Procrastination is unavoidably one of the problems we all face at one point or the other. Being cautious of the slogan: procrastination is the father of failure, we still find ourselves struggling and avoiding things that matter to us. The FAILURE in this slogan is not birthed out of your lack of resources, an unsuccessful business, a bad result in school, a poor performance or your inability to achieve your stated goal but is in the postponement of the use of the resources you had, the delay of that which you were supposed to do and an adjournment of that very task. The beginning of success I would say is the end of procrastination. If you can fight your way out of it’s comfortability, the sky is just the starting point. For some people, procrastination is not about being lazy.
What then causes procrastination and how can you walk yourself out of it?
Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem not a time management problem – Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology and member of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Ottawa. The best way to understand this is by imagining you have two selves(present self and future self). When you set goals, like having a certain amount in your savings or losing weight, is making plans for your future self. The brain then processes this and spurs you to see reasons to take actions due to the long term benefits your future self will have which is the huge amount of money you will have in your bank account or the desired weight. However, only your future self can set these goals but your present self takes the action. Your present self on the other hand prefers instant rewards. This is the reason why sometimes those who save and know the benefits of saving in the long run end up spending the money on things that they feel satisfy their present need.
Having noted this, one cannot keep relying on the future rewards to motivate the present self. You need to move the future rewards or punishment as the case may be to the present moment. This is what happens when you stop procrastinating and then TAKE ACTION. Trust your present self to take action and then the motivation and momentum to continue sets in. You have an exam in a month’s time but you delay your reading to a week before the exam. During the course of the delay, you feel a bit uneasy and anxious because deep down you know you have not started reading but you just ignore and then when it is a week to the exam, the future consequences (Failure or success) turn into the present moment and then you are prompted to take action. To walk out of procrastination, make the rewards (Positive or Negative, Good or Bad) of taking actions immediate. Also, do not give yourself an option in meeting your target. Your firm words should be NOW or NEVER. This still boils down to the three D’s (Dedication, Determination and Discipline) I shared with us here: https://myinnerawesomeness.com/2019/01/08/time-management/
A specific time frame should be allocated to every goal. This in turn serves as a momentum to taking action. Another way by which you can overcome procrastination is to make the task achievable. An achievable task will be easier done than said. In addition, major on the major and not minor, avoid distractions, be aware that you procrastinate, avoid fear, learn how to manage your emotions (Mood swings), eradicate pressure or anxiety and work on your self-esteem.
Did you learn something new? I would love to read from you.
Written by Adefolakemi Ojo.