Procrastination is the conscious voluntary postponement of a task which needs to be done, usually vital or unpleasant. This at times against ones better judgment. Once someone procrastinates, what they’re doing is delaying something that’s pressing, which can become detrimental in the future.
There are some who procrastinates, claim they do so because they perform better when under pressure, so they choose to delay.
Another excuse is they may need that last moment push of a pending deadline, to get focused.
The clinical definition of procrastination, is it’s a negative reaction of the mind for a pressing action which needs to be completed.
Procrastination And It’s Consequences
What’s thought is the habit of leaving things until the last moment, usually has lower quality results, or reduced well-being.
Students who procrastinate for instance, and then crams for exams at the last moment, usually gets lower grades.
What procrastinators will also do is postpone medical treatments and diagnostic tests, which can have detrimental effects.
There’s No Structure
Procrastination can be external, such as a lack of imposed direction, which is a common occurrence in disorganized workplaces, which adds to the confusion.
What then results is a contribution to the outstanding delay, resulting in impulsive decision making.
Some will act on impulse, such as checking ones Facebook account, instead of doing the actual work assigned.
Since online access is so readily available, acting on the urge becomes extremely easy.
So the best solution is to structure your immediate environment, to avoid distraction.
Once you do so, it makes the designated task at hand more likely to happen.
For instance, if you have a habit of constantly checking your email or social media too often, make it difficult for you to connect to the internet.
Doing Unpleasant Tasks
The easiest predictor when it comes to procrastination, is the need to do a pressing task that’s usually considered mundane, boring, repetitive, or unpleasant.
This could be buying a gift for the in-laws, painting the house, doing the laundry, the need to go exercise.
The key is to become more disciplined, to complete the unpleasant task on time.
One proven strategy is to put a time clock on it, and then divide and conquer.
Completely shift your focus from looking at the ultimate momentous task, by breaking it down into a series of easier “to-do,” intermediate tasks.
Set the exact time you’re going to start the task at hand, such as 10AM, then force yourself to begin precisely.
Outline what you need to do, then set a time limit such as 45 minutes to complete it.
Know The Timing
What becomes important is the timing of the reward or the punishment, if the task is not completed.
The action along with the associated consequences, are separated by time. What a gap like this does is produces internal conflict, between the future and present action.
Procrastination occurs when the present efforts are noticed, in comparison to the future ones.
What this forces is the individual to postpone tasks, without anticipating when its time to do them. Then the required action will usually be delayed once again.
To Become Disciplined
Say someone who smokes cigarettes is wanting to quit. Those who procrastinates can spend weeks or months having one last cigarette until they do.
The solution for this, is finding a way to make long-term goals feel like short-term rewards.
For instance, before going for a run, it could be the anxiety of thinking how cold the weather will be, which can at times result in procrastination.
This procrastination then overpowers the benefits of getting exercise by improving your cardiovascular system.
To overcome this type of resistance, what’s needed is associating the end result, the positive benefits the run creates.
Avoidance resulting in procrastination, is a well-known form of coping with stress and anxiety.
What procrastinators will do, is postpone starting something, because of the fear of failure. What’s known is procrastination stems from worry.
To relieve this stress, what chronic procrastinators should do is shift their focus away from the future.
Instead, shift towards safer more immediate rewards, as doing so avoids those high priority challenging tasks.
Lack Of Self Confidence
Once difficult times arises, those who has low self-confidence or low self-esteem, does is develops doubts about their ability to do what they need to do, avoiding the task at hand.
Those with strong belief, are more likely to forge forward and continue their efforts of completing the task, regardless of how difficult or demanding it may be.
What low self-confidence does is results in avoiding doing things which needs to be done. What’s also missed are opportunities to acquire new knowledge and skills.
A college student for instance who has low self-confidence in math, may avoid studying harder, or avoid pursuing more difficult math courses.
The decision of not enrolling, might deprive the student of much needed skill development.
In contrast, goal attainment usually raises self-confidence, which results in the individual setting higher challenging pursuits.
What needs to be discovered are the real causes of those who procrastinates, even if they know something needs to be done.
What’s known is there are a variety of different explanations, on why most will put things off.
The act of procrastination can’t be isolated, as it’s considered a personality trait which is linked to other bad behaviours.
These include low self-esteem and poor confidence, increased neuroticism, or the need to be perfect.
One common trait linked to procrastination is self-handicapping, which is avoiding the effort of keeping potential failure from damaging self-esteem.
There’s also been studies which attempts to link intelligence with procrastination, although no real correlation has been found.