The Procrastination Trap : Breaking the cycle With Strategies
Do you find yourself putting off tasks until the very last minute only to rush through them with panic? I can imagine you nodding your head positively! In fact, we all have been there at some point in our lives.
However, if this is becoming your habit than you need to watch out because you are slowly falling into the trap procrastination.
Procrastination is like that annoying relative who always shows up uninvited and overstays their welcome.
It’s a sneaky habit that creeps up on you when you least expect it, convincing you that tomorrow is always better to start.But as we all know tomorrow never comes and the task never gets done!
Think about such task that you want to get it done since long but have not done it yet.
Whatever your task might be, the consequences of procrastination are terrible. You might just want to do that thing just now if you all know how dreadful the consequences of procrastination can be. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in:
Consequences of Procrastination
• Increased Stress and Anxiety:
You can put off the task or avoid doing the task for the longest time. But you cannot stop worrying about it. You cannot be distressed about that task. It will always be at the back of your mind.
This stress can build up over time, leading to negative impacts on our mental and physical health.
• Missed Opportunities:
When we put off important tasks, we may miss out on opportunities that could have benefited us. For e.g. If we delay working on a job application until the deadline has passed, we may miss out on the chance to get a job we wanted.
This can have a long-term consequence as missed opportunities can limit our future prospects and career growth.
In addition, missed opportunities can lead to regret and negative feelings such as disappointment, frustration and negative emotions.
• Decreased Productivity:
When we put off the task, we will find ourselves rushing to complete them at the last minute or working overtime to meet deadlines. This can lead to lower quality work.
Along with that procrastination can lead to a cycle of distraction and avoidance, making it difficult to focus on the task at hand. This can reduce our ability to concentrate and make it harder to get into a productive mind set.
• Damaged Relationships:
Procrastination can also have a negative impact on your relationships. Not fulfilling promises or showing up late for appointments can damage trust and create tensions in your relationships.
Similarly, if you put off making plans with friends and family, it can make them feel like they are not a priority in your life. They may start to feel neglected, which can lead to a breakdown in your relationship.
• Lower Self-esteem:
When you repeatedly put off important tasks or fail to follow through commitments, it can make you feel like you are not capable enough to succeed.
Similarly, if you procrastinate on personal goals, such as starting a new exercise or setting a new routine, you may start to feel like you are not capable of achieving your aspirations. This can lead to feeling of disappointment and frustration with yourself.
Procrastination can lead to host of problems and after reading its consequences I am sure you all agree with me. So before it takes over, let’s get started to kick procrastination out of our life for once and all.
Strategies to Overcome Procrastination:
1.Just get started/ Transition point:
It’s not always necessary to match your emotional being to match the task at hand. All you need to do, is to get started.
So, here it is. Just take the first step towards getting it started. If you have been meaning to make a call to someone, just dial it. If you are thinking of writing a journal, just take a pen and start writing it.
Sometimes all it takes is an instant moment to get it started. once you start doing the thing, the rhythm gets aligned automatically.
2. Setting Specific and Achievable Goals:
When you set specific goals, you know exactly what you need to accomplish and can plan your time accordingly. This helps to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed and allows you to break down larger part into smaller ones.
Moreover, setting achievable goals gives you a sense of progress and accomplishment, which in turn motivates you to keep working towards your goals.
Setting specific, achievable goals helps to break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable ones, avoids feeling overwhelmed and provides a sense of progress and accomplishment, which in turn motivates you to keep working towards your goals.
3. Break the Task in Smaller Parts:
Sometimes one single task, looks too big to get it done in one go. The wisest thing to do, is to break the task in small sub tasks.
Allot a day to every sub task when you want to get it done. Make a calendar of sub tasks and by simply following it day by day, you will be done with that one task.
Little achievements of completion of sub tasks will boost your confidence and will help you to avoid procrastination. This is the most effective way to get things done, when they are not achievable in a single take. Like to write a book, to lose weight, to start meditating and more.
4. Mitigate Distractions:
It is said that an average employee gets distracted every 11 minutes. No matter where you work, chances are there will be many distractions around you, fighting for your attention.
What you can do is to combat those distractions. Like if you want to go for a run but it’s too cold outside, wear a sweatshirt and run. If there is lot of noise around you, wear the earplug and work. If you want to start meditating but you cannot do that at all start with 10 minutes of meditation.
There is always a way to ward off distractions!
5. Do It Early:
Whatever you want to do, get it done after finishing your daily routine in the morning. Because, once you get into the zone of delaying till the end of the day, you might won’t do it at all.
Resist the urge to postpone it. Also imagine the wonderful feeling you will get the entire day! I bet you will not trade that feeling for anything else!
6. Let The Fear Sink In:
Before you start doing the task, feel the fear, the uncertainty and everything that is holding you back for doing it. Just feel it and release it. Just get done with that feeling so that it never comes back.
This is the biggest obstacle that you might face and overcoming it is the biggest achievement.
Half the battle is won here itself.
7. Visualize the Results:
This technique is vouched by many experts.
You need to visualize the outcome you will achieve by the end of completion of that task. Imagine how you will feel after having a heart to heart conversation or say what the feeling will be after you finish writing a book.
Visualize that day every day, feel that feeling and trust me it will become way easier for you to do the job. It will give you the drive to finish that task. You will stay motivated to cross any hurdles you may come across.
8. Practice Self Compassion:
When we procrastinate, it is easy to fall into a cycle of self-criticism and negative self-talk, which can ultimately lead to more procrastination.
By practicing self-compassion, we can break this cycle and create a more positive mind-set.
Self-compassion includes self-kindness which means being understanding and supportive of ourselves, just as we would be towards a friend. Common humanity reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles, and that procrastination is a common experience. Mindfulness includes being aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgement and accepting as they are.
Practicing self-compassion can help us in reducing stress and increasing productivity. When we are kind to ourselves we are more likely to feel positive emotions and be more productive.
So there you have it, guys! Procrastination may be a natural human tendency, but it doesn’t have to rule our lives.
By understanding it’s dreaded consequences and some amazing strategies to win over it as discussed above, we can beat procrastination and achieve our dreams.
And remember as Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started”. So let’s get started on conquering procrastination and achieving our goals.