You tell yourself that you’ll wake up in another 10 minutes, that you just need 5 minutes to check Facebook, or that you just want to watch one last episode of this drama. Soon enough, you find yourself spending the next few hours procrastinating. With the expansion of the Internet and social media, procrastinating is getting easier and taking more self-control to resist its temptation. Realizing that you need to end your procrastination habit before it gets any worse is a good first step.
Before we break our bad habit of procrastinating, we need to find out the root causes of procrastination. So what is procrastination and how can we overcome it?
5 Causes and Cures of Procrastination
1) Fear of Failure – Some people procrastinate because they fear that no matter how much effort they put into something, they still might not do well. An example of this type of thinking is, “No matter how much I study, I know I’m still not going to get a good grade in this class.” This kind of negative thinking will cause you not to try at all, thus leading to procrastination. Instead, practicing positive thinking will motivate you into trying and starting your tasks now.
2) Laziness – This is the feeling that you don’t have to do the tasks now. You convince yourself that you’ll work on it later when you’re in a better mood. A way to cure laziness and give yourself motivation to start your task is to reward yourself if you start now. When you give yourself a reward for completing something now instead of later, you will feel less lazy and more driven to accomplish the task sooner.a
3) Lack of focus – Distractions are everywhere and you must learn to ignore them. Every small break you take to check your Facebook or email distracts you from the task at hand and causes you to lose your focus. One helpful tip is to seclude yourself in a room where you are unable to do anything else but the task that needs to get done. Disconnect your Internet and shut off your cell phone if you have to. Instead of checking your email every 10 minutes, set certain times throughout the day to check your email and phone calls.
4) Disorganization –When you are disorganized, you are more likely to procrastinate. A cure for this is to keep an organized list of tasks that you need to complete. Prioritize the tasks and a set deadline for each based on how important and urgent the task is.
5) Expecting Perfection – Many people procrastinate because they pursue perfectionism. They fear doing a task poorly, thus they wait until they are more organized with their time and resources. Having this perfectionistic attitude only hinders you from starting your task early. Instead, you should realize that nothing can be absolutely perfect and by waiting, you are only wasting your own time.
It is important to understand the causes of procrastination so that you can work on stopping procrastination. Procrastination is a learned behavior and therefore, with the right amount of effort and persistence, we can all take the necessary steps to overcoming procrastination.