Procrastination is the act of avoiding a task, though surely you all knew that, seeing as everybody seems to do it. Sometimes, people procrastinate until the last minute before a deadline. Procrastination can take hold of any aspect of life. Procrastination can make you feel guilty, depressed, anxious, and doubtful of yourself.
In a study performed on university students, procrastination was shown to be greater on tasks that were perceived as unpleasant or as impositions than on tasks for which the student believed he or she lacked the required skills for accomplishing the task. So, how do people cope with procrastination?
People need to figure out why they are procrastinating. If the task is boring or unpleasant, they should take steps to get the task out of the way so they can focus on other tasks. Poor organization can lead to procrastination. Organized people successfully overcome procrastination because they use prioritized to-do lists and create effective schedules. These tools help people organize tasks by priority and deadline.
Even if people are organized, they can still feel overwhelmed by a task. Some people fear success as much as failure. They think that success will lead to them being swamped with requests to take on more tasks. Surprisingly, perfectionists are often procrastinators. Typically, they’d rather avoid doing a task that they don’t feel they have the skills to do than do it imperfectly.
Another major cause of procrastination is poor decision-making. If you can’t decide what to do, you’ll likely put off taking action in case you do the wrong thing.
For some people, procrastination is more than a bad habit; it’s a sign of a serious health issue such as ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression.
The phrases “need to” and “have to,” for example, imply that they have no choice in what you do. This can make people feel disempowered and might even result in self-sabotage. However, saying, “I choose to,” implies that they own a project, and can make them feel more in control of their workload. This mindset alone can make a huge difference. Give it a try. It cannot hurt.