What is procrastination?

Procrastination is the act of trying to delay a task by simply doing something else you’re not meant to. Saying “you can’t be bothered” or “I’ll do it later” may mean that you never see to it at all, or that you end up rushing, trying to cram in all the work on the last day. Procrastination is something everyone has done and a completely natural habit – but are there ways to go around it?

Why do people procrastinate?

People can procrastinate for a few reasons: tiredness (physical or mental), laziness, stress and even fear. Stress can make a person feel like they need a source of pleasure/relaxation – may that be watching a YouTube video or scrolling social media on your phone. Spending time away from doing what you should be doing. 5 minutes turns to 10 minutes….  20 ….50 minutes – eventually you would have run out of time (not literally), with zero productivity. Fear of failure, or even producing a piece you may not feel would be to standard may force you to take a step back or just even avoid it completely; something that may even become a repeated ritual over time.

How can we prevent procrastinating?

Well by eliminating the factors of procrastination we can simply just make it disappear … well, it doesn’t quite work like that. Every time you feel like procrastinating, take a moment to think and evaluate your emotions and state of mind. What is it that’s truly driving you to avoid work? If this is stress or anger – count to 10 and tell yourself, YOU CAN do it. Put on a relaxing playlist – it’s up to you!

Setting yourself realistic goals such as by working for sets of 5 minutes instead of 1 whole hour chunks and giving yourself a reward for reaching it without procrastinating along the way. You could be shocked by how much work you have done, and it may not even feel that long. Telling yourself that you will focus for a short amount of time, but make it the most focussed you’ve ever been. You can tell yourself to work to produce something rather than make it perfect – you could always revisit it.

What happens if you do find yourself procrastinating?

Don’t stress – it could only make it worse. If you find yourself constantly procrastinating don’t tell yourself off for not accomplishing anything that you should’ve done.  Remember to take a step back and tell yourself that you can still do it and will get it done. Punishing yourself doesn’t lead to anything – in fact it is counterproductive in a way. So, give yourself hope, resilience and determination and block out negative and suppressive thoughts that may hinder your focus and therefore restrict you from achieving your full potential.

Useful links:

A great You Tube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x7MkLDGnu8

TED TALKS: https://www.ted.com/playlists/462/talks_for_procrastinators

Ganesh, 15



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