According to my Grandma, procrastination is putting off until tomorrow something that can be done today… unless of course you can put it off until another day! She hated it and never understood people who did it.
But most people do it. Why?
Procrastination is related to time management, depression and lack of energy and enthusiasm. It is a very critical and complicated behavior disorder that affects almost everybody. The underlying causes of procrastination need to be tackled head on if it to be overcome or the implications can become a major source of tension, stress and even illness.
And yet procrastination feels so comfortable and easy to do. After all, it will all still be there tomorrow, won’t it?
People often procrastinate because they have a significantly large task to do which has become overwhelming. And if you’re a perfectionist, like I am, or have concentration difficulties, then these factors only compound the problem. Suddenly the task is insurmountable and if the deadline is looming, things go from bad to worse.
If this all sounds like you then understand, there is hope! Procrastination is nothing more than a self imposed bad habit. And like all bad habits it can be broken.
A top tip to stop procrastination is to break your tasks down into small achievable mini-goals. Write them on a to-do list and check them off as you achieve them. If you go for more than a day without checking something off your to-do list, then the chances are that you haven’t broken your tasks down into small enough bite-size pieces.
For example, instead of having “write chapter 2” as one of your items aim to write “introduction to chapter 2”, “get graphics for chapter”, etc. These mini-tasks are easier to check off.
Remember nothing can change overnight. But achieving small steps will help you feel a sense of achievement. This will give you the motivation you need to keep going forward.
Procrastination is a bad habit that can bind you for the rest of your life. Happily, like all bad habits, it can be overcome. Make a plan, start implementing it and see mistakes as positive challenges. You will soon see the big difference in yourself and what you can achieve!