How to Stop from Procrastinating
Are You Guilty of Chronic Procrastination?
Chronic procrastination is a problem that’s real and is nothing to be laughed at, although there are many jokes about procrastination. Procrastination has caused people to lose jobs, personal possessions, and even their spouses.
But most medical professionals fail to recognize the problem as real, classifying it as merely a bad habit. It manifests itself in low self-esteem, shame, underachievement, and life can become unmanageable. Many procrastinators also suffer from adult attention deficit disorder, but it isn’t acknowledged as such.
Chronic procrastination grows into a compulsion to avoid existence. It’s addictive and as harmful as any other addictive drug becoming your drug of choice and your method to circumvent life’s reality.
It’s a form of escapism.
Chronic procrastinators often turn to drugs and alcohol. Drug and alcohol abusers sometimes become procrastinators. So which came first? How do you recognize the symptoms?
Procrastinators are always disappointed with everything. They expect all things to go wrong and are inwardly happy when they do. Their lives are surrounded by clutter in the home, car, and workplace.
They’re not aware of what’s needed in their life and seek frivolous things for fulfillment and instant gratification. It’s hard to say no. They suffer from low self-esteem and are glad someone needs their help, but rebel by never completing the requested favor.
Procrastinators are late for appointments and have difficulty estimating the amount of time it takes to arrive at a destination or completing a task. They even resort to tricking their mind by setting their clock or watch a few minutes ahead.
If you think you’re a chronic procrastinator, admit to your problem and decide to overcome it. Seek help. Therapy can be useful to learn new attitudes and overcome fears.
Ask yourself why you’re avoiding the things you dread.
Make a list of dreaded activities and what’s the worst that could happen if you avoid them. You’ll quickly see this could result in dismal consequences. Also, make a list of happy activities and why you would want to do them. Yes, there are happy activities too.
Time management can help. Stop giving in to activities that waste time. Develop a routine and break down your daily activities into small steps and tasks. Set a lesser deadline and meet it. Replace your “have to” with “want to. You don’t have to do anything. You have a choice. But weigh the consequences of that choice.
You’re on your way to recovery when you do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. Success attracts success. Work on things you enjoy, even if insignificant. At least the small things are getting done. Never feel guilty. Never submit to a self-defeating mentality. Choose to improve the quality of your life, and a life of quality will choose you.
How to Stop from Procrastinating Is Fear and Anxiety at the Root of Your Procrastination?
Procrastination can manifest itself in many forms and for many reasons. It’s primarily the avoidance of a task or project that usually needs to be done within a specific timeframe. Few of us have escaped the clutches of procrastination at one time or another in our life because it’s so easy to succumb to its seductive ways.
Procrastination has many disguises: television, internet, email, books, household chores, telephone, sleep, and even the excuse of helping a friend. Procrastinators seldom do nothing, but what they do is hardly useful.
For many, the underlying root problem of your procrastination is fear and anxiety.
You feel anxious about a task, so you choose to ignore it. This is a severe problem for students who have many deadlines to meet, but it’s also a growing problem for those in the home and workplace.
Fear and anxiety over not completing a task or project lead to procrastination, which causes more fear of failure.
Failure fear is common, but some fear success. They feel if they complete the task successfully, it will set the bar too high for future projects.
Students are overwhelmed with an assignment and fear getting a failing grade. They substitute worry for studying but feel that if they fail because of procrastination, they’ll be perceived as lacking in effort, which is more acceptable than lacking in ability. They fear looking stupid.
An interesting side notes: College students who procrastinate are usually more prone to drinking, smoking, insomnia, and sicknesses such as colds and flu. Psychologists say drinking and smoking are to ease the pain of fear and anxiety caused by procrastination, which leads to health problems.
We delay finishing a task because we fear criticism, disapproval, and negative feedback.
We had instead procrastinated than suffer the fear of shame and embarrassment of unreal expectations.
This expands into fear and anxiety of possible rejection, being criticized, and making mistakes. Some even fear losing freedom and put off committing to a project. Fears are sometimes unconscious, and people deny they suffer from them.
There are many ways to combat fear, anxiety, and its offspring procrastination. Realize you have a choice to succeed or not to succeed. Set realistic goals in small increments and cultivate a sense of self-worth.
Don’t focus on weaknesses.
Most fears are unfounded and irrational. Realize you’re working against yourself, analyze them, and move on. Ask yourself the real reason you’re afraid. Be brutally honest for some, exercise, and deep breathing help.
There is no perfect time to begin. Mark Twain said, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” The important thing is to start. Learn as much as you can about your task, take one step at a time, reward yourself, and soon fear and anxiety will disappear.