Procrastination: Why is it not good and how to stop it?

Are you familiar with the word Procrastination? Procrastination is the constant rival of productivity, it finds its way into our lives when we least expect it. The research reports of Dr. Joseph Ferrai states that 20% of adults procrastinate at some point in their life. We all have done it, pushing off the essential tasks till the last second, only to come to regret it later.  The stress and pressure force us to get the job done, and it ultimately decreases our productivity. 

Today, in this article, we’ll explore the world of procrastination, understanding what delaying tasks is, how it varies from laziness, and the reasons why it is very harmful to anyone’s success. But you don’t have to worry, we won’t abandon you with only the problem. We’ll also provide you with some concrete steps to break this behaviour and regain control of your time and goals.

Understanding What Actual Procrastination Is?

Before we get into the intricacies, let’s first determine procrastination. 

Procrastination is defined as the act of delaying duties or actions, particularly those that are necessary and might have been started earlier. It’s that nagging urge that compels you to binge-watch your favourite TV show rather than work on that looming deadline.

Some studies show that 80-95% of college scholars procrastinate at some time in their college life. A survey states that 88% of the surveyed students procrastinate at least one hour a day. This has a huge adverse effect on their performance and studies, too. 

Types of Procrastination

Do you know there are two types of procrastination, Chronic and Acute? 

  • Chronic Procrastination: it is the long-standing and consistent pattern of delaying tasks or responsibilities. It’s habitual behaviour. It can be caused by underlying psychological difficulties such as low self-esteem, fear of failure, or perfectionism. To address this, you need therapy and counselling.
  • Acute Procrastination: it is a temporary and short-term delay in finishing a certain task or project. It’s not consistent but occurs occasionally. It can be caused by factors such as lack of motivation, feeling overwhelmed, or not understanding how to begin any task. It’s simpler to overcome acute procrastination with just simple strategies like time management and dividing huge tasks into smaller ones. 

Is Procrastination the Same as Laziness?

Before we move any further, it’s important to distinguish between procrastination and laziness. Some people took both the same, but there’s a huge difference between them.

Procrastination is the postponement of critical tasks for a variety of reasons such as fear of failure, lack of motivation, or task aversion. It’s a deliberate avoidance of responsibilities. The sufferers often struggle with stress and guilt due to delays in meeting the deadlines. 

Free photo man feeling sleepy while working from home

Laziness, on the other hand, denotes a general unwillingness to labour or put in effort. It is typified by inactivity and generally arises from a lack of drive to accomplish anything. Laziness can be shown as a tendency to ignore the work, tasks, and responsibilities completely. 

Reasons Why Procrastination is Harmful

Now we’ve discovered the difference between procrastination and laziness, here we’ll explore strong reasons why procrastination is harmful to our lives. 

Let’s get started!

Increased Stress and Anxiety

Procrastination can lead to increased tension and worry. As deadlines approach, the pressure to finish work grows, resulting in increased stress. This stress can have a negative impact on both mental and physical health.

Reduced Productivity

When you procrastinate, you waste your valuable time that can be utilised efficiently. Such procrastination results in productivity reduction that impacts your academic performance and productivity at the workplace. As a result, tasks pile up, and you find yourself in a never-ending cycle of catching up. 

Lower-quality work

Procrastination frequently results in hurried, substandard output. When you’re rushed for time, it’s difficult to give it your all, which might hurt your reputation and self-esteem.

Missed opportunities

Procrastination can lead to missed opportunities, both personally and professionally. It can impair your capacity to seize opportunities and maximise your resources. One research found that students who procrastinate suffer from stress, anxiety, frustration, and guilt, and they miss better opportunities to grow. 

How to Overcome Procrastination?

After knowing the reasons for the dangers of procrastination, let’s look at how to overcome it. Here are some practical ways to break the cycle of procrastination and become more productive:

  • Set Clear Goals and Priorities

Begin by establishing clear, attainable goals and prioritise them. Divide huge projects into smaller, more achievable pieces, and make every day’s to-do list with defined deadlines. This road map will help you feel less overwhelmed. 

  • Manage Your Time Wisely

Time management is essential for overcoming procrastination. Use approaches such as the Pomodoro Technique, which entails working for focused intervals followed by brief pauses. This strategy can help you keep your focus and motivation.

  • Challenge Negative Thoughts

Procrastination is frequently caused by negative self-talk and the fear of failure. Challenge these beliefs by being compassionate to yourself and focused on the process rather than the outcome. 

Remember that no one is perfect and that making mistakes is a part of the learning process. 

  • Eliminate Distractions

Identify and remove workplace distractions. Turn off notifications, keep your workspace clutter-free, and schedule particular times for accessing emails and social media. 

  • Seek Accountability

Share your objectives and deadlines with a trustworthy friend, family member, or colleague who can help you stay on the right track. Having someone to report can help you keep motivated and on track. 

  • Find Intrinsic Motivation

Learn about the inherent incentives that drive your tasks. Understand why they are essential to you and apply this understanding to your efforts. It allows you to do your best at your own level.

  • Do Positive Self-Talk

Positive affirmations can be used to replace negative self-talk. Encourage yourself to act and to rejoice in minor triumphs along the way. Always inculcate words such as “I can do it”, “It doesn’t matter if I made mistakes”, and “I’m good enough” in your life that motivates you.  

  • Forgive Yourself

You’re planning to do all the things to overcome procrastination, but it’s not easy to get on the right track immediately; it takes time, and sometimes you fail to accomplish the tasks. In this case, you must punish and pardon yourself. You don’t need to tell yourself that you’re lazy and unproductive. If you do this, you can make yourself feel more frustrated and stressed. 

  • Reward Yourself

Free photo smiling superhero man in optical glasses with red cloak holds crown over head and points looking at front isolated on white wall

Overcoming procrastination can’t be done overnight. It takes a series of hard work, discipline, and dedication. Promise yourself that if you complete the assigned task before the deadline, you must give rewards to yourself for doing the job well. Like having a cup of coffee from your favourite shop, taking a power nap, or getting your favourite ice cream.

  •  Learn from setbacks

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you procrastinate occasionally. Instead, look upon losses as chances to learn and improve your approach. Always learn from your past experiences, whether they are positive or negative. Analyse your setbacks, conclude what went wrong, and learn from them how to avoid mistakes in future. 

By doing this, you can increase your confidence and gain some momentum to finish the tasks. 

Wrapping Up!

Procrastination is a typical issue for many of us, but it doesn’t have to take over our lives. You can recover your time, increase your productivity, and achieve your goals by utilising the above-mentioned techniques. 

Remember that conquering procrastination is a journey that begins with the decision to act. So, don’t put off overcoming procrastination; start today!

What do you think?

Written by Gagan Kumar

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