So, you’ve got a writing task or two that’s needing to be done, and well, em… you’ve got more than enough time to get them completed.
But, for some reason, this time seems to slip away, completely undetected and under the radar, until boom, you’re ferociously working at the speed of light with a few hours left.
And what’s more, it doesn’t happen now and again completely out of the blue. It’s a regular occurrence, popping its carefree head up too often.
Let me introduce you to the little old jiminy cricket that is procrastination…
Think of Procasti-Nation (procrastination) as the world we live in, and as you journey through, there are many regular stop-offs.
You might visit places like:
Maybe not right now, but as you dive deeper, you will realise you’ve probably been on a 1st class ticket to more than one of these destinations many times.
Procrastination is when we choose to delay something important to a later date down the line favouring something else that’s easy and fun, providing instant gratification.
It’s the opposite of motivation, or willingness to work.
Procrastination is the reason why many people find themselves scrabbling around at the last minute to meet deadlines after continuously making bad decisions whenever they had enough time to start with.
It lives entirely in the present moment, has no memory of the past and has no knowledge of the future.
Many people think that procrastination is a form of laziness, and while this can be true, often it’s not.
It’s not uncommon to find someone with high procrastination tendencies putting off writing their assignment instead of tidying their room.
Now you wouldn’t say cleaning your room is lazy, would you?
This is procrastination at its finest. Doing something completely unrelated to the task at hand, so you don’t have to do what actually needs doing.
We procrastinate because it gives our minds some free time, a break from the tedious monotony of that dreaded task that needs doing.
It acts as relief and makes us happy in the short term.
It answers the fears and doubts we might have about not being able to complete our work.
Procrastination is the ultimate scapegoat.
We do it because it’s usually always easy and convenient.
Procrastination offers the opposite to the struggles of focus and hard work, and happens for many reasons:
Overall, we procrastinate because our motivation gets hindered by factors such as exhaustion and rewards that seem too far away at present. Fear of failure and anxiety take over and cause our minds to search for the quick fix solution.
Now you’re probably asking what causes all of this procrastination?
Taking on work or specific tasks usually comes with a degree of anxiety or stress. But, it’s how you deal with this anxiety that determines the outcome for you.
It’s one thing to meet this work head-on, but it’s also a lot easier to take the nearest cab to ‘Fear-City.’
“Let’s go there and keep worrying; that way, we’ll never have to take action and get the work done”, might be what you are telling yourself amidst all these fears.
Many people get so wrapped up in doubts about their abilities and how to manage their workload that it often leads to no free time, and you betcha — procrastination!
This type of procrastinator wants to do anything but the task at hand. They would rather be doing all the fun stuff and not the boring work.
I mean, sometimes it’s hard to argue with the option of going to the beach, or writing that 3000 word essay…
If you’re set a project deadline for a long way off, it can be difficult to kick yourself into gear and make a start.
This is where it’s all too easy to find yourself pulling up the handbrake and spending too much time in ‘Snack-District.’
Taking a little time out here and there will surely not have any dwindling effect on the overall project, right?
This makes it very easy for procrastination to sink in, and you know what comes next.
Yea, the handbrake is getting nearly yanked off as you zoom for ‘Rush-Zone’ and that dreaded deadline in a few days.
Have you ever given something so much thought because you wanted it to be perfect that you overthink the entire situation and never end up doing what it is you set out to do in the first place?
This is slamming your foot hard on the gas and steering straight for ‘Perfection-Alley’ — in a nutshell.
Some people strive for perfection every time, which really isn’t possible.
Not only will it drive you completely bonkers in the process, but it will lead you into the deepest, darkest caverns of procrastination imaginable.
Procrastination can have many different negative effects on us.
In fact, one study conducted by APA (american physiological association) indicates that 94% of people said procrastination harmed their happiness, and 18% said it had an extremely negative impact.
In the beginning, it might seem like closing that assignment down to go on YouTube is harmless. But over a prolonged period, this seemingly harmless act can spiral out of control quite quickly.
And before you know it, you’re down the rabbit hole every time you need to be doing something productive.
The feelings we get from procrastination can be as such:
All these emotions are usually experienced by a person when it’s too late. They’ve put the thing off for too long, and now they see no way out.
Can you see how procrastination can be severely damaging to your mental state and wellbeing?
It’s understandable why many people might think of procrastination as being a mental illness. But it’s not.
Procrastination is a bad habit usually formed over years of leaving tasks to the last minute before completion.
Yet, it’s important to understand that, while they’re not caused by procrastination, anxiety and depression can get worse through this habit.
Procrastination is a symptom, not a disorder. And you should look at what’s causing it in the first place?
Suppose depression is causing a severe lack of motivation and energy, and in turn, you are procrastinating a lot because of this. In that case, you need to tackle it before anything else!
ADHD and procrastination are also closely linked, but this is more to do with the fact that people with ADHD have a problem concentrating to begin with.
Naturally, with concentration issues, this leads to procrastination.
We can take a few different measures to focus your mind, overcome procrastination, and get motivation back where it needs to be.
Creating timelines is a great way to overcome procrastination.
Having something to use that will keep you accountable is great for motivation and a get-it-done attitude.
Timelines prevent us from racing into ‘Snooze-Land.’
I mean, when some things must be completed by a specific date, and it’s written down in front of us in black and white, there’s not much time for being lazy and sleeping.
When structuring these, avoid going too big and risk stretching out your time, giving procrastination a big heads up.
But also, be sure not to go too small either, so you don’t risk setting an unrealistic time to get the work done and cause more stress.
When you set goals that you are more than capable of, you set yourself up to succeed.
You see, goals that you know are achievable get done.
If you set unrealistic goals, what are the chances of you going through with them?
It’s better to meet your goals even if they aren’t as great as you would have liked for the time being than not to meet any of them at all.
It would help if you got into the habit of rewarding yourself for small wins along the way.
Too many of us undeservedly reward ourselves nowadays and not only does this mess with our procrastination habits, but it also creates a false sense of accomplishment.
Distractions play a big role in the procrastinator’s life, especially digital devices. With everything being one click of a button now, it’s no wonder procrastination is so easy these days.
Simply turning off notifications on your phone or putting it on airplane mode will help tremendously when battling procrastination.
Keeping everything clean and tidy at your workstation is another excellent way to have an ideal environment and help you out.
Your focus and mental clarity will be a lot better when not having to worry about whats were.
Have you ever sat down for a good 5 hours of working? Seems almost impossible at times. But what if you broke those 5 hours down into 45 min sessions with a 15 min break between.
This seems far less daunting than the initial 5 hours, and it will also help you keep contraction better.
Now that we have identified what procrastination is and how it can detract from your daily productivity, this is an excellent opportunity for you to put a framework in place for going forward.
Your vision statements should include health, career, wealth, family, friends, personal growth, physical environment, health and romance aspirations ten years from now.
Notice when procrastination shows up and how it can impact your ten-year vision.
If you feel like you’re going around in circles, you’re not sure where to start, or maybe you’ve created your vision statement but would just like a second opinion from an expert. A coaching session is a great way to find clarity and talk over your goals.
Need further help with setting your goals and being accountable? Get in touch. We have coaching services starting from £39 per month that will help you set compelling goals and achieve them with coaching techniques and a supportive community cheering you on.
Book a 30-minute call with me, Tammy Whalen Blake, to enrol you on the best program for your personal development.