Procrastinators tend to dislike work, including both mental and physical work. Some of the common symptoms are feelings of indifference, difficulty in making decisions, and a lax attitude towards life – sound familiar? Procrastinators can exhibit poor time management skills, as they prefer to avoid unpleasant activities. People who procrastinate may develop stress and anxiety due to their lack of progress, which can even lead to health problems over the long term. If you struggle with procrastination, there are plenty of ways that you can overcome it and make yourself a much more productive person.
Is procrastination laziness?
No, procrastination is not laziness. It’s a form of self-regulation failure in which an individual delays completing a task despite knowing that doing so will have negative consequences. The reasons for this behaviour are varied and can include fear of failure, lack of interest in the task, or simply a preference for engaging in more enjoyable activities. Whatever the cause, procrastination can have serious negative effects on one’s life, including decreased productivity, poorer quality work, and increased stress levels.
Ultimately, procrastination can be detrimental to one’s life and well-being. While it is possible to overcome procrastination with self-awareness, planning ahead, and effective time management strategies, these behaviours require effort and motivation that may not be easily available for people who are struggling with this issue. If you find yourself frequently putting off important tasks despite knowing it will negatively impact your life, it might be helpful to seek out professional assistance or connect with others who struggle with similar issues. With guidance and support, you can learn to manage your procrastination and live a more productive, stress-free life.
Why do we procrastinate?
While there are many different theories about the causes of procrastination and its effects on individuals, the underlying reason for delaying a task seems to be rooted in an individual’s apprehension about not being able to perform adequately or meet their expectations. For example, someone may avoid starting a project because they feel unprepared or unqualified for the task at hand; another person may delay beginning research for a report due in two weeks because they have no interest in the topic. And still, others may simply be in the habit of putting things off until the last minute. Whatever the particular reason, by avoiding a task, an individual prevents themselves from gaining valuable experience and practice that could help them succeed in the future.
How to stop procrastinating
Recognise that you are procrastinating!
The first step to overcoming procrastination is to admit that you’re doing it. A lot of people have a hard time admitting that they’re procrastinating because they think it means they’re lazy or unmotivated. But the truth is, everyone procrastinates from time to time. It’s only a problem if it’s interfering with your ability to get things done.
If you find yourself putting off important tasks or avoiding them altogether, ask yourself why. Are you afraid of failure? Do you feel like you don’t have the skills or knowledge to complete the task? Or are you simply bored and uninterested in what you have to do?
You could be a procrastinator if you:
- Fill out your day with lower priority tasks
- Wait until you’re in the ‘right mood’ before starting an important task
- Leave important items on your to-do lists for extended periods of time
Strategies to help you stop procrastinating
1. Break the task into smaller goals. Trying to accomplish a large goal all at once can be daunting and overwhelming. Breaking the task down into smaller goals can make it feel more manageable and less intimidating.
2. Set a time limit for working on the task. Putting a time limit on your work can help you stay focused and motivated. Once the timer goes off, you can take a break or move on to something else.
3. Set up systems that prevent procrastination from happening in the first place. This could mean blocking distracting websites, scheduling regular breaks throughout your workday, or using tools like to-do lists and calendars. By setting up systems that make it difficult for you to procrastinate, you can avoid the temptation altogether.
4. Find a supportive community. Talking to friends, family, or colleagues about your challenges with procrastination can help you stay accountable and on track. Surrounding yourself with supportive people who share your goals can also be a great way to stay motivated and focused.
5. Practice self-care. Take time for yourself each day, whether it’s through exercise, meditation, socialising, or something else. It can help you keep a positive mindset and avoid falling into the trap of procrastination. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, taking care of yourself can make tackling difficult tasks a lot easier.
While these tips can help you stop procrastinating, it’s important to remember that everyone struggles with this issue at some point in their lives. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find that you’re still struggling. Just keep working at it and eventually, you’ll start to see results.
Whole Brain® Thinking and Procrastination
If you or your team are struggling with procrastination, Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® could be the answer to your problems. Knowing how your team thinks gives you an insight into how they work and what makes them tick. This information allows you to develop a plan that will be suited to them and their Thinking Style™, to help get them back on track and more efficient than ever.
If you want to learn more about how Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® can help you and your organisation, have a look at how it works here or get in touch and we’ll help you find the right solution.