You’re on Instagram and, somehow, time flies by. You have that nagging feeling that you need to do something, yet, somehow your whole mindset refuses. It has happened to me. I come out of the haze thinking, “Dennis Loos, how have you wasted your time.” Sometimes I even feel a bit dirty afterwards. Has it ever happened to you that you found yourself putting off something critical for later? Maybe it was lack of motivation, feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand, or many other possibilities. In lieu of doing what you actually had to do, you knowingly decided to steer clear of your duty to do something else. The problem is, when does “later” come? Or does it become an eternal “eventually”? If you’ve been in this situation, you should know that you are not alone. In fact, this is a common phenomenon. It is called “procrastination”. Here I Will show you ways to combat procrastination, so that you can be a more productive person. Everyone does it, the measure of a person is how quickly they manage to overcome it.
What Is Procrastination?
“Procrastination” is a term that stands for consciously—albeit it can happen at a subconscious level sometimes—postponing important activities that need to be completed in exchange for filling that time with other goofball activities that are not as relevant, or that could actually be done later. It can manifest in different ways, but the motivators vary from person to person.
Types of Procrastination
Among the different types, we can find two types of procrastination that stand out: chronic procrastination, and acute procrastination. The former is a long-term type of procrastination that usually involves deep-rooted psychological conflicts, mostly related to the difficulty at handling stressful life situations. When this becomes a distinguished point of conflict in your life, you should seek professional help. The latter is related to a short-term problem that usually stems from both internal and external factors, and is chiefly circumstantial.
Here we will list some of the reasons why you could have acute procrastination:
- Having to meet close deadlines
- Feeling overwhelmed by the activity
- Being physically fatigued
- Being mentally fatigued
- Having interpersonal relationship troubles
- Disliking the procrastinated endeavor
- Being tired
The most critical part is to identify the culprit, so as to know what course of action you can take.
First off, to understand procrastination we need to find the types of procrastinators that exist, and if you fit into one of these mentioned categories. By knowing this, you will be much more able to remove the cause of distress so as to let go of procrastination.
The different types of procrastinators are:
The first one usually doesn’t want to follow through with the demanded activity because he or she needs it to be perfect. This type of polarizing way of thinking is the one that gets between them and what they have to do.
The second type of procrastinator is one that believes working hard is not a required step for getting things done, and that activity fulfillment should not be as hard to do as they believe. Hence, they procrastinate as a self-defense mechanism.
The third type is one that is usually present in people with self-esteem issues, as they think they don’t have the capacity of getting stuff done. “I can’t do this”,“I’ll never be able to pull this off” are some common thinking patterns that can be found amidst the worriers.
The fourth one is the defier. The defier is one that refrains from doing things out of feelings of anger or rebelliousness. They underestimate the implications of what they must do, so they forgo it.
The crisis-maker is the archetypical person that needs to feel the pressure or stress that “it’s on”. If they don’t have this element of “motivation”, they don’t believe they can perform at their best.
Finally, the over-doer is the one that bites more than they can chew, mainly because the idea of not being able to complete a given task is taken at face value, and their identity feels threatened when they can’t. If they get to realize that what they have to do is too much to manage, they avoid doing it altogether so as not to have their identity being challenged.
Once you grasp what type of procrastinator you are, you can understand what triggers might lead you to procrastinate, and ultimately decide what you can do about it.
Awareness Is Always the First Step
Once you can identify what kind of procrastinator you are, it will become easier to address your internal reasons for procrastinating. This first step of becoming aware of the reasons why you procrastinate is taking tangible actions to solve the general problem.
Time Management Is Key
This one is especially relevant for the over-doers, since it’s a normal happening that they tend to overload their schedule with fairly undoable tasks that only aid in worsening procrastinating habits.
As a possible solution, it is much better to try to solve fewer tasks, and at the same time, to sub-divide them into smaller steps. The benefit will be two-fold, as your daily schedule will look much more amicable, and also because you will achieve stronger feelings of success due to the completion of tasks, boosting self-esteem.
What Motivates You?
Finding your internal sources of motivation can decisively ameliorate your situation in terms of not procrastinating. On the flipside, rewarding yourself after having successfully completed a task is something you should definitely consider doing, as you’ll feel happier and will have another reason for completing activities than just finishing the activity in itself.
Tips On How to Beat Procrastination
There’s really no sure firewall to beat procrastination, but these are some of my tips – curated by myself, Dennis Loos, that can help you out.
Break down activities and get them done
If a chore seems too daunting, break it down into smaller steps. Let’s say you don’t like going to the gym. Consider your first item on the “to-do” list to get off the couch. We mean it. Second step: grab the car keys and your gym bag. Continue with this pattern until you finish your task entirely.
Disregard your feelings towards the activity
If you let your feelings about something guide your course of action, you won’t get much done. Ignore how you feel about the activity and just do it!
Manage your energy expenditure
Sometimes time is not the only component to manage. Use your energy wisely, as this is a valuable source as well. i.e., don’t overthink about how much you hate the activity being done. Either tone it down, or re-frame your thought process about the task.
Eliminating all sources of distraction is one of the most important aspects to beating procrastination, as external elements influence our behavior to a great extent. Eliminate them and you will see how much your productivity increases.
At the end of the day, we are all human beings. Try your best to prioritize what’s important from what’s not, and get things going!
Here you have all the tools that you need to beat procrastination. From the definition, to the types of procrastination, to the diverse kinds of procrastinators, and finally the steps you can take to make your situation better. Don’t leave it for tomorrow, get started today!