Procrastination – one bug in our lives that we all want to get rid of. Either we, or the people around us are always complaining about this. Putting off one thing for later just initiates a series of shelving other activities and we know how it keeps going.
Of course, we want to be productive and upbeat about all our tasks and duties, the intention is always there. But there’s some annoying thing inside our head that tells us to rest for another day when the time to get on task comes. It’s always the “just one more day”, “just one more hour”, “just more time”, which puts us in uncomfortable situations. And yet, the next time, we give in to the same temptations.
This is a vicious cycle that negatively impacts various aspects of our life.
It puts us in a soup at work, causes people to misunderstand our potential creating anger and frustration about the stagnation in our growth. This ultimately hits hard on our confidence and self-esteem and once we lose that, it’s a downward spiral.
Even the thought of this stresses me out. It’s such a disturbing place to be in.
But why does the procrastinator in us keeps kicking in now and then?
Why do we deviate even after deciding to be strong and determined?
Well, there are many reasons why we procrastinate things time and again even after experiencing the damage, it can cause us. The intent behind this behavior is most of the time serving a purpose. It is more or less trying to attend to our needs that we are not aware of. Things complicate when we don’t find out the underlying cause of the procrastination and keep giving in to the thought of “doing it later”. Here are a few reasons that I thought could be fueling the fire of procrastination.
- To Avoid Stress Causing Activities: As obvious as this sounds, the prime reason for putting off our tasks is that knowingly or unknowingly they cause stress. They might sometimes just not be of our interest but the compulsion to carry out those activities gets irritating. We tend to avoid them as much as possible hoping that the need to do those things might just fade away. But in reality, the need just remains and keeps piling up over time.
- Target Looks Unachievable: Targets like trying to lose weight or getting rid of a bad habit are good examples of this. When we try to engage ourselves in these tasks, it immediately occurs to us that reaching the goal is a long journey involving so much of hard work and discipline. Identifying the work that goes into this sometimes just scares us. The goal begins to look unrealistic and too much to aim for, based on our current capacities or situations. This is when the lazy part of us intervenes to convince us that we should probably be the way we are and not exert ourselves leading us towards pushing the task further in the timeline.
- Emotional Needs: Most of us might not notice this, but if we are indulging in a little too much for the lazy behavior, it could be because of feeling low emotionally. Things might seem perfectly alright superficially, but deep down we could be feeling very tired and exhausted. It could be dissatisfaction over something or anger over how things have been turning out lately. It might be as simple as fatigue piled up over months together that makes us feel low when we decide on beginning another new task or duty. This could be why we think of putting them back. As I said, we may not be aware of this feeling but still, it continues to influence how we carry out our life.
One more important thing that drives this behavior which is the fact that we as humans tend to give into to impulses. It is our tendency that we give more preference to present situations or momentary pleasures. Though we do work for our long-term goals or objectives, the enjoyments of the moment seem too sweet to give up. When we surrender to them a little too often, things begin to complicate. While it is okay to indulge in a little of all that we like to do, we must be conscious enough to strike the balance.
We should always remind ourselves – Moderation is the key!
If knowing the reasons for this behavior is one part of resolving the issue, learning some tips to handle ourselves better forms the complete solution.
- Commitment: Of course not all that we need to do or that we are responsible for doing may be of our interest. Sometimes a few tasks are inevitable. In such situations, tell yourself that staying committed and dedicated to your work even when it seems uninteresting might increase your worth, and adds value to your being. If you can work for someone else so loyally and efficiently, then you can certainly work a tad more for yourself. Remember – You got the Power.
- Chunking: For tasks where the target looks huge, scary, and unachievable, the best way to deal with them is to break the bigger goal into smaller parts. Create several milestones on the journey to reach the final destination. Then, work towards reaching the milestones one by one which would gradually take you to the bigger goal. This is a wonderful tool to work with anything and everything. I love how easy and effective things turn out after applying this strategy.
- Self-Reflection: Self-reflection is the most important thing we need to do for bringing any progress in our lives. In this scenario, we need to introspect and identify the emotions that might be hindering us from reaching our full potential. Maintaining thought diaries and journals are an excellent way of keeping a track of our emotions and feelings. It also helps us easily understand our thought patterns helping us to think of ways to rectify them in case we need to do so.
- Push Yourself: The momentary pleasures are always popping up here and there trying to distract us from our main mission. We need to beware of these and push ourselves a little more to gain control and not surrender to those temptations. I do not mean to say that working on our goals and objectives should be the only thing that we should be doing. Not at all. This is where taking regular and sufficient breaks comes into the picture. We all need to give ourselves sufficient space time and again to rejuvenate and save ourselves from burnout. Again, moderation is the key!
All said and done, the most important thing that we need to have to be able to bring about the change is intention to change and effort to progress. The moment we realize the perks of changing ourselves for our growth, we are better people already!
Do let me know what more you think we can do to keep ourselves away from the vicious cycle of procrastination in the comments below.
Thank you so much for reading through this.
I hope you found this relatable and useful!
I’ll see you next Sunday with a new post.