Mind Care

Time to get rid of pro­cras­ti­na­tion

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS - HARSHA ADVANI

It’s the next morn­ing and all your plans are again chalked up on the wall. You have sat down to start an im­por­tant job, but sud­denly re­alise that you are hun­gry, or you need to an­swer the mails first, or maybe snap and in­form the world that you are ‘about’ to work! “A per­son may have the ten­dency to pro­cras­ti­nate for mul­ti­ple rea­sons,” says Dr Saloni Saw­nani, Mum­baibased clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist. She guides us fur­ther on the causes of pro­cras­ti­na­tion and how to deal with it.

Why Do Peo­ple Pro­cras­ti­nate?

A per­son pro­cras­ti­nates when the job is im­por­tant to do but not ur­gent enough. So the mind says: Why fin­ish the task in a hurry when it can be done later? Peo­ple also pro­cras­ti­nate

when there are too many things to be com­pleted, and they can­not pri­or­i­tize. So, in a con­flict of what is more im­por­tant and which task should be tack­led first, the per­son ends up do­ing noth­ing!

Risks In­volved?

When a per­son pro­cras­ti­nates, he/ she tends to de­lay the task caus­ing pro­fes­sional/ per­sonal losses. They lose con­trol of their mind and are not able to place pri­or­i­ties in the cor­rect per­spec­tive. This leads to an in­abil­ity to com­plete tasks, re­sult­ing in low self-con­fi­dence.

The Root Of Pro­cras­ti­na­tion

Pro­cras­ti­na­tion, how­ever, starts in teenage. Here’s the link be­tween the two… Teenagers tend to get dis­tracted the most, and dis­trac­tion is fod­der pro­cras­ti­na­tors. Till the time you are a child, you are driven by your par­ents to de­liver. Teenage is a time when the child dis­cov­ers that new-found free­dom when par­ents are not nec­es­sar­ily breath­ing down on their necks. For ex­am­ple, one game of ‘candy crush’ be­fore study­ing be­comes five and seven, and till the game is over. Re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are also still lim­ited, mak­ing teens carry this pro­cras­ti­na­tion trait along with them into their adult­hood.

Strate­gies To Deal With Pro­cras­ti­na­tion

AC­CEPT IT Most peo­ple deny that they pro­cras­ti­nate and ar­gue it out by say­ing, ‘I still man­age to com­plete the job at the given dead­line’. Or ra­tio­nalise by say­ing, ‘I don’t pro­cras­ti­nate, I just work bet­ter that way’. So, first ac­cept that there is a prob­lem.

TIME MAN­AGE­MENT Di­vide your work into four quad­rants. Quad­rant 1: Ur­gent & Im­por­tant (things that need to be dealt with in a quick span of time). Quad­rant 2: Not Ur­gent & Im­por­tant Quad­rant 3: Ur­gent & Not Im­por­tant Quad­rant 4: Not Im­por­tant & Not Ur­gent

This needs to be bro­ken down piece by piece… Any­thing that falls in the quad­rant which has the word im­por­tant, a bit of it

Peo­ple also pro­cras­ti­nate when there are too many things to be com­pleted, and they can­not pri­ori­tise. So, in a con­flict of what is more im­por­tant and which task should be tack­led first, the per­son ends up do­ing noth­ing!

Make it a healthy habit ev­ery night to spend 15-20 mins mak­ing a To-Do list. It gives a clear idea of how the next day will be.

should be done ev­ery day. A per­son should not get stuck in just the ur­gent quad­rant. For ex­am­ple, a call to the client is im­por­tant but it’s also ur­gent to re­spond to the What­sApp mes­sage you have just opened, as the two blue ticks re­ceived by the sender might give an im­pres­sion of you avoid­ing a re­ply.

TO-DO LIST The other ba­sic strat­egy to deal with pro­cras­ti­na­tion is to make a To-Do list a night be­fore. When you have 8-10 things in the list, the whole day is pri­ori­tised. The list can be: Work, spend time with wife, spend some time with dog etc. The tasks needs to be bro­ken down. For ex­am­ple, un­der work, spec­ify sub-tasks like draft a mail, make a call, pre­pare for the pre­sen­ta­tion etc. Make it a healthy habit ev­ery night to spend 1520 mins mak­ing a To-Do list. It gives a clear idea of how the next day will be. You may have 20 items in your list, but make sure to com­plete at least 12 of them daily. The re­main­ing can be shifted to the next day. What hap­pens with th­ese lists is that the per­son brings some struc­ture in his day. When the brain is scat­tered, you don’t fo­cus, and go hay­wire try­ing to com­plete all the tasks to­gether, and in the bar­gain are not able to com­plete even one prop­erly. Also, when a task is not ticked off today, it will def­i­nitely get added to the next day’s list. But the per­son needs to make a com­mit­ment that he/ she can­not keep de­fer­ring the list.

A BA­SIC LIFE­STYLE CHANGE AL­WAYS HELPS… A healthy life­style in­cludes proper ex­er­cise, at least seven-eight hours of sleep and eat­ing healthy at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals. A lot of us ne­glect food. We eat only when we feel hun­gry. Not eat­ing is very un­healthy, as it slows down the pro­cess­ing in the brain. There is a small pro­cras­ti­na­tor in all of us, and none of us are saved from that. But at the end of it, to beat pro­cras­ti­na­tion, we need to make peace with it, ac­cept it and find ways to fight it...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.