A friend of mine called me to discuss her brother’s problem. She told me that he’s always lazy and avoids important work. She told me about an incident that happened last week. Her brother had some projects to submit last week. But, instead of working on the project, he spent the first few days watching movies. Then, when the deadline was approaching, he became stressed and anxious but still didn’t work on the project. Finally, the night before the project was due, he pulled an all-nighter. He turned it into a hastily written, poorly-curated project.
I told my friend that he’s not being lazy, but he’s procrastinating. She was confused as she couldn’t understand what I meant. Later, I briefed her about procrastination and suggested some ways in which she could help her child overcome this problem.
Later, when I pondered our conversation, I realized that many of us are still unaware of procrastination. Hence, I decided to pen a blog on the same.
So, this blog is all about procrastination. This blog gives you an in-depth idea about procrastination and how it differs from laziness. Also, we will be talking about the ways to overcome procrastination. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
How To Overcome Procrastination and Laziness
Before understanding procrastination, let us tell you it is a very common issue, and you aren’t the only one dealing with it.
Let’s consider a hypothetical situation.
Suppose you have three tasks; one is easy, and the others are comparatively tough. Also, the tougher ones are more important than the easy ones. But, you avoid doing the critical tasks at first because they require more effort, and choose to complete the easier task.
Procrastination means knowingly choosing tasks that aren’t very important or easy to do at first. It means avoiding such tasks which primarily need your attention. Also, delaying or postponing any task because you have enough time to complete them is a state of procrastination.
Some people think it’s not the right time to do a task, and they wait for the “right time” and procrastinate. However, to avoid the challenges and difficulty of the task, some people avoid doing them.
Your productivity decreases, and your ability to think rationally gets blocked when you procrastinate. Moreover, the quality of your work also degrades.
Procrastination is like a bad habit that doesn’t go away easily. But, with a little determination and some strategic moves, you can eliminate this bad habit. We will discuss the ways to overcome procrastination in the later part of the blog.
Procrastination V/S Laziness
Procrastination and laziness aren’t the same; they are the two sides of a coin. Although, of course, they both involve working delays, they are different. Let’s see an example to understand the difference between them.
Supposedly you have to clean your room, and you also have to complete your office work. Cleaning the room seems easier than office work, though office work is equally important.
But to avoid mental exercise and stay away from loads of work, you choose to clean your room; this is procrastination.
You know you can complete the office work once you start doing it; you have that ability. But you willingly chose to clean the room and delay the office work.
On the other hand, when you don’t do either work, start watching some web series. That’s laziness. You don’t have the energy to work, so you do nothing.
In a nutshell, procrastination is willingly not doing a task despite knowing you can. Whereas laziness means you don’t have the motivation and energy to do particular tasks.
Why Do We Procrastinate?
There are no definitive or fixed reasons why people procrastinate. That’s because every human being is different in nature. But here are some common causes of why we procrastinate.
One of the main reasons to procrastinate is fear. You might delay working on essential tasks because you have fear. This fear might be of failure, or maybe because you fear being judged or embarrassed for the task. Also, social anxiety can cause fear.
Not Believing in Yourself
Some people have the ability to do the task, but they don’t believe in their abilities. They don’t trust their capabilities and have doubts about themselves.
When you try to achieve perfectionism, you procrastinate. Of course, no one can make things perfect, but still, some people try to attain perfectionism. In this case, people try to wait for the right moment and wait until they are sure about work.
People procrastinate when they can’t be organized and can’t decide about work. They can’t decide which task to do first, how to do it, etc. So they can’t do proper planning and end up delaying work.
Now, let’s move to the crucial part of the blog, that is, how to overcome procrastination. It’s not difficult to overcome procrastination. We will give you 10 fantastic ways in which you can overcome procrastination.
How to Overcome Procrastination?
Let’s see the tips to overcome procrastination and work efficiently.
Identify and Accept
The first step to overcoming procrastination is identifying and accepting the issue. You can’t overcome it unless you recognize and accept it. So, make the change now. To do this, handle your fear, and learn to deal with denial.
The next time you think you are procrastinating, stop and take a deep breath. Understand your work and decide how you want to proceed. Identifying and accepting your problem can be beneficial to overcome this issue.
Learn to Prioritise
Make a list and prioritize your tasks. Ensure that you prioritize the work in the list that you want to accomplish first. Also, try to do the challenging and important tasks first. This is because the challenging tasks need more concentration; hence do them first.
However, doing the challenging task first is not a hard and fast rule. Some people like doing more manageable tasks first to develop the workflow. Hence, decide what you want to do first, and make sure you complete that task.
I have written a blog on how to plan your day better. Check it out!
Say No to Multitasking
Another effective way to overcome procrastination is to avoid multitasking. You reduce your power to be productive when you do multiple tasks simultaneously. Also, it distracts you from a particular task as your mind gets occupied with multiple tasks.
You should make a to-do list and learn to prioritize your work to avoid this situation. This will reduce your tendency to multitask, and you will work more efficiently. With your mind focused on one place, you can be more productive and complete your task quickly.
Don’t Focus on Perfectionism
Some people try to do everything perfectly, leading to procrastination. You need to understand that you can’t be perfect, so don’t focus on that. Although, always give your best to do the task without being a perfectionist.
Start with a positive mindset, not with a perfect one. When you try to be perfect, you end up delaying the work. So, it’s better not to wait for the perfect moment. This will make you do the work before deadlines, and you will not doubt your abilities.
Even a small step makes a huge difference when you are fighting procrastination. So, praise and reward yourself whenever you achieve something, even small. Rewarding or praising yourself will build self-confidence within you.
Whenever you complete a task, reward yourself with what pleases you. It can be a short break to listen to music and relax or go for a walk. Don’t wait for big goals to be achieved; reward yourself for small wins.
See You Later, Distractions
Say a big no to distractions for the time you are working. Distractions are work’s biggest enemy, and they can stop workflow. It is best to keep your mobile phone silent, turn off notifications from social media applications, and switch your television off.
Distractions can increase your stress for the time you lose. So, keep your focus only on work while you are working. Set a definite time slot, and make sure you stay away from distractions during that period. This will increase your work efficiency and productivity.
Divide and Win
Divide your work into small sections and then work on each of them. This way, you won’t see much on your plate. Also, the tasks will become easier to achieve. Break down the work into manageable sections, and focus on them independently.
When you set small goals, they are easier to crack. So, this makes you feel like working. This might seem like a slow process, but little by little, your big task will be completed in no time. The final result will make you content.
Beat Your Fear
As mentioned above, some people fear being judged for their work. Also, you might have a fear of facing failure. But, it’s essential to overcome this fear to start working. You cannot decide whether you will win or lose unless you take the first step.
Just give your best and work without thinking of failing or being judged. When you work efficiently, the chances of facing judgments or failures will reduce. So, keep your focus on work and make your willpower strong enough to beat the fear.
Set a Deadline
Optimize your time by setting small or short-term deadlines for yourself. Then, divide your work and decide that you have to complete the particular task by this date or time. This way, you won’t get room to procrastinate.
Also, your work efficiency will increase by setting small timelines for yourself. Try your best to complete your work before the deadline you have allotted to yourself. Gradually, you will ace this trick and complete your work before the deadline.
Include Tools in Your Work
There are several time-management tools that you can use to keep track of your time. You can use tools or applications that don’t allow you to use social media before the set time. Also, some tools analyze how much time you waste unknowingly.
To-do lists and calendars can be a great help for tracking your performance. However, ensure you don’t invest much time in finding these tools. Instead, use only the tools you think will work best for you.
We have reached the end of our blog. We hope you will get help with these tips to overcome procrastination. Be patient, as this will not go away in one day. But be consistent with the tips, and you will surely see a difference in your work process. Happy working!