The most unfortunate thing is that the vast majority of individuals out there never even know or understand that they are procrastinating. Some of the most crucial factors of procrastination are irrational and incognizant. A Person puts off the work or activity even though he knows it is good for him or his future. For instance, we know exercise is good but it gets avoided, in the same way, studying or project execution about which our inner selves continuously warn us but still we delay. The most vital move towards any serious and enduring change is mindfulness. Without mindfulness, change happens either due to luck or accidental.
Some of the most effective ways to conquer procrastination are:
Procrastinators are not lazy persons rather it becomes a habit which can be conquered if tried mindfully. One truly wants to stop smoking as he clearly knows that it is injurious to health and he even sincerely tries to stop but is bound to smoke again after some time. Mindfulness is he should understand how the urge is initiated within him and what the emotional triggers of smoking are. The more mindful a person is about an issue the better he will prepare for a change. The fact is that if one needs to defeat an issue of procrastination, one has to increase awareness about the issue and observe very carefully oneself, behaviour and reaction.
- Procrastination Record:
One of the effective ways of awareness of procrastination is to maintain a track record of the reasons, emotions and thoughts of the activities that are being procrastinated. This will help you know the pattern of how you are avoiding the tasks and the fault areas due to which the task is getting delayed irrationally. Better prepare an excel sheet with columns as activity, reasons and further plan.
- No second thought:
Procrastinators tend to develop negative emotions as soon as they think of the task and its difficulty. This makes them get diverted away from it furthering their distress. The best way is to schedule the task and start it immediately on time without any second thought. The moment the procrastinator starts the task he disassociates himself with the negative emotions that could have had stimulated with a second thought, changing the perception of pain that he presumes before starting the task.
- Actionable Steps:
Procrastination happens as soon as a person imagines the activity to be done and the pain associated with it. Usually, this activity is previewed as a voluminous and difficult one due to which the person postpones it to the next day. Classify the activity to be done into small chunks and plan to execute the same as per the schedule. This will help in avoiding the tasks. Usually, small tasks create a feel-good factor due to which avoidance isn’t possible and worrying is eliminated. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “I dream of men who take the next step instead of worrying about the next thousand steps.”
5. Avoid high expectations:
People tend to start the tasks out of excitement to complete them with vigour but get dropped as soon as it is started. This happens due to high expectations or standards. For instance, if you plan to exercise at the gym for an hour and you may even continue for a day or two but sometimes, it gets dropped. Why? This is because you’ve planned with high expectations or standards. The good thing is to plan it for a few minutes initially may be for half an hour. Generally, high expectations demoralize the spirit as the task looks too big which leads to procrastination. So, plan for a 20-minute workout rather than a couple of hours.
6. Program your Unconscious Mind:
One of the best ways is to program your unconscious mind to execute the task as per the plan but how? First of all, plan about the next day’s activities ahead. If you have resolved that you would start a workout in a gym then plan about it specifically the time, duration and type of workout that you’re going to do and so on. Next, repeat it for the whole day that you’re going to work out at the gym on so and so time. While you’re to sleep visualize the next day’s plan for the gym. Repeat it twice or thrice that you’re looking at the clock and have started towards the gym and have initiated the workout may be aerobics or something. This will inevitably aggravate you for the next day’s workout.
7. Perseverance is a must:
Don’t worry even if you’re not able to continue the above steps. Just start doing it and go on doing it. don’t expect immediate results. It may take time but practice and practice without expecting many results and consistently shall definitely create change in you. The only thing you would need is patience and perseverance. Initially, procrastination can happen even in following the above steps itself but the more stubborn and consistent you make yourself that much more you would conquer procrastination. So just say YES to yourself and start today.