Identifying and Overcoming Procrastination

Cynthia, Reporter

Why Do We Procrastinate

It’s 8 pm on a Sunday Night and your five-page paper is due at midnight, but you only have your name down. Why did you procrastinate and what went wrong?

According to speaker Piers Steel, 95 percent of people procrastinate to a certain extent. One thing to keep in mind is procrastination is not the same thing as being lazy. Being lazy is inactivity and intentionally choosing not to do anything.

Signs Of Procrastination

The first step in overcoming procrastination is to recognize that you are procrastinating.

  • If you begin to put things off intentionally and replacing them with lower priority tasks you are procrastinating.
  • When a task has been on your To-Do list for an extended amount of time when it is important.
  • Beginning an important task and then distracting yourself from the task.
  • When you wait for yourself to be in the right mindset or the perfect time to start a task.

Why People  Procrastinate

The second step is to figure out why you are procrastinating

  • When thinking about a task you find that it is boring or just unpleasant.
  • Figuring that the task is boring to take steps in trying to get the task out of the way. Then you can focus on things more enjoyable of the job or another task.
  • Organizing poorly can also lead to procrastination.
  • People who are organized tend to overcome procrastination because they make a well prioritized To-Do list and effective schedules.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by a task or worrying about your ability to complete a task successfully.
  • Putting off the task and completing a task that you know you can successfully accomplish.
  • Poor decision-making can also lead to procrastination.
  • Not being able to decide what to do, you will likely put it off instead of doing the wrong thing.

How To Prevent Procrastination

Step three adopting anti-procrastination strategies. Remember procrastination is a habit. Breaking a habit can only be accomplished when you avoid practicing the habit. Try as many of the strategies below to give yourself the best possible chance of overcoming procrastination.

  • Try forgiving yourself for procrastinating in the past.
  • Self-forgiving can lead you feeling more positive about yourself and reducing procrastination for future tasks.
  • Commit to the task
  • Writing down the tasks that are important to complete and timely. Focus on completing and not avoiding.
  • Promise to reward yourself
  • Ask someone to check up on you
  • Minimize distractions (Phone set on Do Not Disturb)
  • Act as you go (complete tasks as they arise)
  • Complete tasks that are unpleasant first, so you can focus on more enjoyable tasks.

Remember practice makes perfect!