What Does It Mean To Procrastinate?
Procrastination refers to the action of delaying or postponing tasks. This is especially true for tasks that need to be accomplished by a certain deadline.
Why Do People Procrastinate?
Procrastination often occurs due to being afraid to fail at the tasks that need to be completed.
It could be a habitual or an intentional delay of starting or finishing a task despite knowing it might have negative consequences.
For some people procrastination might be a symptom of a mental disorder. It’s been linked to depression, irrational behavior, low self-esteem and anxiety, which are associated with disorders such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and even bipolar disorder.
Procrastination has many consequences attached to it. It not only causes serious stress and illness, but it also causes self sabotage that can ruin your chances at success.
What Are Some Signs Of Procrastination?
Whether it’s habitual or intentional, or due to mental illness there are many signs of procrastination to look out for.
- Having Uncertain Goals: Even if you’re not diagnosed with a mental illness having uncertain goals can trigger fear and anxiety, which lead to procrastination. However, if you’re certain of what your goals are you’ll have less fear.
- Hard Time Concentrating: Whether it’s from lack of sleep, stress or a short attention span you’re more prone to procrastination when you have a hard time concentrating.
- Making Excuses: It’s a sign of procrastination if you’re making excuses for not finishing a task.
- Being A Perfectionist: Perfectionists have a fear of being unable to finish a task perfectly.
- Limiting Beliefs: There are a lot of limiting beliefs around both fear and guilt that can stop you from completing a task. For example “I fear that I’m good enough to finish this assignment”!
- Setting Unrealistic Goals: When you set unrealistic goals you’ll set yourself up for disappointment. Then it can lead to fear of failure which can cause you to put off tasks.
- Feeling Anxious: It’s interesting to note that anxiety and procrastination go hand in hand. When you’re feeling anxious about something, you’ll put it off.
- Unstable Moods: Having conditions such as bipolar disorder can lead to unstable moods. It’s hard to stay focused and get a task done on time when moods are hard to regulate.
- Fear Of Failure: Setting unrealistic goals and facing disappointment can lead to a fear of failure. You’ll find yourself putting off things because you’re afraid of failing again.
How To Overcome Procrastination?
- Promise Yourself An Award: When you finally complete a difficult task you should reward yourself. If you like coffee, buy yourself one as an award.
- Get Plenty Of Sleep: If you’re having trouble focusing and keep putting things off, it could be something as simple as not getting enough sleep. When you get enough sleep you’ll be able to focus better.
- Rephrase Your Internal Dialogue: Your inner dialogue may be telling you “you have to” complete that task and it’s making you stressed and anxious. Try reframing the thought into something more empowering, for example say “you want to” instead.
- Minimize Distractions: It helps to minimize distractions so you can complete a task. This includes turning off social media, email and television.
- Improve Mood Management: There was an interesting study done about procrastination. It concluded that it is more about emotional management rather than time management. For example you may avoid a certain task because it’s associated with a negative emotion and unless you face that emotion the task will never be finished.
- Letting Go Of Perfectionism: Learning how to let go of perfection is important for overcoming procrastination. Start by letting go of unrealistic expectations, practice self-care and stop obsessing over what others think of you.
If you’re interested in reading a previous post about overcoming fear please click on the button below:
How To You Overcome Procrastination?
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