With thousands of jobs gone due to the pandemic, some of us were lucky to have brought the work home. Although this setup saves us from traffic, our noisy colleagues, and face-to-face encounters with the big bosses, we currently confront a more significant barrier that kicks us out of our daily goals — procrastination.
Whether you’re an employed manager or a freelance creative, you might find yourself in the middle of another procrastination session. What we initially bargained to ourselves as a 15-minute Instagram feed visit could quickly turn into a day-off as you engage yourself more with toxic politics, friendly chats, or some videos of a hot Korean guy eating a huge bowl of spicy noodles.
If you think that procrastination has taken over your life and you want to regain control, identify what it is and how it manifests. Only then and there could you apply informed solutions instead of doing things that would feed the problem.
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Why Do We Procrastinate?
It’s a wide misconception that procrastinators are lazy people. But instead of doing nothing, someone who procrastinates uses their work time or suspends it for something else. “So what if the deadline for this 3000-word article is in two days, and I haven’t started anything? I can do it in less than one hour!”
People who fall victim to this voluntary delaying of tasks know what they’re doing. Still, they continue with this kind of self-harm despite the feelings of guilt and the awareness of problems that could pile up because of avoiding the task in question.
But Why Do We Still Do It?
Experts ruled that procrastination is a product of negative moods. Thus, it can never be entirely attributed to time management neither a flaw in your personality. Procrastination is a coping mechanism induced by challenging emotions, such as anxiety, boredom, hunger, frustration, self-doubt, and more.
To put it simply — procrastination is our way of managing moods instead of addressing the task at hand. The true nature could be a tedious task you hate, a complex topic you think you couldn’t write, or recent changes that frustrated you and killed your momentum.
We feel temporary relief whenever we procrastinate. However, this escape from reality may lead to a cycle that’s hard to break. In worsened cases, intense procrastination could lead to chronic stress, depression, poor health behaviors, cardiovascular disease, etc.
People who want to cut procrastination instantly tend to do things that could trigger more of it. Goal setting through carrots and sticks motivation would push you to do something you’re not happy doing. As such, it leads to a more distressed person, and that’s where emotions required for one to fall into procrastination occur.
Solution To Procrastination
A healthy work routine is imperative to dispel procrastination. Even if you learned more about self-discipline, motivation, goal-setting, and time management, these would be useless if you don’t develop a habit out of them and give attention to your state of mind.
The first step recommended is an assessment of yourself. Know your strengths and your priorities, so you can focus on the appropriate activities and minimize switching between tasks, which kills the drive and opens the door for procrastination.
Experts also recommend being realistic when it comes to assigning tasks to yourself or creating to-dos. A longer to-do list is not just far from existence, but it will also frustrate you as they pile on. Create a list of enough tasks you can do today, and see how far you’ve gone after a day’s work.
Watching your habits not only saves you time but would also help you identify how procrastination sets in. Some people maintain a list of these habits, the hours it took, and the outcome. Everyone is also encouraged to learn a new productive habit, though there are mixed insights about this. Still, identifying opportunities for procrastination is one efficient way to defeat it.
After a day or week of not committing to a single act of procrastination within working hours, have a meeting with yourself and reflect on your recent achievements. It’s also essential to know how close you are to your goals now that you were able to cut procrastination.
Procrastination is not one’s flaw as its instances heavily depends on how we feel. However, letting it flourish is a different topic. It may lead to a time when one would embrace procrastination as a part of their life. However, this harmful activity to your physical and emotional states, as well as to your long-term goals, could escalate to something that’s even bigger.
Prior to a full-blown state of procrastination where it immensely affects your life and well-being, you need to learn how to reduce or fully put it under your control. Only then you can have a quicker path to what you really want in your life.