For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
– Nelson Mandela
Hello loves. I hope you all enjoyed the last Talk Thursday post ‘Unforgiveness’ written by Bookie who is now a guest writer here on my blog*throws confetti in the air*. Today, we are talking about something we are all familiar with,
Did someone just feel a lil pang of guilt? lol, that’s okay, I’m not here to judge. How could I when I am equally guilty of this. Anyway, on to the days topic. ”Procrastination or to procrastinate, simply means to put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness. It is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the “last minute” before a deadline”.
How do we procrastinate?
- We wait for the perfect time –Telling yourself you need the right amount of time, physical space, equipment,etc and then waiting for the magic ingredients to appear.
- No strain, no gain. You work best under pressure, right? Not really, but it may be the only way you’re used to getting things done. Now why would anyone want to work under pressure when you can work smart instead of ‘too hard’? Beats me…
- Productive procrastination. Taking care of all those other things you’ve put off (due to earlier procrastination) in favour of what you need to get done.
- Second guessing. If we continually question a decision, we tend to stall and stall and can’t move forward.
How to curb procrastination.
- Create a smart to do list and by smart I mean include only the items that you’re avoiding, not the ones you know you’ll do anyway. Then set deadlines, when you want to start and finish.
- Finish the hard stuff. When you have a huge project that’s holding you down and making you unproductive in other areas, tackle it first. Finishing the largest item on your list of things to do will make you feel extra productive and give you the boost to do other things you’ve been pushing to the side.
Break down the tasks to lessen the sense of being overwhelmed. Once you start to enjoy a small accomplishment or two, you’re more likely to finish.
- Eliminate temptation to do something else and focus on the task at hand. Remember you are working with a set time frame.
Bargain with yourself. If you complete all you set out to do for the day, you can treat yourself to the movies or buy yourself a gift. Sounds good right.
- Come up with a consequence that will deter you from avoiding the task. For example, If you fail to complete a task (take out the trash) two times a week, you have to give up watching your favourite tv programme or talking to your friends on the phone etc.
Make your intentions public. You can share your goals and intentions with people or a particular person. People who will motivate and push you. This will add pressure, but for some of us, avoiding embarrassment is the mightiest motivator.
- Don’t be a perfectionist. If you’re waiting for the perfect time, the perfect supplies, or you won’t stop until you’ve “perfected” your project, you’re putting off completing your task. Avoid this “perfect” thinking by considering quantity over quality. If your project doesn’t require perfection but you’re still focused on it, stop and move on to your next task. When you’ve finished everything, you can backtrack and finish perfecting your original task.
- Give yourself a break. If you can’t seem to focus and are working half-heartedly at your tasks, give yourself a brief break. Set a timer for ten minutes, and take a nap, read a book, or call your friend. Do whatever it is you’ve been daydreaming about so that the temptation is removed once you get back to work. Just be sure to follow through with your deadline rather than ignoring it when your ten minutes is over.
Focus on the success you will achieve and the joy you will feel.
The Danger Of Procrastination.
- Gaining a bad reputation with coworkers, friends, and family.
- Losing your ambition to succeed.
- Not accomplishing your dreams.
- Threatening your well-being if it is a health-related task (like an annual checkup).
I hope this post urges us all to curb procrastination. I personally know how long it took me before I started my own blog cos I believed in saying ”I’ll get it done tomorrow”.
As one person rightly said “Procrastination never won a race, received a promotion or changed the outcome of any situation.”