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5 Best Tips for Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination is the act of unnecessarily postponing decisions or actions. Procrastination is one of the most popular phenomenon because around 20% of the adult population and 50% of the student population say that they procrastinate in a serious and chronic manner. Furthermore, even people who aren’t chronic procrastinators still struggle with procrastination from time to time, and suffer from it to various degrees in their everyday life.

    In addition, as you’ve likely noticed, procrastination is a serious problem, which can lead to a wide range of issues. Accordingly, it’s not surprising that procrastination is associated with worse grades in school, lower salaries in the workplace, a higher likelihood of being unemployed, increased stress, higher rates of mental health issues, and higher rates of physical health problems.

This shows us the things we can be experiencing if procrastination is our way of life. If you’re a procrastinator, you’ve probably asked yourself some variation of the following question in the past:

“Why do I keep procrastinating even though I know that it’s bad for me and even though I want to stop?”

People often assume that they procrastinate simply as a result of laziness or a lack of willpower, but the real answer is much more complex than that, and has to do with the cognitive mechanisms that we use in order to self-regulate our behavior, in our attempts to bring ourselves to take action that is in our best interest.

In short, when we need to perform a certain task, we usually rely on our self-control in order to get ourselves to do so. Furthermore, our motivation, which is based on the desire for some reward which we will receive as a result of completing that task, can provide a helpful boost to our self-control, which helps us act in a timely manner. However, there are various demotivating factors, such as anxiety or fear of failure, that have an opposite effect than our motivation, meaning that they can make us more likely to postpone our tasks unnecessarily, instead of getting them done in a timely manner.

In addition, there are also various hindering factors, such as mental exhaustion or distracting environments that interfere with our self-control and motivation directly, in a way that also makes us more likely to procrastinate. Whenever these demotivating and hindering factors outweigh our self-control and motivation, we end up procrastinating. We then have to wait until the balance between them shifts back in our favor before we can get started on our work, which can sometimes take a very long time.

How to overcome procrastination

As strong as procrastination may be, there are some ways that have been tested and proven that they work. You can try out the following tips to overcome your procrastination.

1. Create a to do list

Start by creating a to-do list with things that you would like to accomplish. If necessary, put a date next to each item if there is a deadline that you need to meet.

Estimate how long each task will take to complete, and then double that number so that you don’t fall into the cognitive trap of underestimating how long each project will take.

2. Face your fear

Fear is one factor that contributes to procrastination. This can involve a fear of failure, a fear of making mistakes, or even a fear of success. If you are afraid of success because you secretly believe that you don’t deserve it, it is important to realize that your self-handicapping might be keeping you from achieving your goals. By addressing the fear that is keeping you from getting started, you can begin to overcome your procrastination habit.

3. Recognize the source of problem

As you start to tackle items on your list, pay attention to when thoughts of procrastination start to creep into your mind. If you find yourself thinking “I don’t feel like doing this now” or “I’ll have time to work on this later,” then you need to recognize that you are about to procrastinate.

Also Check Out: How To Set Achievable Smart Goals

4. Clear all distraction

It’s hard to get any real work done when you keep turning your attention to what’s on television or you keep checking your friends’ Facebook status updates. Assign yourself a period of time during which you turn off all distractions—such as music, television, and social networking sites—and use that time to focus all of your attention on the task at hand.

5. Once you have completed a task (or even a small portion of a larger task), it is important to reward yourself for your efforts

Give yourself the opportunity to indulge in something that you find fun and enjoyable, whether it’s attending a sporting event, playing a video game, watching your favorite TV show, or looking at pictures on a social sharing site.

Conclusion

Procrastination is a deadly disease. If you let it, it won’t mind eating deep into every part of you. Make sure to always stay woke especially when that voice will keep telling you “There is still time, relax, you can do it later”. Even if you don’t feel like it, go and do a little of that thing and with time, you will get used to it and procrastination will run very far away from you.

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