What is procrastination?
Procrastination happens when people put off performing important and necessary tasks. In other words, it is actually postponing the fulfillment of some obligation. Procrastination definition
Psychologist Timothy Pychyl of Carleton University sums up the concept of procrastination as follows: “You know what you should do and you can’t do it. It’s a gap between intention and action.”
I mean, instead of performing mandatory and important tasks, procrastination makes you do less urgent tasks or just do what gives you pleasure.
So, for example, instead of dedicating yourself to writing your work , you can spend hours procrastinating, just scrolling through your Instagram feed. Is this scene common out there?
Why does procrastination happen?
Well then. A good way to start avoiding procrastination is to understand why it happens. And actually, procrastination can happen for a variety of reasons. Procrastination definition
One of the most common reasons is tasks with long deadlines or no deadline. The natural reaction is to extend it closer to the deadline. Or, put other immediate tasks ahead in an infinite loop.
Another reason that leads us to procrastinate is tasks that demand great responsibility. In general, we wait for an ideal occasion – which never comes – so that we have the necessary conditions to start doing the task.
Laziness and external stimuli – such as social media – also lead us to procrastinate. You end up getting distracted and losing track of the time that has passed.
In this video, Tim Urban brings up very important – and even comical – points about what happens in the mind of a procrastinator: Procrastination definition
What are the impacts of procrastinating?
The impacts of procrastination can be obvious. After all, there is a real risk of situations that can happen with the deadline for the work to be delivered. The most dangerous situation is, in fact, not being able to finish the job to deliver it on time.
But there are other more subtle consequences as well. Like, for example, the quality of the work you deliver. That’s because if you procrastinate for a long time, you’ll get the task done in a much shorter time than you should. The chance of the work not being good enough is great, right? Procrastination definition
However, there are other, even deeper impacts. Which specifically pertain to how you will feel.
It turns out that even if you do pleasurable tasks while procrastinating, you don’t exactly feel great. That’s because you feel guilt, worry, helplessness… various feelings that prevent you from really enjoying the moment.
But, after all, how to overcome procrastination?
You can count on some tools and some ways to help you avoid procrastination.
Here are our tips:
Analyze how procrastination happens to you
Procrastination happens differently for each person. It is important to assess how it happens for you.
Check, for example, in which situations do you tend to procrastinate? For example, does procrastination happen more often when you are studying at home? or in a library? Procrastination definition
Does procrastination appear at the beginning of tasks or do you have more difficulty completing it?
What’s more, see what you do while you’re procrastinating: do you watch random YouTube videos or waste time on social media? Or do you play video games?
If you can, also question the reasons. Why do you procrastinate? Are you feeling overwhelmed or struggling to handle any responsibilities?
Keep your plan and schedule up to date
Also, keep your planning and schedule up to date. List all the tasks you need to do, then sort them by priority criteria.
Take care to set deadlines that you can meet. It’s no use establishing in your schedule that in a week you will be able to finish all the readings and all the records . You are probably just fooling yourself.
Consider the other tasks you need to do, such as studying for other subjects and the time you spend at work or internship . Procrastination definition
Realize that an unachievable deadline is also useless, because the schedule won’t work for your organization.
Identify your hours and productivity cycles
People have different productivity cycles. While some people are more productive in the morning, others are much more active at dawn.
A good way to reduce procrastination is to identify what time you feel most willing to produce. From there, you can organize your schedule.
Leave the simplest tasks for the times you feel the most dispersion. You can, for example, leave household chores – such as washing clothes, vacuuming and washing dishes – in the moments when you don’t feel like writing work. Procrastination definition
Break larger work into smaller tasks
It is important that when stipulating the tasks needed to get the job done, you are as specific as possible. It is much easier to do many small tasks than one big task.
Furthermore, because the less comprehensive the schedule becomes, the more realistic it will be and, consequently, the easier it will be to stick to it accurately.
Let’s think, for example, that you just put a “ theoretical reference ” task in the schedule in general and did not specify each activity within that step that you will need to do.
Thus, it is not clear that you will need to do all the readings, develop the records , build the arguments, make the citations correctly, review the bibliographic references … phew!
See how much is implied in this step? Will the time you predicted be enough? How will you feel in the face of this great challenge? Procrastination definition
If, on the other hand, your schedule has all these activities separate, it is much easier to predict how much time you will need for each one.
Consider that bibliographic research , theoretical foundations and data analysis tend to take up more time. So, divide these steps into many tasks. For example, break the search down by main subjects and break the data analysis down to each specific objective .
Find out about your creative process
In general, the creative process is a structuring process for the development of creative activities: from the emergence of the idea to the realization of the project.
In this context, executing a creative process is directing efforts to organize thoughts and ideas to put creativity into practice. Procrastination definition
Try to understand how good ideals arise in you. How do you feel willing to produce?
Once you know and define your own creative process, it becomes much easier to direct efforts to the steps of this process. In the end, you optimize your time and improve your productivity.
Not to mention that defining a creative process with very well-structured steps prevents you from getting stuck in creative blocks.
Develop a rewards system
You know how rewarding it is to mark a task as complete, right? This is a reward you get after so much work.
See how important it is to reward yourself for tasks. This is an interesting way to avoid procrastination, because it elevates your sense and desire for accomplishment.
At the same time, it greatly increases self-confidence to face future challenges. Then develop your own rewards system. Procrastination definition
You can, for example, commit to having coffee on the porch after completing a certain task. Or take a break to watch an episode of your series.
Ultimately, rewards should happen for meaningful behavior – like completing the task – they should be meaningful to allow you to progress, and they should be accessible for you to be motivated in the short term.
Get rid of distractions
At this point, you will already know what your biggest distractions are, right? Then create shapes to avoid them. Limit cell phone use, turn off email and message notifications, change your work environment.