We all might have put off a task at some point of our life. There are times even when we know that it would only take a few minutes to finish our work but for some reason, we just keep postponing it. Only when we get closer to the deadline, we just curse ourselves and rush to complete it somehow.
But have you ever wondered why you or others keep postponing things? While some view it as laziness, there might be something else. Studies indicate that over 20 percent of the adult population put off or avoid doing tasks by allowing themselves to be overtaken by distractions, which is known as procrastination.
What is procrastination?
Procrastination is defined as the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute or past deadline. The main reason procrastinators do not want to finish their tasks is that they feel overwhelmed easily and their concentration level is low.
In psychology, it has long been believed that people who procrastinate have a faulty sense of time, that they think they will have more time to get something done than they actually do. According to experts, procrastination is not laziness, it is a mental block, which needs to be dealt with profound techniques.
Recent studies suggest that people regret more about things they haven’t done than the things they have done. Procrastination can be easily managed by taking the right step at the right time.
If you struggle with putting things off, here are few tips to overcome this:
The first tip is temptation bundling. Experts recommend that clubbing up the activity you love to do with the activity that you procrastinate is a good solution to overcome this challenge and make your day more productive.
For example, if you love listening to music and then club up this activity with your grocery shopping, which you dislike and often procrastinate about. Clubbing means doing these activities together. Listen to music only when you go grocery shopping. Bundling things up can give you the motivation to fight procrastination.
Another option is blending your activity with something that has immediate consequences. Like if you dislike working out then find a workout partner. By doing this whenever you miss your workout, you will feel that your partner is also suffering or you will feel motivated to do better because of the other person. This would also motivate you to finish your task on time.
You can simply find an accountability partner and in this relationship, you connect with someone (via phone, for example) at certain time intervals (like once per week) and commit to what you will do before your next meeting. Not wanting to go back on your word, can be a great way to squash procrastination.
Design your future actions
First of all, you have to admit the fact you cannot change yourself in a day and taking extreme methods often backfires. To succeed in your objective, it is important to take small steps. Plan your future actions and it is always ideal to take baby steps towards your target and make changes accordingly.
Make your target more achievable
This is one of the most important steps to get rid of procrastination. Most people avoid doing any work because they feel overwhelmed or do not find the motivation to do so. An easy way to overcome this issue is by dividing your task and making it more achievable, which experts call as chunking. Making small goals and achieving your targets will make you feel accomplished and help you stay motivated.
Commitment and consistency
The last one is to maintain your commitment and be consistent. Without these two, it is not possible to achieve your goal and give up on procrastination. “Stay committed and consistent to reach your goal. This is the only way to beat procrastination,” experts suggest.