Procrastination: how to stop procrastinating?
How to stop postponing everything for tomorrow? What is procrastination and how to overcome it? Read here useful tips from a professional psychologist.
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Well, now that I’m done with the introductory part, let’s proceed to the main idea of our investigation!
My dear readers, do you know what the most global problem of our generation is?
No, I’m not talking about our addiction to computers or other electronic devices; neither do I mean numerous inaccessible temptations, or globalization accompanied by a harmful radiation.
One of the worst diseases of the XXI century, which has transformed into real epidemics, is our pernicious habit of procrastinating everything for later.
It may seem harmless to you at first sight, but in reality this habit is one of the causes for slowing-down of self-development!
And don’t even start promising me that tomorrow morning you will clean up your apartment, finish writing an article or sewing your new dress and do everything that you haven’t managed to accomplish today!
I cannot disagree that there are situations when you either don’t have enough strength or aren’t feeling well enough in order to finish everything in one day. Obviously, some tasks should be started in the morning when you are full of energy and have a fresh mind.
For example, I tend to write my articles in the evening but I always check them on the next day. During a good night sleep I can have a rest from all the information I’ve written about, and in the morning I’ll definitely notice some mistakes and misprints.
However, in this article we are talking about people who make a habit of postponing all their tasks for later, which has a harmful effect both on themselves and other people.
If you recognize yourself in this description, my congratulations: you suffer from procrastination!
Procrastination: what is procrastination?
Yes, you may not believe me, but this awful habit has a real scientific definition.
The term “procrastination” first appeared in specialized foreign literature in 1977. Since then it has been thoroughly studied by European and American psychologists.
However, this issue is not being researched in Ukraine or Russia, but the readers of my website are very lucky to get to know about this problem, to learn about negative effect of procrastination and read about the ways to overcome it.
Reasons of procrastination:
- Fear of failure.
- Rebellious nature, i.e. if you hear the phrase “Do it now!” you consider it to be the limitation of your freedom.
- Unconscious self-restraint: you forbid yourself to become rich.
- Misunderstanding the speed of time flow.
- Perfectionism: you are confident that tomorrow you will complete this task better than you can do it today.
- Irresponsibility and idleness are integral traits of your character.
It’s so difficult to suffer from procrastination! How to stop procrastinating?
I would like us to consider the example of one of my acquaintances. Let’s call him Vasya.
Everybody thinks that he is a very lucky guy. Indeed, he doesn’t have to make a lot of efforts in order to succeed.
First he managed to enter the university without any problems, and then he became a post-graduate student who received a big scholarship.
Later Vasya began combining three jobs which didn’t require much struggling, because his aged bosses were charmed by him and Vasya used their connivance for his benefit.
He would have already achieved terrific success in his life if he had not make a habit of procrastinating everything for tomorrow or even for much later.
Obviously, at one point of his life our muddle-headed Vasya encountered with an avalanche of unfinished tasks and issues, and the period of undeserved success was over.
Constant procrastination may really lead to serious consequences.
Sooner or later you will stop finishing your previous tasks, and start ignoring them or treat them carelessly.
You should keep in mind that every unfinished task may result in the reproof of your boss, quarrel with your spouse, hurt feelings of your parents or misunderstanding of your friends etc.
How to overcome procrastination: useful recommendations
«Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.»
Unfortunately, procrastination doesn’t belong to those diseases which can be easily cured.
Everything is possible, that’s why you should set yourself certain goals and make a lot of efforts for their realization.
First of all, you have to get rid of the heap of your unfinished tasks! You can do it very quickly and effectively if you follow these rules:
- Make a list of your unaccomplished tasks, e.g. put them down into your diary!
- Numerate them according to the level of their importance.
- Use red color to mark those tasks that have to be finished immediately!
- Complete a few tasks every day, but don’t forget about your other responsibilities!
- Be sure to cross out the task you have finished from your list!
Some people don’t worry about how to spend today or tomorrow, or where and how they will live their lives.
However, most of them begin making plans for New Year’s celebration starting from September already!
Isn’t it weird?
And don’t even try to start arguing that these rules are useless.
I can assure you that you will experience an unbelievable pleasure when you cross out the last task from your list!
Don’t forget to analyze reasons that have prevented you from fulfilling a task, if this takes place. This will help you to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
Those people who are willing to overcome procrastination once and forever may need the following tips:
- It’s much easier to get rid of cold than to cure pneumonia. This rule can be applied to problems, as well: try to prevent a small issue from transforming into a huge trouble!
- Try to solve such mathematic task: add all time that you spend every day on smoke breaks, tea drinking, Facebook checking, phone calls and having snacks. Aren’t you impressed by the final number? Your task is to reduce this number as much as you can.
- Tell me whether the reviewing of Facebook photos is worth your quarterly bonus? No? Then your desire to succeed should be bigger than your lack of organization and idleness!
Finally, my last recommendation to you is: stop procrastinating right now!
Don’t even try to postpone it for later! 🙂
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