5 good ways to curb procrastination

Procrastination 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. In order for a behavior to be classified as procrastination, it must be counterproductive, needless, and delaying.

In Clinical Psychology, there appears to be a connection with issues of anxiety, low sense of self-worth, and a self-defeating mentality

Undoubtedly, it is evident that most people procrastinate day in day out and it is prudent one curbs it.

However, if you follow these amazing ways, you can successfully curb the act of procrastination.

1. BE PROACTIVE

The idea is that you plan in advance what you’ll do if you encounter a particular temptation. You might decide that if someone suggests meeting up for coffee at the weekend when you know you need to catch up with your studies, you will counter their suggestion with the option of meeting in the evening instead.

When an American psychologist called Peter Gollwitzer reviewed 94 studies of people using this strategy, he found they were two to three times as likely to stick to their goals than people not given this strategy.

2. DON’T RELY ON WILLPOWER ALONE FOR MOTIVATION

Ian Taylor, a sports psychologist who studies motivation at Loughborough University, has found that people often assume willpower is the answer.

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The problem with relying on willpower alone is that it might get to your goals sometimes, but it’s so fragile that it won’t always work.

Instead of relying on willpower to try to ignore the unpleasant aspects of a task, consider them to be an important, inevitable part of achieving your goal.

3. ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE MOST POSITIVE IN THE TASK YOU KEEP POSTPONING

One way of working out whether you’re a chronic procrastinator is to ask yourself whether you are putting the task off because you’re afraid of failure.

After 15 years of research on procrastination, Fuschia Sirois from the University of Sheffield has found that the problem of procrastination is not simply one of laziness or poor time management, it involves difficulties in regulating emotions.

To deal with these emotions, it helps to look for the positives in the task.

Ideally, these are not the rewards it might bring in the future, but something good about the process itself.

4. PROMOTE A MORE REALISTIC VIEW OF YOUR FUTURE SELF

Most of us tend to believe that in the future we’ll have more time. We optimistically think that we’ll be more organized, energetic versions of ourselves living a life where nothing ever goes wrong. This won’t happen of course. And this is why we often underestimate how long a task will take. It’s known as the planning fallacy.

We need to avoid creating this unrealistic version of our future selves. Otherwise, we can set ourselves up for disappointment and even more procrastination. Fuschia Sirois’ research confirms this.

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Sirois says: “We make our future self into a superhero. All of a sudden that person, which is really us projected into the future, is now something that seems so unattainable and so unreal and so abstract that we don’t identify with it anymore.”

5. REDUCE THE EFFORT INVOLVED

You need to make it as easy as possible to get started. The concept of choice architecture is well-known now, with some work canteens putting fruit near the tills instead of chocolate to tempt staff to eat more healthily. We can do this for ourselves too.

If you’re hoping to go running mid-morning, get dressed in your running clothes, or lay out your work on your desk the night before so that the first thing you see if that task you need to get on with.

Disable alerts on your screen, mute your phone, and if you can’t resist social media, stop it from automatically logging you on. Just having to put your password in, especially if you pick a nice, long, complicated one, might be enough to nudge you in the right direction.

Procrastination they say is the “thief of time”, do not put tomorrow what you can do today because tomorrow never comes.

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I am Derrick Selikem Vorvor, a communication professional and result oriented gentleman who believes in efficiency and effectiveness. I am a perfectionist. My passion has always been to use communication to accelerate the success of my society.