Procrastination is the process of postponing or stopping something. The term derives from the Latin word procrastinatus, which originated from the prefix pro-, which means “ahead,” and crastinus, which means “of tomorrow.” It may also be described as a habitual or deliberate delay in starting or finishing a task while knowing the consequences.
It is normal for humans to put off boring activities or even essential tasks such as attending a meeting, filing a work report or school assignment, or addressing a stressful topic with a partner.
While it is commonly regarded as a negative attribute due to its negative impact on competitiveness and is frequently correlated with depression, poor self-esteem, remorse, and inadequacy, it may also be regarded as a prudent reaction to such demands that can present risky or negative consequences or necessitate waiting for new knowledge to arrive.
Academic/non-academic procrastination and behavioral/indecisive procrastination both have their root causes and consequences. The most prevalent causes of procrastination, according to current research, are “temporal discounting, task aversion, and certain personality characteristics such as indecisiveness and distractibility.”
Procrastination is commonly viewed as being unproductive. Often, instructors, supervisors, and administrators go to considerable lengths to stress how it postpones the unavoidable and throws everything in chaos which leads to work being delayed.
But have you ever found the advantages of procrastination? As you’ll find while discovering how to practice the art of procrastination, there are some compelling reasons to procrastinate, all for greater personal good! While intuition may be false, doesn’t our heart remind us that anything so normal and pervasive in civilization couldn’t exist unless it offered some benefit?
Procrastination is not logical on a psychological level; it is the product of the irrational part of your brain, your limbic system, overpowering the responsible, sensible part of your brain, your prefrontal cortex. The rational part of the brain surrenders the moment you choose Facebook over work or plan to binge another episode of Suits when you get home.
But there is a way to give the rational side of the brain the upper hand. When you notice an imminent conflict between rationality and instinct, fight the temptation to procrastinate.
Make plans for your day like you usually do. You have a list of actions on your to-do list or a timetable of activities for the day. So now you’re trying to change it up.
Fill in the blanks with your favorite “procrastination activities.” If you can’t stay away from your email account, schedule a half-hour before lunch and another half-hour at, say, 4:30 p.m. Include everything you do during the day to procrastinate.
- Coffee or cigarette breaks
- Reading the paper
- Facebook/web surfing
- Watching TV/snacking
You will see how fun all of these activities would be if you try them. Furthermore, how utterly pointless and needless they are.
The point is to plan this stuff in and stick to your commitments. Create a plan for these events and keep to it. Do not do them all at once, but space them out between the active activities.
You are sure to see and experience how wasteful these tasks are as you stick to all the things you have to do to procrastinate. Your productive time is being slashed, and you are squandering your life. And what is it all for? To slack off in doing something that could be a bit unpleasant? To throw aside what you believe would frighten you? Or to divert your attention away from your everyday activities?
Although your procrastination isn’t as serious, scheduling a couple of these things will relieve some of the burdens you’re putting on yourself to get something done. You will be giving yourself some time to clear your internal RAM and reset it before moving on to the next mission.
- Take advantage of “structured procrastination.”
- Look at opportunities to enforce external deadlines or consequences.
- Master the art of time management.
- Accept that this technique is effective for you.
- Recognize when it’s time to let go.
- Make use of passive planning.
- Improve your ability to prioritize projects.
- When you finish a mission, reward yourself.
Is it important to keep track of your to-do list; I need to pay this bill, I need to contact that guy, I need to share on social media – or is it more important to create new ideas to help you accomplish your goals?
If you keep all of your to-do lists in your head, use a diary, excel, notepad, or web organizer to write down any small task that comes to mind. Do continue to add to the list as new tasks emerge.
People always procrastinate and delay tasks so they tend to overburden themselves by declaring, “I want to finish these 10 tasks today, I want to call 20 prospects every day, I want to make 5 presentations every day.”
As a result, the mind gets distracted and breaks down, and you end up wasting time on Whatsapp, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as watching movies and web shows.
To conquer this challenge, go through your to-do list every night before going to bed and choose the top 3 priorities you want to complete the next day. In a week, it will be 15 to 18 activities in all, no more.
Every day, you only have three top priority assignments. Complete the mission!
Most notably, take a moment to rejoice after completing each mission. Declare aloud, “Wow, I did it!” and give yourself a pat on the back.
One of the most important aspects of performance is self-love and self-appreciation.
Are you a stickler for details? Will you attempt to do it all on your own? Are you unable to consider assistance from others, at home or work?
Version 1 is superior to Version 0. Only do what you can do. Delegate the remainder of the job. Most importantly, thank others for their efforts.
Rather than relying on your mood or time available every day, make a list of the boring activities in your job/business. Make it a theme day. It truly works like MAGIC!
- Reverse the causes of procrastination.
- Function within your level of resistance.
- Do anything – something – to start.
- Create a list of the costs of procrastination.