Recently, the term “procrastination” gains popularity because of many people discuss it. You can find a lot of people talk about it in the news, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, and other social media. However, there are also a lot of people who don’t know the true meaning of procrastination. And if you, one of them, don’t worry, you’ll get a clear answer here.
Think about this, why do we have difficulty to get up from bed? Why do we start the assignment the night before the deadline? Why do we avoid doing a task that needed to complete instead of doing other less important activities? Why we still do that? Why?
These situations indicate that we procrastinate. Is it good? Or is it bad? Let’s find out!
By the end of this article, you should be able to:
1. Appreciate the meaning of procrastination
2. Understand why do people procrastinate
3. Identify the negative effects of procrastination
4. Incorporate the most effective ways to stop procrastination
5. Be most productive and have a wonderful life
Meaning of Procrastination
Procrastination is an action of postponing a particular task that intended to finish but drowning in distractions. In other words, ignoring something important and completing unnecessary. Procrastinating is a bad habit. Yes, it is a habit. We don’t procrastinate only this morning, or yesterday, or last week. We do this every time without noticing it.
Procrastinating has a strong bond to the stress-relief because it is our defense system for stress. However, it makes our productivity, opportunity, potential, time, and life wasted by trading them with temporary stress-relief.
It is different from laziness. Procrastinators and lazy people are not similar. A lazy person is a typical person that simply does not do anything and is just okay with it. On the contrary, the procrastinator has the willingness to do something but has difficulty to start.
Why Do People Procrastinate?
Conscious and unconsciously, people do procrastination. It is because of procrastination, a lifelong trait. Fortunately, like other traits that could be improved and decreased over time because of habits we create, procrastination too. Once we aware and understand sources of procrastination, we are in the right direction to stop it for sure. There are three common reasons that cause us to procrastinate:
Lack of Time-Appreciation
Time is the most precious commodity we have. It is finite and unrecyclable. However, we often deceived by the false presumption that time last forever. We get blinded by the condition that we think it is fine. We used to think that we still can finish the intended task that we ignored without appreciate the time we wasted. Just remember that every single second you spend never comes back. “I can do this later” or “I still have time to finish it before the weekend” are the way of thinking that makes us sacrifice our precious time.
Lack of Self-Discipline
Untrained to follow self-order leads us to lack of self-discipline or self-control. We are the leader of ourselves. As a leader, we decide what to do. Unfortunately, the habit by following the comfort over a bit difficult task ruins every authority we build in our minds.
Get Lost in Decision-Making
Every day we make decisions. Whether deciding what to eat for breakfast or what outfit to wear today. It is easy when we have only two options to pick. However, how about five, ten, twenty, or more options to do. Most of the time, we get lost in making decisions contained many options. Lost in this process causes us to procrastinate. We feel difficult to set priorities among these options.
Negative Effects of Procrastination
In the beginning, we are not aware that we create this bad habit by simply delaying some tasks sometimes. Avoiding the task that we think we can handle it later, tomorrow, or next week is the root of this bad habit.
Every time we avoid difficult tasks and seek distractions for the sake of comfort, we teach our self to be incompetent. The lack of self-control makes this habit grows even worse every day. Procrastinating negatively affect our life.
In the end, we blame ourselves. We regret the time we wasted, we miss great opportunities that potentially brighten our future, we limit our productivity, we stop ourselves from achieving our full potential, and we let untreated diseases eating our health because of delaying to check out the symptoms. There is no happy life.
People regret more on things that they have not done than the things they have done. Meaning, we feel bad because we missed something important rather than the mistakes that we have done. However, we do not realize this when we procrastinate. We drown into distraction and comfort. These things give us fake fine reality, which is why we still do procrastination. We have to stop it!
How to Stop Procrastination?
This is not new and this happens to everyone around the world. However, not everyone is able to stop procrastinating because of a lack of understanding about how to handle it effectively. Yes, procrastinating can be stopped when we know-how. That is why we are happily sharing these effective ways to stop it. This is the approach we can practice to stop procrastinating effectively:
As we can conclude so far that procrastination is a primary self-regulation failure, we should aware of how we regulate ourselves. We should invest our time to know and to well understand about ourselves. Therefore, we can determine which one we have to improve and practice in order to stop procrastinating.
Being able to manage ourselves is crucial because it indicates how we manage others. Yes, it is way bigger than what we thought before, right. That is why stopping procrastinating is a giant leap to our development for success in study, career, relationship, and other domains in life. Do not wait until others make us realize our weaknesses. Start working ourselves for the best results we can get. We can improve self-management by practicing these:
Making To-Do List
Yes, listing our activities for a day is an easy task. However, sticking to the plan is not everyone can do. The essence is to help our mind to think that we have missions to complete. These are important tips to get the maximal result of this practice.
First, list everything you need to do at night before you sleep and arrange them based on their priority level. This will help you to avoid spending more time to think about what to do in the morning and assist you to complete the important tasks first. Second, after you listed everything and arranged them, write what rewards you should give yourself after completing each task or all the list, this self-rewarding is amazing once you practice it. Third, never do multitasking. Finish the list one by one, this will make you focus and more satisfied after you finish each of the tasks. Lastly, enjoy every task you do and keep your promise to yourself that you’ll treat yourself rewards.
Applying Five-Minute Rule
Whenever you want to start a task on your list, keep in mind that you’ll do that for five minutes only. Procrastinating happens when your mind considers a task difficult and resulting stress. Therefore, your mind will form self-defense from that stress and difficulty. Applying the Five-Minute Rule will make your mind address that task as an easy one. Once you start, you’ll realize that you’ll continue doing the task until you finish without pressure on that.
Eliminating Procrastination Root
Once you fell that procrastinating strike back or you want to delay the next task after you’ve completed one, kill it. You can practice counting from five to one and say “let’s do this!” and also you can draw a scenario in your mind about how your day will end after you complete that task.
Managing ourselves is not one shoot process. You completed a day task without procrastinating is only your first step of many to success. Challenge yourself to do no-procrastination for a month by committing making a to-do list we mentioned above. We know that it is a bit difficult to do, but this is an effective way to do.
In conclusion, procrastinating is a bad habit that consciously and unconsciously we develop since long time ago. Fortunately, as a habit we can control it. We can stop procrastinating by practicing an effective approach that is improving self-management.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
You can take a peek about how Tim Urban describes the meaning of procrastination, why do people procrastinate, negative effects of procrastination, and how to stop procrastination on TED in a hilarious way. Honestly, the way he delivers this bad habit is memorable.
Well, we appreciate your effort in reading and trying to understand this article so far. You have a strong will and you will be able to overcome this procrastinating issue. So, did you get a clear understanding of the meaning of procrastination and effective ways about how to stop procrastination?