Procrastination refers to putting things off. It is a useful habit that we all have to some extent, however it’s important to be able to apply this to specific situations and not just when we’re faced with the possibility.
There are several different ways in which we can procrastinate, including focusing on the wrong task, putting it off even when there’s nothing to be done and avoiding social situations altogether. Essentially the key to avoiding procrastination is to realise that it is an unnecessary habit.
Facing the cause, Facing the Fear
One major reason why many people procrastinate is because of fear: the more they’re put off a task, the greater the chance that it will make them feel overwhelmed and therefore they procrastinate even more.
The word “procrastination” is derived from the Latin procrastinus, which itself evolved into the prefix “pro” meaning “forward”, and cristinus, meaning “to be accustomed to”. Thus, “to be accustomed” means facing a problem or facing up to a serious issue.
In this way, facing up to a problem or being forced to do something immediately increases the stress and anxiety and therefore makes procrastination worse than it would otherwise be.
Another example of this is when you’re given a deadline for something and you find that there’s little time left to get everything done – you may procrastinate to the max, putting it off indefinitely.
Feeling inadequate and demoralised
How does this relate to procrastination? Procrastination can often be a sign of a much bigger issue; for instance, when someone wants to improve upon an area of their life but they fail to recognise that they need to go beyond just working at it and actually doing it, they are likely to be procrastinating.
The simple act of prioritising results in an inferior outcome because although the first part of the process was to identify what needs to be done, we often make the mistake of prioritising the wrong things and neglecting what needs to be prioritised most.
This can cause a huge amount of stress and may also lead to a lack of motivation. We will then begin to procrastinate more, leading to a vicious cycle that worsens our problems and makes us feel even worse about ourselves!
Escape the problem, find a solution
So how can we escape this cycle and put an end to procrastination? Firstly, we need to realise that although the “perfect” solution to every problem is usually a good one, it’s unlikely that every task will fall into the perfect category and therefore it’s unlikely that perfectionism will be the end result of the actions taken.
It’s important to realise that there are two types of perfectionism: negative perfectionism and positive perfectionism. The former leads to procrastination because the individual will view themselves as not good enough and will expect perfection from themselves; the latter can be the start of a lifelong struggle against procrastination.
So how can we stop procrastinating right now? One way is to look at the way we actually complete tasks. If the end result of each task isn’t worth putting any real effort into, then we should consider whether the reward or benefit of completing the task is worth the time and energy spent.
There are many rewards in the form of personal development and happiness that we can receive from completing a task correctly, so we should make sure to look at these before expecting the reward to be given automatically.
In conclusion, procrastination can be defeated by using self-control. The first step is to remove the need to procrastinate. We can then use the correct motivational strategies to increase our self-control so that we always know what actions are required to complete each task.
With increased self-control, increased motivation, and improved self-control, we will then be able to beat procrastination once and for all!