Procrastination - I guess all of us are more or less very familiar to this term. Be it your daily chores, or an assignment assigned weeks ago due tomorrow or this article that I am writing which has to be sent in before midnight; procrastination has won over it all. I’m wondering who started procrastinating first; maybe Newton who said that if a body is in the state of rest or in the state of motion, it continues to be so until an external force is applied. What if the sun decided to procrastinate? Well, we would all see that as a gain because most of us are night owls. But what if the earth procrastinated on rotating? It may result into severe calamities and disasters. But you are still pondering what difference would it make if I procrastinate ? Self destruction, anxiety, stress disorders. It is psychologically proven that procrastination may make you feel relieved momentarily but gives a lot of stress at the back of your mind.
Most of us often tend to use the terms procrastination and laziness interchangeably. Lazy people simply don’t do anything or have any plans but procrastinators have the potential and will to do their work - they are just in need of some motivation or push to do it.
So if you’re just plain lazy and not a procrastinator, we are not the same.
Reasons why we procrastinate:
- Ample of time: Remember the assignment given when the college went on a lockdown? Ah, possibly no. But it's now the time to submit it and here we are in a rush to complete it, feeling guilty about all the time we’ve wasted blissfully binge watching Money Heist in our beds and criticising Masakali 2.0 on our WhatsApp groups.
What do we learn from this? To complete all the work with systematic scheduling before time. And the other lies you tell yourself.
- Wanting to be a a perfectionist: Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But it's not. There are some people who want to deliver to the best of their abilities and hence decide upon doing the work when there’s plenty of time and it is the only priority. But sadly, in this very happening and never pausing life, that moment never comes and you end up with last moment completions which give failed or inadequate results. The desire to produce the most beautiful piece or the best of artwork can be so overwhelming at times that you end up procrastinating it till the so called right time comes. Fanatically fantasizing makes you scared about achieving lower standards which eventually happens either way when you’ve procrastinated it long enough.
- Pressure enforces fertility: Just because last moment pressure helped you to clear the tenth grade examinations doesn’t mean it will help you always. Pressure enforces fertility and makes you work better is the biggest myth of all the time. It may suit you in some conditions but most of the time ends up creating a lot of chaos and stress.
- Poor management of time: We tend to postpone things for a while and pile them up with a detailed scheduling of finishing them all in a day giving no rest or leisure time to ourselves. This way we end up getting bored and the simplest of tasks seem to be non achievable.
"While we waste our time hesitating and postponing, life is slipping away."
Psychological science states that procrastination is a life long trait. Now the question that arises out of it is how do we avoid procrastination?
“Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”
Most of us have been so prone to this saying as frequently as said in every household.
It seems like an unachievable feat and the impulse to it is hearing and ignoring which happens simultaneously. Getting over this trait is not that easy but not as unachievable as you think.
Start little by little. Do not exert yourself or be too hard on yourself. Everyday is a new beginning, start by doing two push ups everyday, or writing one paragraph each day of the book you’ve always wanted to write and then see how it goes. It will not only reduce stress but also pump relaxation hormones which will end up giving you a feeling of self satisfaction, content and relief.
Pre-commitment. Set deadlines for yourself apart from the given deadlines and acknowledge someone with those. It will help you complete your task beforehand successfully.
Organise your day beforehand. You need not make a proper schedule of the day. Just set the most essential prioritised works to be done for the day and make sure you complete those. Give yourself Filter copy breaks and also watch those videos of “five facts that you must know” during the day to avoid distractions during work.
Set timers on your social media accounts to avoid scrolling till Instagram says “you’ve been all caught up”.
It is not easy to achieve it but if determined and a little self help, it can be done. Think of it like your life depends upon it and I’m sure that will motivate you to do it. Do not listen to the voice of the devil echoing in your brain get over you. The next time you start your work and hear him say, “Let’s grab a bite first and then take a small nap”, snap back at him and hog on those snacks only when you’re done.