When was the last time you pushed something off that you knew you needed to do? Procrastination is really prevalent, and we’ve all done it at one point or another.
You may be delayed while reading this post when you should be working, paying bills, or doing chores.
Procrastination, on the other hand, can sometimes interfere with your daily life and be an indication of mental diseases such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, or anxiety.
According to Dr. Indra Cidambi, psychiatrist and medical director at the Center for Network Therapy in Middlesex, New Jersey, “the majority of people procrastinate on occasion, even if it doesn’t interfere with our normal routine.”.
You procrastinate for a variety of reasons
I’m worried about the task- For instance, perhaps you’ve been meaning to make a doctor’s appointment but are afraid of what they’ll find.
You are unsure about your abilities to perform the work- You can avoid the negative emotions associated with that work by calling a buddy, going on social media, or otherwise distracting yourself, according to Cidambi.
You’re tired or bored- It’s easy to do something else to distract yourself in these instances if you have something else to do. “Proximity to temptation substantially boosts procrastination,” says Piers Steel, a Brookfield Research Chair at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business and author of “The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Things Done.
“Even if there isn’t, you may believe that you have a lot of time to complete the task. This could be due to a lack of time management abilities.
Believing that putting off a task till the last minute will improve your performance- You feel a rush of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol when you do a task swiftly with only a few hours to spare, according to licensed clinical psychologist Annie M. Varvaryan of Couch Conversations Psychotherapy and Counseling in Los Angeles. This last-minute routine may work once or twice, but it isn’t usually beneficial in the long run.
When Does Procrastination Become an Issue?
How do you tell if procrastination is an issue when it’s so common? There are several indicators that persistent procrastination is harming you:
Cidambi claims that you have a hard time getting things done on schedule. When this occurs, you attribute the poorer-than-expected performance to a lack of time to complete the task.
Dr. Ashwini Nadkarni, an instructor at Harvard Medical School and an associate psychiatrist at the Brigham & Women’s Ambulatory Care Center’s Department of Psychiatry in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, argues that putting off duties has more serious effects.
For example, you may be served with eviction or shut-off notifications if you consistently fail to pay your payments on time. If you procrastinate at work, you’re either on the verge of being fired or you’re fired.
Your poor grades at school are due to late assignments or poor performance due to last-minute work completion.
You tell lies to hide your procrastination. If your teacher or boss asks if you waited until the last minute to complete the task given, you can tell them no and that it has been completed for some time.
In your relationships, you procrastinate. You make plans with friends all the time and then cancel them. Or you agree to do someone a favor but never follow through.
Varvaryan suggests that you think about what you’re delaying. There may be specific causes for your procrastination in one aspect of your life, such as at work. Perhaps you lack the necessary skills to complete your job and require more training.
If your procrastination is affecting multiple aspects of your life, you’re more likely to get depressed.
7 Tips for Getting Rid of It
Admit that you have a problem with procrastination.
Examine where you’re procrastinating so you can figure out why you’re postponing in that particular area. If it’s a work-related issue, Cidambi suggests asking your boss for further training in a certain subject area to improve your skills.
If procrastination is interfering with other aspects of your life, consult a mental health expert.
A therapist, psychologist, or other qualified professional can assist you in determining how and why you procrastinate, as well as what underlying issues may be contributing to your procrastination.
They can also provide you with tools to help you manage procrastination, according to Varvaryan. This may include a technique known as cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT.
CBT can help you identify the ideas, behaviors, and emotions that are linked to a stressful circumstance, as well as provide real strategies for changing your thinking pattern in the future.
CBT is used by mental health experts to treat a variety of disorders, including anxiety and depression.
Don’t blame yourself for being a procrastinator.
Many other people are having the same issue, and the world appears to be built up to produce motivational issues . In fact, throughout the pandemic, Varvaryan has noticed an increase in procrastination. Because of the mental tension that everyone has been experiencing, it takes extra effort to complete everything on time or early.
Make sure you have someone to keep you accountable.
This person can inquire about the status of a task, and you can update them on your progress, according to Nadkarni. You can rejoice in any tiny or large way if you finish the work on time. If you can afford it, a life coach can also help you stay accountable, according to Steel.
There are also apps like Success Coach – Life Planner that can assist you with life planning and goal setting.
Start with tiny, doable steps. For instance, if you need to write a paper, start by creating a new document on your computer. Alternatively, gather the resources you’ll need for a project.
Small, first measures like these, according to Varvaryan, can help you overcome your procrastinating habits.
Set “false” deadlines for yourself and reward yourself if you meet them.
Nunez believes that this is simply one of several time-management techniques that might help you complete tasks on schedule. Assume you have a two-week deadline for a paper. You convince yourself it’s due in a week with a bogus deadline.
Give yourself a small reward if you meet your bogus deadline, such as going out for coffee. If you don’t meet the deadline you set, there will be natural consequences, such as a rush to finish work on time or a poor grade for missing the deadline entirely.
Use positive self-talk to shift a negative mentality towards a project.
Assume you’ve been putting off biology assignments because you believe you’re awful at it. “I love biology, and I’m good at biology,” you could tell yourself instead. Positive messages will gradually change the way you think about things, even if you don’t believe them at first.