What is Procrastination?
Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference of more urgent tasks or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable things.
Why Do People Procrastinate?
People procrastinate for different reasons, but, for the most part, there are three basic types of procrastinators.
- Thrill Seekers – Those who wait until the last minute so they can get that euphoric rush that goes with completing the job right before the deadline.
- Avoiders – Those who avoid tasks due to fear of failure or due to a fear of success. In either case, these individuals would rather have others believe they lack effort than lack ability.
- Decisional Procrastinators – Those who choose to avoid making decisions so they can be absolved of the responsibility or the outcome of an event.
What are the costs of being a procrastinator?
- For yourself, procrastination causes stress and anxiety. This physiological response can compromise the immune system and make one more susceptible to colds, the flu, and gastrointestinal problems.
- For the spouse of a procrastinator, resentment often builds because it shifts many of life’s responsibilities onto to them.
- For the child of a procrastinator, a procrastinating parent models bad work habits and may create a procrastinating child.
Tips to Avoid Procrastination.
- Make a good to do list– Focus on items you typically avoid and then set a deadline to do those evasive tasks.
- Break down big tasks into little ones – Devote short chunks of time to a big project. Once you make some progress, the momentum builds and most will want to keep moving forward.
- Choose appropriate surroundings -Make sure your work environment works for you and not against you. Placing yourself in situations where you don’t get much done such as “studying” in bed or working at a café can actually be a method of avoiding work.
- Stop checking your email, Facebook, Youtube, etc. – Digital distractions are the arch enemy of the procrastinator. It is too easy to get sucked in to the electronic vortex and waste hours of valuable time.
Procrastination is one of the most sure-fire methods to avoid success in life. Procrastinators sabotage themselves by placing obstacles in their own path and also choosing paths that hurt their performance. Procrastinators can, however, change their behavior but doing so consumes a lot of psychic energy. Commit to change and find a therapist or life coach if you can’t do it on your own.