What is procrastination?
Procrastination refers to intentionally avoiding tasks that were meant to be done at a specific time thus prolonging the deadline.
We all procrastinate. In fact, you are reading an article from the greatest procrastinator of all time. My name is Gustaff Ndalo, the founder of Navelee Creative and lately, I have been battling procrastination daily. To justify my delays and reasons for not completing some tasks, I have found shelter in blaming others or coming up with shitty excuses (the worst thing you can ever do).
In my opinion, there is a tendency to assume that we procrastinate because we are weak or choose to do something more fun. Being a content writer, I’m tasked with the responsibility of delivering highly engaging and interactive content meant to educate, inspire and grow brands.
However, some days while at my lowest, I would prefer scrolling through my social media feed or binge-watch just to postpone writing. I hope I’m not alone because it is scary. Today, I woke up looking for a solution to my new addiction. I needed ways to stop procrastinating and therefore decided to dig deep on some research and asked social media friends some tips on how to Overcome Procrastination.
Here are my answers: The four types of procrastination everyone battles with and how to overcome them.
For clarity, you are not the first person to experience anxious procrastination, people, before you were in the same shoes. According to Neil Fiore, author of The Now Habit, he defined procrastination as the mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.”
He suggested that people who are bad at managing their time end up procrastinating most of their chores because they overschedule leaving no time for resting or fun activities. This causes stress and anxiety that needs time off hence resulting in procrastination.
How to Overcome It
Neil Fiore suggested the “unschedule” as a way to combat this anxiety-driven procrastination. The unschedule method involves filling your time with fun activities and rest before scheduling any work. For example, if you spend 1 hour on social media, an activity that always replaces your task, schedule in social media time first and plan your work around that.
This will give you the time to relax and prevent you from overscheduling chores that you won’t execute.
Most of us are in this category, the type of procrastinator that would rather do anything else to avoid the task at hand. After all, there are so many fascinating things to do, we always prefer fun and avoid working towards fulfilling our goals. How would anyone choose to work instead of fun? Not us…The sad truth: You have to go the extra mile and work harder if you want to succeed.
How to overcome it
Embrace the procrastination and make it useful. When you are not interested in carrying out a chore, the end result will definitely be shoddy. Therefore, instead of forcing yourself into doing it, postpone it. Give in to the desire to procrastinate, but instead of watching videos on Youtube, start another item on your to-do list.
By adding another priority item on your schedule, you have made the dreaded task a lower priority and can tackle it in bits. At the same time, the new task makes you productive hence a win-win.
3.“Plenty of Time” Procrastination
To bring the point home, a good example is the high school life. If you do relate, most student would avoid doing their assignments until when it approaches the deadline for collection or when they are about to open schools. This is because, as I student we always feel we have plenty of time.
How to overcome it
Dan Ariely, a professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University experimented with his students. He gave them assignments and asked them to set their deadline for submission. He hypothesized that students would choose the last day of the term.
On the contrary, the majority chose an earlier deadline and got better grades than those who left their work until the last minute.
By setting personal deadlines and announcing them publicly to your friends and family, it gives you the drive and determination to do better. This makes you strive to get the work done to the best of your knowledge so as to avoid disappointing the people you had announced to.
A perfectionist is always striving to attain a particular standard and criticize their work most of the time. For some perfectionists, the fear of failing can be greater than their urge to try. In such cases, they will always opt to postpone the project until they are sure it is perfect.
How to Overcome it.
Surprisingly, John Perry a professor at Stanford University believes that procrastinating is a good thing for perfectionists. He believes that if perfectionists’ have a lot of time to do the task, they will deliver the best.
However, to deal with this situation, try looking at the last 5 projects you have done and submitted. Were they all perfect? Probably not, but they were accepted and you were congratulated on your good job. In this case, chances are that you are already doing your best at a high standard so stop giving yourself a hard time.
Just do it- Nike
It’s amazing that you reached here, you did not procrastinate reading this article and therefore you are in your first step of improvement. Let me know what you think or what you are struggling with via the comment section. Also, follow me on Twitter for daily interaction.