Procrastination can be one of the most frustrating problems that a person can experience, because it has its way to stealing away a person’s motivation. It can significantly lower a person’s level of productivity, preventing important tasks from being completed when they need to be. It can appear nearly impossible to escape procrastination, but with hard work and a will to change, it is possible to overcome this common problem.
What is procrastination?
Procrastination is an act in which a person puts off doing something. For instance, a person may work at a company that requires regular reports to be completed, but each time the person receives an assignment, he or she delays completing it. The person may wait until the very last moment before putting something together. The employee may even miss deadlines on a regular basis. Another example of procrastination is a housewife who sits and watches her daily soaps while neglecting the house chores. She knows that the chores need to be completed, but she has a difficult time motivating herself to do them.
Why do people procrastinate?
People procrastinate for many different reasons. There is usually a specific cause, however, and here are some common reasons why:
- Feeling overwhelmed – Many people put off completing tasks, even those that are important, because they feel overwhelmed by what’s expected.
- Dislike the task – Many people procrastinate when it comes to completing tasks that they absolute do not like. For example, if a person is assigned to clean up horse manure but he or she has a weak stomach and always becomes nauseated when near manure, then he or she may put off the task for as long as possible.
- Fear of failure – For many people, fear of failure is a major contributor to procrastination. A person make lack the confidence necessary to feel motivated to complete a task. Fear of failure can sometimes be crippling, especially if a person has experienced failure in the past.
- Disinterest in the tasks – Some people find themselves procrastinating because they simply find the task boring. The task may entail something that the person is unfamiliar with, or simply has no interest in.
How to stop procrastination: 6 Tips
It may seem impossible to stop procrastination and actually get some work done, but with determination, you can defeat it. Distractions can occur on a regular basis and can contribute to a person being a procrastinator. For a person who is attempting to stop procrastinating, here are some distractions that you might want to limit:
1. Put an end to the distractions
While these devices can be very helpful, especially in cases of an emergency, they can also be the main source of distractions. Text messages, pictures messages, phone calls and games are just some of the ways that cell phones can distract a person. The more often a person receives text and picture messages, or even phone calls, the more likely his or her attention will be taken away from the important task that needs to be completed. Once a distraction occurs, it may be difficult to become re-focused on whatever they were working on prior to the interruption. This is why a person should turn off his or her cell phone while at work. If the person has a family that may need to contact the person in case of an emergency, then another means of contact should be made.
The internet is a major source of distraction, which can contribute to procrastinating, as well. With numerous games, shopping sites and, of course, social networking sites, the internet can keep procrastinators in their “do it later” mode.
2. Procrastination quotes
Procrastination quotes can motivate a person to get busy. These quotes can be funny, inspiring and truly uplifting. Many people have had great success with putting an end to procrastination by reading procrastination quotes on a daily basis. Whenever a person feels the desire to goof off instead of completing important tasks, then reading these quotes can thwart these self-defeating desires and encourage them to get to work.
3. Notes & lists
These can work wonders for helping a person put an end to procrastinating. By making a daily to-do list, it can help the procrastinator to mentally prepare for the day with a list of urgent items that must be completed. The person will experience a profound feeling of relief and pride after each item is completed and crossed off the list. This will encourage the procrastinator to continue to complete tasks on the list until they have all been done.
Sometimes a person might be so used to goofing off online when they should be working that they use every opportunity to check out Facebook and see what their friends are posting, or do a bit of online shopping. By posting reminder notes to only use the internet for working during work hours, then the procrastinator is more likely to forego their entertainment and get some much-needed work done.
4. Adopt a positive attitude
Attitude is extremely important when it comes to productivity. If a person has a negative attitude, then it will only perpetuate procrastinating. For instance, if a person with a negative attitude is given a major project at work, he or she might immediately grumble and begin dreading it. This will eventually lead to procrastinating, which could extend for as long as the person allows it to.
It might be difficult in the beginning to adopt a more positive attitude. However, practice can help tremendously. If a person is having an especially difficult time, then positive affirmations might help. As long as the person is determined to change and practices the affirmations on a daily basis, then he or she will eventually notice a shift in his or her attitude. A more positive attitude will change the person’s entire life in addition to eventually putting an end to the procrastination.
5. Seek assistance
If a person is provided with a task that seems too overwhelming or too difficult, then he or she shouldn’t be too proud to ask for assistance. If his or her supervisor is too busy or is unwilling to assist, then perhaps a co-worker can provide some assistance. The internet is also available to assist, as it provides a wealth of information. There are YouTube videos that can provide step-by-step explanations for just about any type of assignment.
A person could also suggest collaborating if their company doesn’t already recommend it. More and more companies are encouraging collaboration among employees. Shared workplaces are becoming a new trend, and not only can this provide assistance for a procrastinator that is feeling overwhelmed by an assignment, but with others around and watching, a person that frequently procrastinates is less likely to goof off.
Everyone loves rewards, even when people reward themselves. Some people reward themselves if they reach a weight loss goal, so why not provide oneself with rewards in order to put an end to procrastination? For instance, if an employee has a report due at work but she has been putting it off because it is too boring, then she might want to treat herself to a spa day once the report has been completed.
Thinking about spending a relaxing day at the spa can be a great motivator. The employee will be more likely to complete the report as soon as possible so she can spend the day at the spa. Of course the reward can be anything that the person likes and doesn’t have to be a “spa day.” In fact, in order for this method to work, the reward must be something that the person has a strong desire for.
Procrastination can cause a person to behave in a nonproductive manner, even when all they want to do is get the tasks completed in a timely manner. Chronic procrastination can cause a person to waste countless hours surfing the internet or doing anything except what they should be doing. However, there is no need to be a slave to procrastination, because as long as a person is determined to defeat procrastination, it can be escaped. The tips provided in this helpful guide should make escaping procrastination easier, so the tasks that are long overdue can finally be completed.