Are you the type who holds off on doing things until the last possible moment? If you answered yes, then science says you may be a procrastinator. But the good news is that you can overcome this behavior.
Tim Pychyl, Carleton University’s associate professor of psychology, gave a statement explaining why we sometimes find ourselves adopting this destructive behavior. He informed that “We procrastinate because we give in to feel good. If a task makes me frustrated or bored, avoidance lets me escape those negative emotions”.
But this eventually leads to stress and anxiety, or even relationship problems. If we ignore our responsibilities for long periods of time, they will inevitably pile on top of each other, and we’ll most likely react poorly once we realize we don’t have enough time to get things done.
In order to become better at managing your procrastination tendencies, you first need to understand why your inner child wants to procrastinate. Here are some of the most common signs of procrastination, along with suggestions on how to overcome them:
1) Are deadlines a problem for you? Professor Pychyl informs that deciding to only write a report the night before the presentation is perfectly fine if you have time to finish it. However, if you initially wanted to start working on it three (3) days before the presentation, and kept ignoring the task because you weren’t in the mood for it, this means you’ve been procrastinating.
You avoid this type of behavior by setting fairly small goals – write 400 words by 12 pm. Piers Steel, University of Calgary’s professor of organizational behavior, says that you are more likely to get some work done if you tell yourself that you’re not going to spend the entire day on a task you don’t like. It’s also important that you make your goals sound like instructions that you would give to someone else.
2) Physical exercise is another problem for procrastinators. Did you buy an exercise bike with the best of intentions, but it only ended up collecting dust? You may have to change your mentality and break the main action into several small actions. Instead of telling yourself to hop on the bike and exercise for an hour, tell yourself to hop on the bike and just start moving the pedals.
3) Do you turn to Facebook and Twitter when you have to carry out a task you don’t like? This can be fixed by selecting different passwords for your social media accounts and telling the platforms not to remember them.
The simple act of having to retype them every time may make you decide not to log in, which may help you decide to get to work.
4) If your loved ones always have to wait for you when you go out with them, or worse you frequently cancel these meetings, then you once again have a problem with procrastination. And the answer to this is to also break one big task into several smaller tasks.
5) Do your friends pretty much never finish anything on time? If so, then start looking for new ones. Procrastinating friends will encourage you to procrastinate, but friends who always finish things on time, or even sooner than required, will encourage you to do the same.
Image Source: pixabay.com