Procrastination is the thief of time. Are you familiar with the scenario whereby you want to get things done but you don’t? I get it. You might be a professional procrastinator. We all have days when we conquer the world. On days we don’t want to get out of bed. It seems like that’s how life is supposed to be. However, is that how things should be done? Procrastination at its finest ruins your life for no reason.
There are many procrastination examples. One of them relates to work. The first time you start a project, you are enthusiastic and motivated. Nobody has to remind you to work. Soon, you begin to see results. As days go by, things change. You suddenly feel tired just by thinking about your project. The postponing game begins. You begin telling yourself that you will carry out your responsibilities tomorrow. Tomorrow turns to next week until you never get things done.
Why does our motivation diminish yet we were so fired up from the start? The person who was once kicking sheets to get out of bed at 5:00am suddenly extended their waking time by five hours. The motivation you had to start your project doesn’t last to the end. It’s easier to start a project than completing it. Most of the time,the problem is procrastination.
What is the meaning of procrastination?
Procrastination is an action of delaying or putting off doing something. We mostly procrastinate voluntarily or unnecessarily. If you were supposed to wake up at five o’clock in the morning to workout, you decide not to get out of bed once the alarm rings. This is a procrastination example.
Here are a few related articles you might want to read:
- 12 Reasons you Wake up Feeling Tired Everyday and How to not Feel Tired After Waking Up.
- How to Wake Up Early and not Feel Tired
- Morning Routine Ideas That will Make you Want to Wake Up Early.
- How to Wake up Early in the Morning Without an Alarm.
- How To Create a Productive Morning Routine.
PIN ME FOR LATER! SHARING IS CARING!
What are the reasons for procrastination?
The first step to solving a problem is identifying it. Procrastination is the thief of time. Therefore, the best way to deal with procrastination is to learn the reasons behind it. Since we are different, not all reasons resonate with everyone. You need to understand yourself in order to know where you fall.
Some of the reasons are:
1. Abstract goals.
These are general goals that make the question at hand undefined hence making one susceptible to procrastination. For instance, you might set a goal to double your income in the next five years. Unless you make the goal concrete you are likely to never achieve it. Instead you can set a goal to increase your annual income by 15% for the next five years. Abstract goals demotivate us to action hence make us procrastinate.
2. Delay in the expected reward.
We live in a society which is driven by instant gratification. It is easier to carry out activities that give instant results rather than long term rewards. People tend to put off activities that take time to produce results .
3. Optimism about the future.
Ever heard of the phrase that the future looks brighter? It is motivational but it may drag you behind. Just because the future looks promising doesn’t mean that one should put off work in the present. It can cause procrastination because it makes one wait for the situation to change without them doing anything about it.
Decision making is not an easy task especially when it entails two or more options that appeal to you. But this may be lagging you behind in terms of getting work done.
5. Feeling overwhelmed.
Having many things to do at the same time might make you feel overwhelmed. If you are anything like me, you would throw in the towel and not do anything at all because you can’t work under pressure.
One might put off work because they are anxious about the future outcome. This is known as anxiety procrastination. It’s not difficult to find people who are afraid of success. And so they sabotage their present by thinking about the future and worrying about it. Fear of evaluation or negative feedback can cause anxiety which leads to procrastination.
The desire to have everything done to its perfection can do more harm than good. Perfectionism and procrastination go hand in hand. Of course nobody wants poorly done work but over perfecting it doesn’t match up. I know of a lady who can spend the whole day scrubbing the wall to remove a tiny stain at the extent of her other responsibilities. Your work can be great but if you have to keep wasting time on unnecessary details you are going to procrastinate.
8. Prioritization of short term mood.
Instant gratification is the order of the day in the society we live in. One would rather read a magazine and take a nap rather than writing an essay that is needed at work/school the next day. So you end up prioritizing short term pleasure over long term results.
9. Lack of energy.
You need energy to carry out your duties. But sometimes you don’t have it and so you end up procrastinating. Lack of energy may be caused by depression, underlying medical condition or laziness.
Other causes can be low self-efficacy, a perceived lack of control, low perseverance, impulsivity, destructibility, rebellion, sensation seeking, fear of failure, self-sabotage ,self-handicapping ,task aversion or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD)
What are the effects of procrastination?
Procrastination may seem like you are winning, seeking pleasure and avoiding plans.Putting off things once in a while cannot do much harm. However, chronic procrastination can affect your life by lowering your self esteem, poor study habits, depression and anxiety. The consequences can be a great deal if you do not take steps to manage it.
Knowing the effects of procrastination can be a great way of overcoming it. They include:
1. Loss of precious time.
The worst thing about procrastination is the moment you realize that you are two years older yet nothing has changed. It’s a terrible feeling because you can’t turn back time and you have to live with regret.
2. Loss of opportunities.
When you have opportunities at the palm of your hands, you can take advantage of them to improve yourself but when you let them go, it’s difficult to get them with the same advantages.
3. Lowering of your self-esteem.
Procrastination can be caused by lower self-esteem but it can also enforce it. You soon start wondering what is wrong with you which eats away your confidence slowly leading you to holding yourself back.
4. Poor decision making.
Emotions heavily influence the decisions we make and procrastination affects how we feel to some degree. You tend to make decisions based on your current situation and the circumstances you are facing.
5. Health risks.
Procrastination is linked to mental health problems like stress and anxiety which are linked to mental health issues. If it leads to depression, other areas of your life will also be affected.
6. Reputation damage.
Nobody wants empty promises. When you keep saying that you will do something and you don’t, your reputation inevitably gets tarnished.
7. Ruining your career.
Your actions affect your performance. Procrastination prevents you from meeting deadlines or achieving your targets. This may make you miss promotions or worse lose your job.
8. Inability to achieve goals.
We set goals because we have a desire to improve our lives. However, procrastination seems to come in full force whenever we entertain the thoughts of our goals. Uncover the root cause behind the procrastination if it’s causing you not to achieve your goals. Otherwise you might never be able to achieve them.
Practical Tips to Help You Overcome Procrastination
So far, we have been able to look at the causes and effects of procrastination. Let’s take a look at exactly how we can overcome the ordeal.
1. Get a planner.
Deadlines have a way of motivating procrastinators and they seem to respond better when they feel pressured. Getting a planner is a great way to pressure you to achieve your goals. I created a morning routine planner that you can use to plan for your morning and day. This is my gift to you for consuming my content. Download it down below for FREE!
2. Do your most dreaded task first.
As we earlier stated, feeling overwhelmed is a major cause of procrastination. Putting off your most dreaded task tends to make you feel overwhelmed hence leading to procrastination. An easy way to beat the ordeal is to start your day with your most dreaded task. I know the thought of it makes you grumpy but it’s a great way to beat procrastination. After you complete it, you are motivated to do the small tasks without obstacles. An example is working out.
3. Take breaks.
Taking a break in between your activities helps you stay motivated and avoid fatigue which causes procrastination. You can take a ten minutes break after every activity.
4. Change your environment.
Monotony has a way of making the activities you are working on to become boring. If you work from home, you can try working from your kitchen or bedroom just to have a different atmosphere to work from.
5. Plan your day the night before.
Prioritize your most important activities during your morning hours. Planning your day the night before gives you an overview of your priorities. It also helps you track your productivity.
6. Break down a big project into mini tasks.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when you have a big task to accomplish. Breaking it down to manageable tasks can lift the heavy load off your back. If you are supposed to write a book, you can break the task into writing a certain number of pages per day making your task easily manageable.
There is much to say about procrastination and the antidote is simple. Just get to work. But I know that it’s easier said than done and it’s easier to put things off until tomorrow or some days later. I have highlighted some practical tips to help you overcome it but at the end of the day you and only you have the power to overcome it. Take responsibility for your life and stop procrastinating.
Want to start creating a productive morning routine? Download the FREE morning routine planner down below!
Don’t miss a thing!
Follow me on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. Or why not subscribe to Kamencu Nelly newsletter and get personal development, mental health and lifestyle tips straight to your inbox every week?
If you have enjoyed reading this post, I would appreciate it if you share it with your friends and family.
Pin this post to read later!