Haven’t you heard of the word ‘procrastination’? Maybe, most of you heard it; know it, and probably doing it.
At some point in your life, maybe you’ve been a procrastinator.
I began to be aware that I am procrastinating when I was working. Every time I resigned from my job I become so lazy at some point. I do not wake up too early to do the things I want, so turns out – feeling frustrated about the situation.
When I was studying way back in college, I’ve been so expert in procrastinating that I ended up being so frustrated at the end of the day without finishing anything. I am procrastinating and not aware that it’s affecting my life and my studies. I do not understand procrastination that’s why I kept on doing it. I struggle on how to stop it. There are times that I am drastically changing from my procrastination. Then, I caught myself falling again into the world of procrastination.
So, what it means to procrastinate then? How can we stop it?
How to win the battles of procrastinating; within those voices inside our heads?
What does it means to procrastinate?
Let’s delve into the meaning of procrastination first.
Procrastination is a habit of delaying something, doing it at a later time, delaying important things and doing unimportant things. It is avoiding to do the important things
Procrastination feels good at first or while you’re doing it but afterward you feel bad about yourself – it sucks! Addiction correlates with procrastination. When you are addicted to something like drugs, overeating, work, sex, pornography, gambling, shopping, or staying fit (everything that is harmful to you). You tend to procrastinate by doing unimportant things before doing the important things. When you’re done doing unimportant things, you don’t have any more time for the important things.
Even you are not procrastinating yet; when you feel that you don’t feel good about yourself and about what you do, you urge to do things that you don’t want, to fill the time and make yourself good, but the truth is – it will just make you not feel good about yourself. Mel Robbins said, “Procrastination is a stress reliever.” It’s a tool to walk away from the stress of work, health, money, family, relationship and others. Instead of doing the important things you avoid doing it by scrolling down on social media, watching hours of videos online, playing hours of online games rather than doing the important things.
Procrastination is not about being lazy or delaying things, it’s more than that.
It is a voluntary delay of action. You don’t like it but you do it.
Is procrastination really bad? Or does this can done good on us after all? Maybe procrastination at some point can do good to us in some aspects of our lives. But when we realize that it is not doing us any good anymore, it is the time we need to stop. It might result in stress, anxiety, health problems, and loss of productivity.
So, if procrastination is bad, how does it become bad to us? Let’s say for example…
You go to work, you were given a task to do it and you have a deadline. Instead of doing it already on your free time, you do unimportant things like scrolling on your facebook, other social media site...watching online… And when your way to the deadline, you see the pile of work you need to do. You feel overwhelmed now of what you are seeing. Instead of having a quality work. You got work that was unfinished. And even you finished it – It was not as good as it is.
We say earlier that procrastination is being lazy, delaying time, doing unimportant things and way more that that…
Let’s go deep down to the root cause of it.
What is the root cause of procrastination?
Any bad procrastination if fueled by weakness or a fear thinking that you might fail. You are in between of what you want to accomplish and the things that fear you – for example failing.
Have you seen yourself browsing hours of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media sites, playing hours of online games (skipping breakfast nor dinner)… before doing the important work? Then suddenly you see yourself already stuck into that situation and you can’t go out. You feel sorry for yourself, thinking that you should do your work first instead of doing those unimportant things, you feel pressure now because you have a pile of work to do.
Procrastination has a deeper issue. It’s more that an act, it’s an emotion that people need to address. There’s emotional involved when we procrastinate.
Procrastination spending your time doing something that you doesn’t want to do.
Procrastination is eating the time you want to spend doing important things rather than having time with the important people in your lives.
Procrastination is not being in charge of your life.
Why we procrastinate?
We are waiting for the perfect time or moment to come: We are waiting for our feeling to come, waiting for inspiration before we write or do the things we want to do, and waiting to be motivated. We might feel it is not the right time, so we delay the time. We feel that we don’t have the right resources and talent to accomplish some things. And so we wait. Feelings changes. So why not do it now.
Fear: Fear correlates with delaying time. When you feel fear, you don’t want to show up to all the works you are doing. We all have fears and we need those fears to make the right decision. According to Mel Robbins, Fear and excitement have the same pattern. So when you fear, it’s your mind that has the power if you will accept it as a fear or as an excitement to do your work. It’s all in your mind. Most people don’t do what they want to do because they fear. They fear that their work will be rejected, criticize. They fear that they will fail and don’t have enough talent and time to do it. You are more than what you think you are.
Stress: When we are in a stressful situation, we want to feel good about ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with making your few minutes to make you do something or watch or read something that makes you inspire, motivated and driven again to do the task you are intended to do that day. But delaying so much time, and eating the time for non-important things is so much. Sometimes when the task is overwhelming, we fall to just say “I can’t do it today. I don’t have more time. Maybe, if I do have more time, I’ll just do it tomorrow.” We delay and want instant gratification. So we do go back to watching YouTube, scrolling our Facebook account, and others (that causes delay)… Instead, make the task into pieces. You have more time today than you never know.
Self-Confidence: Self-Confidence can also be a factor why most people procrastinate. If people started to lose confidence, they will start to not trust themselves and find something that will make them feel better. Most will worry and just not believe in their selves anymore, which result in losing their selves and their inner artistry.
Seeking for Perfection: Nobody’s perfect. Some people don’t start yet because they want it to be perfect. There are people that are perfectionist, and will make a lot of time to really think and do anything to make it perfect.
When you are doing something then there’s a triggering moment shows like playing games, watching videos, hours of scrolling to social media site… Then you begin to procrastinate and leave the important hanging. It’s okay to watch relevant videos, play games when you are waiting for something like waiting for a movie ticket line, on a train ticket line. But it’s not good when you make procrastination as an excuse to go out to the world of delaying just because you don’t feel doing it today.
Some people delay time, procrastinate first because they are better when working under stress. Most of the people it works for them, but I do not recommend it. It might turn into a lifelong habit.
I was reading an important book then suddenly there’s a pop up on my cellphone showing… then it triggers in my mind that I want to play first just for 30 minutes and then the 30 minutes became 1 hr, beam 2 hrs until there was no table to finish the important things that I am doing.
Another is when I got my phone and plans to read an e-book, learn my English language grammar, and read some photography articles. When I am just about to read an e-book, my mind is not calm; I worry that I will not able to finish the things I am going to do. I open the e-book; I am reading a couple of pages when some pop-up shows on my cellphone. I said that I would not browse Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. When my Instagram pop-up because there’s a notification, I was curious to look at it, so I open it and then I spend 1-hour browsing and checking on my Instagram wherein I should spend it reading some resourceful stuff. Since I wasted an 1-hour of my time, I no longer have the interest in doing the important things. Everything triggers like a bomb… Now I am stuck in the world of procrastination.
How to Stop and Overcome Procrastination
Admit to yourself that there’s something wrong. Some people may not be aware that they are doing it. Face the problem. This is where your most vulnerable self. Acknowledge that you are falling for it and doing it.
First, you have to forgive yourself for all the time that you’ve been a procrastinator. The time you wasted was already wasted. There’s no turning back. But you can change what you have right now – right at this moment. Forgiving yourself means letting go of all the pain and hurt that you felt when you are procrastinating. It’s not too late to change your world. And whenever you are fighting the battle of procrastinating, even if you stumble and fall. Rise again and do what is right. Forgive yourself. If you already making the decision to remove procrastination and you felt that nothing is working on you. Forgive yourself. Start again. Until you eliminate the procrastinator in your mind.
Set a reminder on your phone. Write it. Put a reminder or a quote when you can easily see it. It might be in your bed, around the house, anywhere where you can remind yourself to stay focus.
Be clear about your goals
What you want to do in a day is important. Set goals. Be clear with what you want to accomplish in a day. Forgive yourself if you may not complete it in a day but always remember to always ‘Do Your Best’.
Just Get Started
Just do it – right now. ‘I am not inspired, I should not be doing it… I am not good enough to do it.’ Maybe you don’t feel doing it today. What’s important is you want to do it today. Do not create stuck as an excuse. You are already stuck now. Done is better that perfect. Just do it. And you will get better. Don’t wait for inspiration to come. You are already inspired the moment you do it.
Ask for Help
You can ask people for help if you don’t know how to start or not sure what you’re going to do. It’s better to be clear with yourself than not to accomplish your goals.
Reward yourself for completing a task or a project
Make task in bit pieces. Do not multitask. One at a time. It might work for some but multitasking is dividing your time to some important things when you should focus on one thing first. And reward yourself every time you completed a project.
5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
When I saw this video being viral on the Internet. I tried to look. I recommend this because it works for me and it works for hundred of people.
“Knowing what to do will never be enough.” -Mel Robbins
According to research. Our brain is wired to response to feelings and thoughts when we want to feel something or to do some certain things. Feelings are important because we were designed to feel when we want to feel something.
When something terrible is happening to us we respond to the feeling if we’re going to feel bad about it and not do something because we are stress at some situation in our life. We don’t do it.
When you feel the urge of doing the unimportant things. Count 54321 (backward) whenever you begin to be distracted while doing the important things. Counting backward will help you on procrastinating.
Change your thinking – Change your thought
Change your thinking about yourself, your situation to change your world. You can control your mind and your thinking by thinking positive thought about yourself. You are more than what you think you are. Create positive affirmation about yourself like “I can do…”, “I can finish…”, “I am on the right path of my career”, “I take charge of my life today”, “I act now”, “I am a doer”, “I am full of potential”.
Be a Trickster
I remember reading the book of Liz Gilbert about creativity. “It’s better to be a trickster than to be a martyr”. Those words stuck to my mind when I heard Liz Gilbert said that in a radio interview about the book Big Magic. I’ve read the book, and being a trickster stuck on my head. I’ve been wondering about the concept of being a trickster – tricking your mind not to allow your creativity to suffer or to sacrifice itself. But allowing you to trust your best creative self when an idea hits you on the head. Trickster is a trustee. Here’s what Liz Gilbert explained between Martyr and Trickster.
Martyr says: “I will sacrifice everything to fight this unwinnable war, even if it means being crushed to death under a wheel of torment.”
Trickster says: “Okay, you enjoy that! As for me, I’ll be over here in this corner, running a successful little black market operation on the side of your unwinnable war.”…
Martyr says: “Life is pain.”
Trickster says: “Life is interesting.”…
Martyr says: “Nobody will understand me.”
Trickster says: “Pick a card, any card.”…
Martyr says: “Through my torment, the truth shall be revealed.”
Trickster says: “I didn’t come here to suffer, pal.”…
Martyr says: “Death before dishonor!”
Trickster says: “Lets make a deal.”
Martyr always ends up dead in a heap of broken glory, while Trickster trots off to enjoy another day.
You know better. Just like when you feel to procrastinate. Our mind can tell we are not good enough for that task. And we don’t have the right resources or enough time to do it. It’s a matter of tricking your mind and getting into action.
Eliminate To Do list
I thought having a to do list everyday will make everything okay. The first few days of following the “To Do” list were okay. I was able to do it but after a few days, I saw myself falling again, going to the habit of procrastination again. Sometimes, when I wasn’t able to follow two or one to do list, I tend not to follow them anymore. I say to myself “Just don’t do it.” You will never finish it anyway. There’s a lot of the ‘To Do’ list. “I’ll just watch my favorite tv show or browse on my social media, play online games. I will not able to finish it anyway.”
Having “To Do List” will make everything organize. But for me, it never worked. Not because that I can’t make it work but it’s overwhelming for me. Seeing those lists makes me want to finish it immediately, being in a hurry.
There are a lot of distractions in this world, especially in this modern world where Internet is massive. Don’t let your most precious time to be ruin by those teeny tiny voices calling you to play online games, browse hours on social media sites, or watching irrelevant videos. Be a guard of your thoughts. Be a trickster to trick your mind and get ready back to the game. Each moment is so precious. Don’t be distracted.
Photo credit: www.pixabay.com