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How to avoid PROCRASTINATION and overcome its consequences


WHAT IS PROCRASTINATION?

PROCRASTINATION is the habitual or intentional action of delaying or postponing certain task(s) that needs to be accomplished by a certain deadline.

“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow, what should have been done the day before yesterday.” Napoleon Hill

CONSEQUENCES OF PROCRASTINATION:

There are many negative consequences of procrastination based on the situation and person, few are listed below:

  • Piled up work, which may lead to anxiety and frustration

  • Poor quality of work due to last minute hassle to complete the task

  • Damaged reputation due to delayed work deliverable

  • Low self-esteem due to poor performances and loss of self-confidence

  • Regret and disappointment later in life for missed opportunities, wrong decisions, unachieved goals, unfinished tasks etc.

  • Deteriorated health due to stress, overwhelming work, anxiety, fear of unable to complete work on time etc.

WHY DO WE PROCRASTINATE?

Mismanagement of time- Either we are overwhelming busy, or we assume that we have enough time to complete this task. Each case is the outcome of time mismanagement.

Make False Excuses- “I need to get in mood to do it”, “I work better under pressure”, “There is still plenty of time to do it”, “This task isn’t so urgent”, etc. These are some of the excuses we give to ourselves to postpone any task which is undesirable to us.

Fear of failure- Sometimes we assume that we are surely going to fail in this task, or it is too tough to be accomplished. So, we become reluctant to start that task and defer it further.

Laziness- Due to lack of energy or enthusiasm or unwilling to do any work, we delay or postpone certain actions.

Unscheduled work- When we don’t plan and estimate what are the action items pending and how much time it would take to complete each one of them, we are unaware and unsure about our activity to be done next.

Underestimate the work- When we think that this task is not so important or urgent, and don’t understand the negative impact of not completing it on time, we ignorantly postpone or delay the same.

Feels demotivated- If any work do not have that trigger thing in it, which will make us to jump start the task and continue to motivate us to finish it, then we may feel it a boring and tedious thing to do.

Confusion about work: When we do not know what needs to be done or not sure about it, we generally postpone the task in confusion.

Internet overuse and screen-time addition: Due to immense popularity of smartphones, people waste lot of their precious time by overusing internet for browsing non-essential things, hanging out on social media, excelling in game challenges, etc. But we don’t realize how many hours we are losing on screen time, which we can have used for some productive work.

“Every day that I procrastinate, every day that I sit stagnant in fear, every day that I fail to better myself, someone else out there with the same goals and dreams as me is doing the exact opposite.”Noel DeJesus

HOW CAN WE AVOID PROCRASTINATION?

Plan and schedule our work:

If we keep on thinking that “I need to do this or that…” and forget it later, then it is of no use. We should have an updated “To-Do” list, so that our precious time do not get wasted on remembering the tasks in mind. Also, we should schedule our tasks with realistic target for ourselves and try to adhere to it.

“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.” Victor Hugo

Avoid distraction:

When we have some task to accomplish, we should make sure that we do not get distracted by anything. We need to understand, what are those external or internal factors that triggers us to lose our concentration. For example, mobile phone, tv, noise from outdoor, etc.

Major distraction now a days is due to Smartphones, so we should check - Are we using our “Smartphones” more smartly?

“Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in instalments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.”Israelmore Ayivor

Accomplish our daily goal:

Although we have set our long-term goal, but we should be clearly aware our short-term targets, like what we need to do on daily basis to achieve our long-term goal. Those daily activities should be completed on time, so that nothing gets piled up for next day.

Also, we should not hesitate to stretch some hours to achieve our daily target (this means our own daily target, not to entertain others for doing extra work).

“If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.” José N. Harris

Stop Being Perfectionist:

It is good to do our work perfectly, but it should have some standard to measure it. If we always try to be perfectionist then the essence of completing the task on time will vanish as Perfection can’t be measured and this makes it unattainable.

We should have a perfect blend of Quality of work (accuracy, thoroughness, competence) and Quantity of work (productivity level, time management, ability to meet deadlines)

“A primary reason people don’t do new things is because they want to do them perfectly – first time. It’s completely irrational, impractical, not workable – and yet, it’s how most people run their lives. It’s called The Perfection Syndrome.” Peter McWilliams and John Roger


Be vigilant on re-prioritizing tasks multiple times:

Sometimes we need to re-prioritize our task, based on some urgency, or dependency of other listed task. But we should keep eye on ourselves that we don’t change the priority of the task again and again. If this is happening, then it might be possible that we are actually procrastinating our task due to any of the above stated reasons.

“Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.” Thomas Jefferson

CONCLUSION:

We all have this tendency to procrastinate once in a while, if not always. And it is a very common human instinct to get an urge to postpone some tasks due to any valid/invalid reason.

So, we should not ignore this habit of procrastination and try to analyse that, "why I procrastinate", "what will happen if I procrastinate" and "how can I stop procrastinating".


This will surely reduce some amount of stress, frustration, anxiety and other mental health issues to an extent. We will feel relaxed and happy when we will see the progress of our work and it will get completed on time.


“The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too.”Norman Vincent Peale


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