Procrastination: effective methods of struggle

12 Apr. 2023

Procrastination, in simple words, is putting things off until later. A simple example is when, instead of completing tasks, you scroll through the social media feed again and again, watch YouTube, chat with colleagues, or decide to disassemble your desk. You fill your time with unimportant tasks, waiting for the right mood or conditions to solve the problem. At the same time, remember the tasks perfectly and understand that this is important. And this is all the trickery: you do not rest and do not work. Stress and anxiety develop from the number of things that will need to be done at the last minute. Familiar? There are good instructions on how to deal with this. We read and implement.


Recognize your procrastination

Procrastination takes many forms. You may not even realize that you do it from time to time. Putting things off for later often leads to additional stress. Analyze your daily habits to determine how you procrastinate and how to deal with it.

Most often, people postpone things for later, switching their attention to something else, because they simply do not want to perform the task before them. For example, you can postpone things for later by spending a lot of time in e-mail or on social networks, filling time with non-essential tasks, or waiting for the right mood or conditions to solve the problem.

Find out the reasons for your procrastination

You need to understand the difference between laziness and procrastination. Common causes of procrastination are lack of pleasure from the task being performed; disorganization; depression due to the size of the task, or fear of success. Perfectionism is another reason for procrastination, as is incorrect decision-making.

Despite the similarity of laziness and procrastination, procrastination is a temporary phenomenon. If a person is lazy, then he has no motivation to do anything in principle.

Forgive yourself

Experts have concluded that before you can get rid of procrastination, you should forgive yourself for doing it in the past. It's important to first admit that you've been putting things off, then forgive yourself for it and get ready to move on. It is in this sequence.

It can be difficult to forgive yourself for procrastination if you missed something essential because of it, which caused serious problems and stress. But try to forgive yourself. If you don't, you will continue to procrastinate because of a sense of defeat and failure.


Start completing the task

Just get to the task. This may seem like an easy way to stop procrastinating, but taking on a task you've been avoiding can be quite difficult. You have to accept that eventually, you will have to complete the task, and just start doing at least something to complete it.

There is a psychological technique to make it easier to start performing a long-delayed task. Its essence is to agree with you to spend, for example, 10 minutes on a task. Then you will get involved, and the task will not seem so difficult. The main thing is always to get started.

Reward yourself

It is important to reward yourself for a job well done. This is a great way to motivate yourself to complete difficult tasks. The rewards don't have to be large. If you wanted to have coffee with friends, then tell yourself that you are going to do it when you finish the task that you were postponing.

You can also use smaller rewards. For example, you may decide that after completing this task, you will watch several episodes of your favorite TV series. Or you can reward yourself with time spent with a loved one because your to-do list will be complete and you won't have to feel guilty about leaving work unfinished.

Rethink the internal dialogue

How we think about a task makes a big difference in how quickly it will be completed. If you think, "I have to do this," you are essentially telling yourself that you have no choice in the matter. However, by changing this to "I choose to do this", you expand the possibilities for completing the task and change your feeling of doing it because you are doing what you have chosen yourself.

Your internal dialogue forms your attitude toward the project. Therefore, changing the internal dialogue can change your attitude toward the task, which will help you overcome procrastination. If you can be more positive about a task or project, you will find that it will be much easier to take on.

Stop being dramatic

One of the biggest obstacles on the way to completing a task for many people is that they prefer to dramatize before they have even started the task. You are horrified when you think about how boring, difficult, or painful the task will be.

It's about changing your mindset. No matter how boring or difficult the task will be, you need to understand that doing it will benefit you. Procrastination can lead to severe stress and losses, which are much worse than the task itself.

Avoid perfectionism

Perfectionists often postpone things for later. Many perfectionists are waiting for the right moment or for everything to be perfect for the task. If something is not quite perfect, they will avoid completing the task until the "right time" comes.

Therefore, to overcome procrastination, you must first overcome your perfectionism. You have to admit that things are rarely completely perfect. In order for the task to be completed, you may have to make some concessions. Make your environment and timing as close to ideal as possible, but don't wait for everything to be the way you want it to be in order to complete the tasks.

Think about the long-term benefits

Instead of focusing on the complexity of the task, think about what it will give you to complete it. Every task has a reason and outlines what you will get in return. Try to think positively and see a clear goal that you want to achieve after completing the task. Think about the advantages that completing a task on time gives you.


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