April Green shows her transparency and shares tips on how to deal with chronic procrastination.
Do you always finish your work minutes before the deadline? Do you swear every time, the next time would be different and you would do a better job, yet again follow the same vicious cycle?
Welcome to the possibility of being a chronic procrastinator.
What is chronic procrastination?
In layman’s terms, procrastination is the reluctance to act when it is in our best interest. You know you should be completing your presentation or assignment, yet you choose to scroll on social media instead.
Everybody procrastinates once in a while, but there is a fine line between normal everyday procrastination and chronic procrastination. When procrastination starts hindering your activities on a daily basis and threatens your workplace productivity, we classify it as chronic procrastination.
How to identify if you are a chronic procrastinator?
Everyone is guilty of procrastinating at some point in their life. Sometimes we skip our work for a few hours to do some other work, which is fine, until you remember your responsibilities and the consequences of your action.
When you start procrastinating on a daily basis, push every other task for later and make every possible excuse, only for momentary pleasures, then it’s a pretty clear sign you are a chronic procrastinator.
Understanding and coming to terms with yourself and your condition is already half the battle won. For me, it was when I submitted my assignment just three minutes before the deadline. I was given a week, yet I chose to do it the last day! I started on the last day, had troubles with internet connectivity, but managed to do it before the deadline.
I must say, I was pretty impressed by myself. I thought I was a genius and was amazed by my ability to churn up last minute, excellent quality assignments, every time!
But wait, I discovered several mistakes in my assignment and cursed myself. It had happened before, but this time I forced myself to assess the situation. My assignments were far from excellent. I wouldn’t even consider them ordinary!
Analysing this Chronic Problem
I wanted to stop being a part of this cycle, and escape this once and for all. I came to the conclusion that a few things happened every single time:
Defer: The assignment isn’t due for a week. Let me check Kylie’s new dress.
Avoiding: There are still three days and it’s a short assignment. One day is more than enough so let’s watch Netflix.
Guilt: I am an idiot for wasting my time. Now the internet doesn’t work and I have two hours left. Why don’t I just jump off a cliff now?
Anxiety: How do I arrange an assignment or a stable internet connection? Why don’t my friends answer their phones immediately?
Hysteria: Bye-Bye Quality! Hello there ordinary assignment.
Self-Loathe: What will I do with my life when I can’t even submit a college assignment; if only I had more time! Anyways, which new series should I watch?
If you sit down and analyse any of your last minute activities, I am sure you can easily break down the steps that fall in these categories.
How to fix chronic procrastination?
Procrastination is a super damaging habit that can destroy your personal and work life. The main culprit behind procrastination is postponing. It uses our momentary pleasure and dopamine as bait, and once we take the bait, it’s over! We need to hold on as procrastination strikes.
1. Set goals
Go to a comfortable place in your house and answer:
- What do I want to be?
- What do I want to do?
- What do I want to have?
- What do I have to change?
Answer honestly. Stay motivated and focus on your goals. Once you’re clear about what you want to do, it becomes easier.
2. Focus on the ‘real’ important tasks
Prioritise your work according to what is important and what affects your work productivity. Once you know your priorities, work on them and stay away from distractions. A momentary lapse in focus can pull you miles backward and force you to procrastinate.
3. Use fear to your advantage
If you are procrastinating to study, imagine hours before your previous exam. Remember that guilt, haste, anxiety and panic. It is the best antidote for procrastination.
4. Proper Time Management
You procrastinate because you fail to assign the right amount of time to the activities you enjoy, and then very little is left for your important work. Make a proper plan – a timetable to begin with, dividing your time practically! Assigning a lot of time to your work and studies, and thinking you can follow it, doesn’t work. Instead, try for practical time distribution and soon enough, it will become a habit.
5. Expect & Prepare
Expect and prepare that we are human beings and bound to waver. There will be times when you have to choose between compelling, pleasant activities and your not-so-exciting work. Think about these situations now and decide what you will do if they arise later. This way, you won’t be taken aback when the situation arises and will choose wisely.
Does it mean after doing all this you will become a complete non-procrastinator? No, not at all. But changing and evolving is what matters the most. It is still considered progress even if it is 0.01%. Start with one difficult task in a week without procrastination and build on that.
Get up now and strive to become the best. JUST DO IT!
- Do it when you are tired
- Do it when you are scared
- Do it when you’ve tried and failed
- Do it when they say you can’t
- Do it when others don’t do it
- Do it when it doesn’t feel fun
- Do it sooner than later
JUST DO IT.
April is “just an average teenage girl”, who is also athletic and loves to travel. Read some more of her writing on the blog ‘Days of Our Lives’. Stay updated with Days of Our Lives by following them on Instagram (@_days_we_live_) and Pinterest.