Almost all of us find ourselves battling procrastination at some stage in our life. It could either be a phase, triggered by an office burnout or a constant state of alarm and unexplained laziness which renders us unable to work, until the fear of failure, humiliation, and building ultimatums coerce us to finally accomplish the assigned work. However, sometimes it doesn’t work out and the ax falls, and we’re left with a poorly refined assignment or worse an incomplete one.
Procrastination involves ignoring our carefully crafted timesheets and wasting productive time doing unnecessary ventures. Procrastinating induces a constant state of apprehension and you can always hear the faint peal of warning bells echoing in your head, that’s your inner perfectionist urging you to work. Usually, procrastinators end up developing an inferiority complex as their subconscious trills a tally of insults at them.
Specialists have come up with a long list of suggestions to get one out of the procrastination hailstorm unscathed, today we will itemize some recommendations that are determined to work.
Two Forms of Procrastination:
Procrastination is more than just carelessness. It has two types, both of which are handled differently.
- Acute Procrastination: it is a relatively less serious and short-lived episode that can be brought about by stress, a routine disruption, mood swings etc.
- Chronic Procrastination: it is usually a side effect of some medical condition (such as clinical depression, ADD or Autism) thus it isn’t very easily eliminated and requires a lot of forbearance and endeavor.
Many suffer from acute procrastination from time to time. It’s easier to recognize because a typical reaction would involve wondering “what has gone into me today?” or else “I’m not usually this stupid”.
Acute procrastination may occur due to a plethora of reasons such as:
- The work doesn’t pique your interest
- It involves company that you usually avoid
- Energy insufficiency
- You need a break
- Someone else deserved the responsibility.
Ask yourself what is it that’s stopping you from working? If it’s any of the reasons listed above, there are several things you can do to get out of this situation:
Just Start Working:
The best thing you can do is ‘just begin the task’. First step is always the hardest. Remember the time you went swimming and couldn’t put your feet in water? But it all became easier once you’d overcome the initial hesitation. Think of it as something similar.
Easier Tasks First:
Use procrastination as a motivation to finish other less important tasks on hold; clean your room or rearrange your bookshelf. The key is to not waste time scrolling through social media etc.
Regulate Energy, Not Time:
A big part of time management also involves energy management, so accept that you’ll have productive and lazy days/ hours. Figure out your active hours and work during them. And don’t forget to replenish your energy reserves!
Unlike the former, chronic procrastination involves an intricate psychological and physiological history that makes it difficult for a person to work efficiently. They are:
- Perfectionism and other similar cognitive disorders
- Unexplained lack of energy/ motivation
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Attention deficient
Some recommended steps to deal with it include:
Enrol in Assertiveness Coaching:
If you observe yourself feeling guilt, shame or doubt in a certain area try to purge it by replacing those emotions with positive sentiments. Join an Assertiveness Training Course or give yourself positive daily reminders.
Quash Your Fear of Failure or Success:
Sometimes we are so filled with negative emotions that fear of failure and criticism paralyze us from stepping forward, other times, it’s the fear of success and consequent attention, expectations and comments that holds us back. The trick to overcoming this fear requires everyday affirmations.
Improve Your Lifestyle:
- Get enough sleep
- Eat healthy
- Discover a new creative passion
- Exercise your body and mind regularly
- Visualize a new positive identity
- Set rational goals
- Stop trying to perfect a first attempt
- Labelling yourself as lazy or unworthy
- Having unreasonable expectations
Procrastination is a serious issue that must be tackled professionally. The first step should always be figuring out its kind and cause before forming a plan of action to overcome it.