Time to get rid of procrastination
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!
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...