Procrastination in simple is to delay or postpone action. Lets look at the proper definition of this term.

Definition of procrastination: It is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until last second, or past their deadline. Some researchers define it as a form of self regulation failure characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences.

What causes procrastination? 

Many people procrastinate because they are anxious about the outcome of a project. Procrastination is a habit and one that many people don’t even realize they’re engaging in. It is the subconscious fear or failure. There’s only one ultimate reason for why we procrastinate is negative emotions. As we are humans who approach for what feels good and avoid what feels bad.

Lets consider few instances

To understand better we see students who procrastinate their preparations for the exams until last night. We procrastinate in many ways for example you have a project to complete.

You have known about it for weeks and continued to put it off day after day. You experience anxiety thinking about the project to complete, but not enough to do anything about it since you have no interest in it or you have no idea about it completely. Then suddenly the day before the deadline, the future consequences turn into present consequences and your complete project hours before it is due.

Science behind procrastination

Science explains procrastination as the fight between two parts of the brain when it is faced with an unpleasant action or activity. It’s a battle of the limbic system (the unconscious zone that includes the pleasure center) and the prefrontal cortex ( a much more recently evolved part of the brain that’s basically our internal planner).

When the limbic system wins, which is often, the result is putting off for tomorrow what could’ve be done today. It offers temporary relief from that unpleasant feeling for whatever reason not wanting to do something.

List of reasons why people procrastinate?

  • Lack of discipline
  • Fear of failure
  • Wait till the last minute
  • Lack of urgency
  • Lack of motivation
  • Perfectionism
  • Fear of unknown
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of self confidence

There can be even more reasons than mentioned above. These are most common reasons for procrastination.

Ways to overcome procrastination

Acknowledge that you are procrastinating

  • The time you feel to put off something that you are doing then think why you are procrastinating it. The first step to stop procrastination is to acquire motivation.

Break difficult tasks into smaller chunks.

  • Once the task is assigned to you or task that is assigned by yourself, analyze the task and make it as smaller tasks by dividing them according to your comfort and time.
  • By doing so we don’t lose motivation of completing each simple task rather than trying to accomplish a huge task at single take.
  • Even while doing simple task breaks can be taken to avoid boredom.

Create your own deadline before actual deadline.

  • If there is some job or duty assigned to you with deadline then make sure of creating your own deadline prior to the actual deadline.
  • This helps in accomplishing the job even before the deadline without any exhaustion and anxiety.

Be organized and goal oriented to overcome procrastination

  • Set all your needs required for the job before starting it. Organize all the necessary things that will let you complete the job without any distractions.
  • Without being organized distractions can be faced during the task. Task can be in various forms starting from the student project assignments, employees work, house chores, studying it can be anything that is productive.
  • Set your goals to complete the task. set daily goals, weekly goals and monthly goals to coup the tasks if the task is of long term then

Reward yourself

  • Rewards are powerful tools. Each time you use your dedicated time to work on your project, give yourself a reward. Reward can be anything that makes you feel happy
  • For example, reward yourself with food you like that is healthy if you complete walking for a distance of 2km.

Stop being a perfectionist

  • Once you start with doing a job, try your best to complete it rather than stopping the job searching for perfection in it.
  •  Perfection is just a thought of human nature. All that matters is to complete a job.

Think about the consequences you need to face after procrastinating a job

  • If you feel to put off job that you are doing without achieving it, then think of the consequences you need to face for doing so.
  • Procrastination leads to put you in situations that you might feel exhaust and anxious about it.
  • It’s better to accomplish our duty before anything happens that leads to disappointment.

Prioritize your works to overcome procrastination

  • Priorities your works. For prioritizing have this thought in your head all the time when you start doing a job. “Nothing matters… Everything else can wait”
  • Don’t get distracted of thinking about stopping. Complete once you start a job.
  • Do not quit, remember why you started.


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