If you have ever asked yourself “how to stop procrastinating?”, then you’re probably someone who finds himself procrastinating more than you should.
Procrastination tends to be underestimated and just deemed as nothing more than a lack of time management skills. However, the real cause might be a bit more complicated than most would think.
Read on and learn more about the underlying causes of why people procrastinate, and the tips you must take note of if you’re really serious about learning how to stop procrastinating!
Why Do People Procrastinate?
Most procrastinators are people who delay things needed to be done for stuff they want to do now. It’s basically a need vs want scenario, where the “want” is something enjoyable and fun, while the “need” isn’t as much, or not at all — but is far greater in terms of importance.
A classic example would be students who choose to play video games instead of working through homework.
Next thing they know, they’ll be procrastinating to finish their work hours before school starts.
Procrastination may also stem from physical or mental exhaustion. If a person has too much on their plate and is feeling overwhelmed by all of his/her commitments, then it may be difficult to find the proper motivation to do/finish a current task.
This is more common for people who have work and study commitments.
Other times, some people just might be too easily distracted to get things done. You can be working on something and get distracted by your phone until you spend too much time checking emails and browsing your socials and end up behind your schedule.
Little things like this can add up and eventually cost you heaps of time lost.
Excuses for Procrastinating
Do you ever know someone who intentionally delays their tasks or puts their tasks off and reason out “I work better under pressure”?
Well, the truth is, they don’t. A study from the UK shows that those who procrastinate suffered lower grades, and marks went lower and lower as submissions got closer to the deadline. This is expected as the quality of work is greatly affected.
The thing is, some people believe that they’re unable to do difficult work unless they’re under a considerable amount of stress.
However, this doesn’t mean they’ll be able to get high grades or work better — it’s just that it’s the only way they know how to work and get things done.
How to Stop Procrastinating
Here are the things you must take note of if you really want to eliminate procrastination:
- Break workload into smaller tasks – breaking down a large and difficult workload into smaller and manageable tasks helps minimising a daunting workload.
Most times, having to do something so overwhelming and difficult can be a good enough reason to put it off. By breaking it down into smaller tasks, you’re able to easily accomplish a much manageable load and eventually end up completing the workload as a whole.
- Block yourself out from distractions – If you’re studying/working, make sure to have a nice and quiet place for yourself for you to easily focus. If you’re in need of an intense study session or need to be in the zone for work, try turning your phone off just to avoid the need to look at it from time to time.This can be very difficult, as this requires self-regulation and heaps of discipline. But once you pull it off, you’ll be able to focus a lot more.
- Remember why you’re doing the task in the first place – If you’re struggling to motivate yourself, and is very tempted to put off the task you’re currently doing, remember why you’re doing it in the first place.If you’re a student and are stuck on difficult homework, ask yourself “why am I doing this anyway?” — and you’ll easily remember that you need to do good on your studies to eventually find a good job that can set you up for success. It’s pretty hard not to get motivated if you have that in mind.
- Remember to take a break – It’s important to take a breather especially when you’re in the middle of an intense study or work session. Stand-up, take a walk, take a power nap, listen to music — whatever works that could calm you down and refresh you mentally and physically.It’s easy to give up and put off what you’re currently doing if you’re tired and frustrated. This can easily be avoided by taking breaks from time to time so your stress levels won’t go critical.
- Create a comprehensive schedule that you’ll religiously follow – It’s one thing to create a good schedule for yourself, but it’s another to actually stick to it religiously. Plot everything down into your planner/calendar so you’d have a clear picture of how each of your days would look like.Once you got that out of the way, stick to it! No matter how comprehensive your schedule is, if you don’t religiously follow it, then your schedule is totally worthless.If you do get to follow the schedule you’ve created, things will definitely be easier for you, and you can avoid procrastinating with ease.
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