We all have dreams, goals and aims that we fail to achieve. Have you ever wondered WHY? What holds us back? The answer might be because we are putting off what we really need to do, or in one word, procrastinating. We all do it at some point or other. Procrastination is a global epidemic. Studies indicate that 20% of the human population admit to being procrastinators. Even prolific achievers. Former US President Bill Clinton had serious problems in keeping upto schedules and took days (even months) to complete important speeches. Da Vinci, who took 16 years to complete Mona Lisa, had to be threatened with bankruptcy by his benefactor to finish commissioned work. What happens when we procrastinate is we leave everything until the last minute and eventually lose motivation to do a quality job.
Why do we procrastinate?
The following five factors can be attributed to a person’s becoming or sustaining being a master procrastinator.
Lack of motivation to start the work.
Inability to manage time schedules.
Giving one’s pleasures undue importance over one’s responsibilities.
Repeatedly doing a work that one doesn’t like to do.
Anxiety and lack of self confidence which may lead to a complete setback in finishing the task on time.
Having said this, it is not an option for procrastinators to procrastinate, they just don’t know how not to do it.
How to deal with it?
Do you want to stop procrastinating? I have listed ten ways below that may help in overcoming the daunting task you’ve been avoiding.
Pick your Poison: If there is an overwhelming number of activities to do at a time, to give selective attention to the task that needs to be done which is really important.
Do it “Now”: The more time you take to start the work, the more are the chances of not finishing it.
Do not lie to yourself for immediate pleasures.
Get organized: Prioritise a to-do list. Wunderlist, Google Keep, Any.do are fantastic apps for this purpose. Pen and paper or post-it notes are great too if you like things more tangible. Scratching out an item or tearing off and trashing a note can be more fulfilling than it sounds.
Kill it with Kindness: Forgive yourself for the past procrastinations and that will help you overcome procrastination in future.
Let it go: It is ok if you cannot accomplish all the work. Free yourself of the burden.
Make work Fun: Keep taking short breaks after long hours of study or work and get your mind refreshed. Music or coffee are known to play their roles pretty well here. Many have found fidget spinners and cubes to be useful. Embrace good distractions. Minimise the bad ones.
Break your goals into small parts and try to tackle each part at a time. Celebrate your small victories as well.
Remove the obstacles that may stop you from doing the task. Declutter.
Get a motivation buddy: There is nothing like having someone by your side who can act as a reminder, hold you accountable and be your motivator too. If you start to slip the game, your motivation buddy would get you back on your track.
The only way to overcome procrastination is Action. The action that YOU have to take this very moment. It is about working towards YOUR dreams, passions and goals that YOU created for yourself.Your life is in front of YOU, waiting for your next move. You are running out of time. Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, make it hot by striking.