The definition of procrastination is “the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished by a certain deadline.”
Starting Out Strong
Possibly the hardest part of anything – a project, work, school assignments, a lifestyle change, a conversation – is starting it. We all love doing things. That sounds silly, but nobody wants to just sit around and do nothing. But, many get paralyzed or at least delayed by their own thoughts and decisions before starting or completing a task. The effects of putting things off are stress, lower quality performance, and emphasizing a poor work ethic. That’s what procrastination truly is: you getting in the way of yourself, causing professional and personal harm. The first step to overcoming procrastination is to recognize that and what is causing it. Whether it be a fear of failure, having excessive perfectionism, being low energy and motivation, or just simply not focusing, we have all gotten in our own way.
Once you have found out why you are procrastinating, you have to eliminate or mitigate the problem. This requires not only planning on your part, but willpower as well. Nobody changes on a whim, so the only way to change your life for the better and cut out bad work habits is to actually want to do so. If you’ve reached the point where it is a necessity to change your life, you have definitely waited for far too long. The best way to prevent that from happening is to see it coming. Self-awareness is an underrated trait and indispensable in the pursuit of success, happiness, and peace. Noticing bad habits like turning in work in the nick of time, common occurrences such as losing sleep, or being straight up told that you are slacking is usually a great kick in the pants to turn things around.
Outlining Your Project
Formulating a plan of action (don’t put this off, too!) to stop yourself from procrastinating can be really complex. Try making a schedule not only for your work, but also for your other activities. This will bring you focus and clarity. If you’re low on energy start working out more. Humans aren’t meant to be sedentary, and the mind and body are inherently linked together. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help; there are people out there willing and able to get you in mental and physical shape. From your parents to your friends, from a therapist to a personal trainer, there will be at least one person that will grasp your hand and help pull you out of your own way. This in itself does take willpower, too. Like we said before: you have to want to change!
Double Checking Your Work
Once you’ve found an outlet and/or person that you can trust and you’ve worked through trusting yourself, stick to your plan. You’ll find yourself getting work done before the deadline, having more energy than ever before, and even being happier than you can remember. When you kick the procrastination habit, it is the best feeling in the world. Create new good habits and enact them daily. Every day it gets a little easier, but you gotta do it every day – that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.