I have always been the opposite of a procrastinator. I always preferred to tackle first the least pleasant task and work on the most exciting the last. Just like eating the least favourite food on my plate first and leaving the tastiest part to last. But I see so many procrastinators around me that I wanted to explore this subject a little bit.
According to Cambridge dictionary the verb to procrastinate means; to keep delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring.
We are talking about something that needs to be done sooner or later, most probably with a deadline. But you don’t want to do it. Because it is hard, or it requires going out of your way to accomplish it. Maybe you need to ask for someone’s help to bring the job to its completion, or it is the first time you deal with the subject and not sure how to do it. These are all situations that moves one out of their comfort zone with a deep feeling of uncertainty.
So many distractions
With the help of convenient distractions like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. it is pretty easy to push out not only the unwanted tasks but all tasks that require attention. Though if you can be honest and admit that you are a procrastinator, be proactive and deal with it properly, the habit of procrastinating might get easier to handle.
Don’t beat yourself up
If you are mad at yourself because you are a procrastinator, Nic Voge, Senior Associate Director of Princeton University’s McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning in New Jersey has good news for you. “Procrastination isn’t shameful. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s not a flaw,” he says. “It’s actually pretty predictable; it’s something we can really expect if we understand the dynamics of motivation”. Therefore; finding a way to motivate ourselves is the key to reaching the finish line within the time frame that the work must be completed.
And, you guessed right, I have a few tips on how to do that.
- Motivate yourself by finding personal benefit, enjoyment or significance in the task or activity you are supposed to work on.
- Divide a big and uncomfortable task into smaller, attainable steps, and accordingly set more achievable and realistic goals. That would help you to see the whole task as a set of stairs that you can climb one step at a time.
- Minimize distractions by removing your smartphone from your environment, or taking a break from checking your email while working on the task at hand.
- Attach an incentive component to your goal. Reward yourself for a timely accomplishment. Maybe boosting your motivation could be easier than you think with a little gift to yourself.
You can do it
Accepting procrastination as a self-imposed condition is an important step towards changing this bad habit into a formula for success. Make your plan, follow it meticulously, and forgive yourself for small hiccups on the way. You will soon transform yourself from a procrastinator into a motivated and disciplined individual.