Do you know we all are not immune to procrastination at some point in our life? The question is how to stop procrastinating before urgent things become necessary.
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an unfulfilled goal.”–William James
We all procrastinate whether it’s dull things-like rearranging your cupboard, sorting out old files and tidying up your bookshelves or some bigger things that requires more energy, more commitment and an inherent risk of failing- like preparing a presentation, writing a book or studying and passing an exam.
We inadvertently start putting our work off with different sorts of creative excuses; I don’t feel like doing this work, It’s too boring, It’s not the right time to complete the task or might be I am not the perfect choice for this task and the list goes on. We keep nursing our thoughts with such excuses for doing the real work.
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But have you ever wondered why do we fall prey to procrastination? what is the core element which pushes us into this nonproductive zone of life?
In this article, we look at why procrastination happens, and we explore strategies for managing and prioritizing your workload more effectively.
According to a research, 95 percent of us procrastinate to some degree no matter how well-organized and punctual we are. At some levels, this fact may be comforting that you are not alone facing this situation which keeps weighing your productivity down and putting off your aspirations.
Sometimes it is the sign that we are afraid of the pain required to get done with the task in due time or fear of coming out of your comfort zone and we think that putting off the task can help us bring the comfort of life, our situation will be improved and be replaced with newfound clarity and courage. By instilling these excuses for utilizing your time to get done actual work we start experiencing the emotional discomfort inherent in making great and fruitful changes in our work as well as lives. However, this discomfort is directly linked to fear the sole purpose of which is to protect us from pain and push us away from anything that it perceives might threaten our emotional state of mind, our self-esteem or upside-down our world.
But usually, we forget how it can lead to stress, health problems, and poorer performance as the days roll steadily by and our fears grow day by day and we end up with unfulfilled dreams, untapped potential and many tomorrows that comprise our future. in addition to this, it takes a toll on our finances, career, business, relationships and wealth in the long run.
If you are worn out with these excuses and want to take a bold action needed to achieve more of what you pursue in your life then these tips might help you to get back on track;
It could be the one out of the main reasons for procrastination. A person who catastrophizes usually tends to see an unfavorable outcome to an event and then decides and makes a huge deal out of something. It may be related to “If I fail this task, I will never have a bright future and I will be a total failure in life” , “what will be the future of my business” etc. If you keep thinking like this you will end up putting a lot of pressure on yourself and dwelling upon every excuse to avoid taking the necessary action.
No matter how tough, boring and challenging the task would be, always think of the stress which is associated with not completing the task regretting for the rest of your life for not even giving it a try. So, keep things in perspective: It could not be one of my favorite tasks but I can get my way through it.”
2-Chunk It Down:
When the task is overbearing, procrastination often follows as we don’t know where to start from. So, what we need to do in this situation, is to convert the task, makes you feel overwhelmed, into manageable parts.
Chunking is a way of breaking down larger goals into more realistically achievable steps. The process helps you to understand all the smaller tasks that are involved in achieving a bigger aim, and create a timeline to get them done.
By creating a series of realistic mini-goals along the way, you can also feel a constant and building sense of achievement and well-being, spurring you on to work even harder.
Always be realistic while setting the goals as realistic goals are more motivating and achievable as compared to those that set the bar too high. Setting short term milestones help you to achieve your target and goals with satisfaction, fulfillment and build your confidence in yourself. For instance, you are not a morning person and want to get up early in the morning then start waking up 10-15 minutes earlier for 2-4 days, until you feel used to it, and then repeat. If you get up at 9 a.m. normally, don’t suddenly change it to 7 a.m. Try 8:45 a.m. first.
After establishing specific timelines for completing a task enlist a support team or an accountability partner who will help you be accountable to accomplish your most challenging goals and make sure you stay on track.
Talk with your accountability partner, it may be your coach, mentor or client, about your plans, goals, commit to taking actions and then check in regularly to make sure you’ve done what you committee to do before you roll on with your next task. Not wanting to back out on your commitment is a great way to squash procrastination.
Always reward yourself when you hit the target and achieve your goal no matter how tiny it may seem.
Buy your favorite pastry or cake, listen to music that inspires, energizes, or relaxes you, binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix, Plan a dinner out with your friends. By rewarding to yourself and you will start getting the realization that all your efforts are resulting in a positive reward and you feel more content with your performance. As Tony Robin says, “You can only build on success!”
Fareeha Khan is a life coach and self-help content writer. Besides Ashraf Chaudhry Blog, she writes for several personal development blogs.