“While we waste our time hesitating and postponing, life is slipping away.”
Are you a victim of this? you just might be.
Procrastination is an act so many people struggle with. It’s almost like a plague that is hard to shake off. It starts little by little until it crips in makes a bed and does what it does best; damage your time.
Research says, 15%–20% of adults regularly procrastinate. An estimated 80%–95% of students procrastinate at some level, while 50% consider it to be a problem. 88% of those surveyed said they procrastinate for at least one 1 hour daily.
I am one to postpone important things for later simply because I tell myself I’m not in the mood for it now or my thought process is not ready to deal with it now. Then when I’m close to a deadline, I find myself rushing to do things I could have done earlier. This always leads to stress, anxiety and tiredness.
It dawned on me that I was deep into it when almost every time I have a task at hand I don’t handle it instantly. For instance, I am given a task with a due date of Monday and it’s Tuesday but immediately I say ‘oh, I would probably start working on it on Sunday.” It always ends in a rush.
With so much going on and the fact that I now mix both school and work, I have come to realize that I can’t continue to live a life of procrastination and be productive. It was time to kick Mr Procrastinator goodbye. Adious!!
From an article I read, Chloe Lau, a clinical psychology PhD student at Western University, says procrastination can be anything that involves “making an intentional decision to delay or not complete a task or goal that you’ve committed yourself to … Or doing something of lesser importance, despite there being negative consequences to not following through on the original task or goal.”
For me, procrastination is not doing what needs to be done at the right time. It’s that simple.
The damages caused by procrastination
Recent studies have shown that people regret more the things they haven’t done than the things they have done. Procrastination is something that has lots of negative effects on our time, health and productivity. Some of these effects are:
- Loss of precious time.
- Less productivity.
- Poor decisions.
- Loss of future opportunities.
- Lower self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Poor outward image.
- Reduced wellbeing.
- Risk to mental and physical health.
How to deal with procrastination
In my quest to deal with Mr procrastinator, I found some useful tips. Here are some steps to get your task done at the right time.
- Believe in your ability to stop procrastination.
- Assess why you tend to procrastinate.
- Identify possible distractions and eliminate them.
- Create a list of your daily tasks or better still use a daily planner to keep track of your time.
- Use timers when required.
- Break tasks down into smaller pieces.
- Set reasonable goals and deadlines (SMART Goals).
- Unschedule and reschedule.
- Stay motivated and committed.
- Always create time to breathe, relax and play.
Procrastination is like a disease a lot of us suffer from. It needs to be treated fast. The above are few steps I applied to manage my time and the results have been amazing. Right now, I swear by daily planners.
When applying these steps, remember that making a change takes time, patience and consistency so I advice you to take baby steps.
One thing I did was to stop telling myself that I have to wait until I am “in the mood” before I take action. You might want to stop this too.
Finally, always remember to reward yourself for improving. A cup of ice cream or two will help cool off. Hehe!!