When you habitually avoid or intentionally delay starting or finishing a task that needs to be accomplished and let it linger on the to-do list for hours, days, or even weeks due to various reasons, you could be a victim of a mysterious and potentially dangerous force called procrastination. Pouring all your strength in completing a certain task is like trying to bring the same poles of a magnet together and no matter how hard you try, they only repel. The procrastinator’s favourite words are “later” and “tomorrow”. Amidst of all the urgent assignments, tight deadlines and unfinished projects piling up, they are often being put off in favour of checking social media sites, playing video games, online shopping, binge-watching shows on tv or sometimes even prioritising trivial things. There are so many distractions everywhere that make it even more difficult to focus on what should be done. This extremely bad habit has a lot of harmful effects on one’s life. Students often get poor grades or fail in school. Employees have unsatisfactory work performance. It’s simply inevitable. On a positive note, since procrastination is considered as a bad habit, there are possible be ways that can be done to get rid of this self-defeating behaviour pattern. For this to work, you have to be absolutely committed to moving forward. However, once you decide to nip it in the bud before it becomes a more serious issue, changes would only happen gradually and not overnight.
Here are common reasons why we procrastinate and some suggestions on how to tackle it:
- Feeling lazy. We put off doing things simply because we don’t feel like it. One way to avoid laziness is to be reminded of the consequences when we don’t take action. The Pareto principle (also known as 80/20 rule) can help to overcome laziness. It states that “80% of the outputs come from 20% of the inputs.” Determine the most important task and focus on it. Then eliminate the other tasks in the to-do list afterward.
- Feeling burned out. It’s very hard to focus when we feel physically and mentally exhausted. It seems like that are a million tasks on the to-do list, it’s easy to shut down.Click here to learn more about burnout and what you can do to stop it.
- Fear. We are too scared to fail. Perhaps we are shy or afraid of rejection. Let’s learn how to overcome and conquer our fears. Nothing will happen if we do not have the courage to face them.
- Perfectionism. Overly demanding standards keep us from even getting started. This is also related to fear of failure. Just think that we won’t be able to do things and improve our skills unless we practice. We can’t practice unless we implement. It doesn’t matter if we make mistakes because we can learn from them and move on.
Lack of self-confidence. We won’t do something if we don’t think we can do it. There are several factors why we feel like this but the main reason is usually self-doubt. If you need a skill upgrade, get one. This can help overcome fear and build up self-confidence to achieve success.Click here to learn how to solve the confidence gap.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
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