainly help me avoid procrastination by completing such tasks in good time while simultaneously leaving enough room to do other/even bigger tasks. If you are one of those who are lazy while doing routine tasks or any other tasks apart from that, work on your efficiency/speed to enable you achieve other/ important tasks in record time.
You are a perfectionist
No doubt, perfecting your work will please everyone at the office including you and the boss. But on the other hand, if you overdo it, you may end up wasting a large amount of time perfecting a few projects here and there while leaving out many important ones. If you are a perfectionist in executing your tasks, try to find balance by determing the extent to which your perfectionism is neccessary. Try not to dwell on personal satisfaction a lot.
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