In my previous post I have talked about Procrastination and reasons Why procrastinators procrastinate. And as promised I am here with different ways to tackle procrastination.
We procrastinate about things that make us a little bit uncomfortable. You think about something you don’t particularly like and the pain centers of your brain light up so you shift and narrow your focus of attention to something more enjoyable. This causes you to feel better. At least temporarily but sadly the long term effects of habitual avoidance can be nasty. When you put off your studies it can become even more painful to think about studying it. You can choke on tests because you haven’t laid the firm neural foundations you need to feel comfortable with the material. Procrastination can be a single monumentally important keystone bad habit, a habit in other words that influences many important areas of your life. If you improve your abilities in this area many other positive changes will gradually begin to unfold.
Procrastination shares features with addiction. It offers temporary excitement and relief from sometimes boring reality. It’s easy to fool yourself for example into thinking that the best use of any given moment is surfing the web for information instead of actually reading the textbook or doing the assigned problems. You start to tell yourself stories, for example you might tell yourself that organic chemistry requires special reasoning, your
weakness, so of course you’re doing very poorly at it. You devise irrational excuses that sound superficially reasonable like if I study too far ahead of the test I’ll forget the material. If you’re troubled by procrastination you may even start telling yourself that procrastination is an innate unchangeable characteristic. After all if procrastination were easily fixable wouldn’t you have fixed it by now?
How we procrastinate generally falls you under 3 categories:
Physical : People may physically procrastinate by going for a walk, sleeping or going to s movie.
Emotional: Here people can emotionally procrastinate by escaping into alcohol, drugs, reading trashy magazines or flirting to escape from the reality of the task at hand.
Mental : Mentally, people might create a number of reasons way we should not do the job, such as maybe I need to get some more eggs from the shop now, or I need to find inspiration, or I will start tomorrow and so on.
Lets learn to tackle this problem of procrastination:
Be honest about the fact you are procrastinating. It is imperative to acknowledge that one is delaying things by giving various excuses which could be physical, emotional or mental. Most of the problems are solved if a person accepts delaying task ,as this will motivate him/her to find the solutions which best suits them.
From the earlier post , write down the reasons why you are procrastinating, this will help you to identify which strategy to adopt in order to overcome your delaying process.
Challenge these reasons, don’t let yourself off lightly. To overcome a low self-esteem issue takes discipline. Realise that it is your ego talking when you say I will do it tomorrow” or “I need to have fun first”. The ego is hedonistic, so do not let it rule. One you get caught it is very difficult to come out of it.
Write down the consequences of not doing the task on time. Sometimes not doing a task may cost you something enormous.
Set Goals :Think of a goal as your final destination, if you don’t know what your final destination is , there is no way to plan on how to get there. Goal setting is not only about choosing the rewards you want to enjoy, but also the cost you are willing to pay. Make sure you not only set goal but set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound)goal. Setting SMART goal makes you more committed and accountable.
Keep a planner journal so you can easily track when you reach your goals and observe what does and doesn’t work.
Commit yourself to certain routines and tasks each day.
Write your planned tasks out the night before so your brain has time to dwell on your goals and help ensure success.
Arrange your work into a series of small challenges.
Always make sure you, and your zombies, get lots of rewards.
Take a few minutes to savor the feelings of happiness and triumph, which also gives your brain a chance to temporarily change modes.
Deliberately delay rewards until you have finished a task.
Watch for procrastination cues. Try putting in new surrounding with few procrastination cues, such as the quite section of a library.
Gain trust in your new system. You want to work hard during times of focused concentration and also to trust your system enough so that when it comes time to relax, you actually relax without feelings of guilt or worry.
Have back up plans for when you still procrastinate. No ones’s perfect after all.
Eat your frog first every day.
One of the most effective techniques which work wonders in dealing with procrastination is POMODORA technique.
It was invented by Francesco Cirillo, in the early 1980’s. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. The timer you use often looks like a tomato and really, a timer is all there is to this elegant little technique. All you need to do, is set a timer to 25 minutes, turn off all interruptions, and then focus. That’s it! Most anybody can focus for 25 minutes.
The only last important thing is to give yourself a little reward when you’re done. A few minutes of web surfing, a cup of coffee, or a bite of chocolate, even just stretching or chatting mindlessly, allowing your brain to enjoyably change its focus for a while. You’ll find that using the Pomodoro technique is very effective. It’s a little like doing an intense 25 minute workout at a mental gym. Followed by some mental relaxation. Give it a try.
Product v/s Process
Researchers have found that non-procrastinators put their negative thinking aside saying things to themselves like: quit wasting time and just get on with it, once you get going, you’ll feel better about it. If you find yourself avoiding certain tasks because they make you feel uncomfortable, you should know there’s another helpful way to re-frame things. And that’s to learn to focus on process not product.
To prevent procrastination you want to avoid concentrating on product. Instead, your attention should be on building processes. Processes relate to simple habits, habits that coincidentally allow you to do the unpleasant tasks that need to be done. The product is what triggers the pain that causes you to procrastinate. Instead, you need to focus on the process or processes – the small chunks of time you need over days or even weeks to answer the questions or prepare for tests. Who cares whether you finish the homework or grasp the key concepts in any one session. The whole point instead, is that you calmly put forth your best effort for a short period.
Don’t you think tackling procrastination is much easier and valuable than what you thought.
Pic Courtesy/Edit – Google/Canva