What is procrastination?
According to Wikipedia, Procrastination is the action of unnecessarily and voluntarily delaying or postponing something despite knowing that there will be negative consequences for doing so. The word has origin from the Latin procrastinatus, which itself evolved from the prefix pro-, meaning “forward,” and crastinus, meaning “of tomorrow. It could be further stated as a habitual or intentional delay of starting or finishing a task despite knowing it might have negative consequences. It is a common human experience involving delay in everyday chores or even putting off salient tasks such as attending an appointment, submitting a job report or academic assignment, or broaching a stressful issue with a partner. Although typically perceived as a negative trait due to its hindering effect on one’s productivity often associated with depression, low self-esteem, guilt and inadequacy, it can also be considered a wise response to certain demands that could present risky or negative outcomes or require waiting for new information to arrive. Even though it could be considered a wise decision sometimes, its negative effects far outweigh any positive sides to it.
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of hands to sleep, just a little more time, or another movie and what is important is pushed further off to the to-do pile. These are some of the thoughts that go on in the mind of a procrastinator. It is usually thought that one can do the important things later,until there is no such time again and guilt and panic set in when the deadline for such work approaches. Most psychologists see procrastination as a kind of avoidance behavior, a coping mechanism, gone awry in which people “give in to feel good” , says Timothy Psychyl, a professor who studies procrastination at Carleton University, in Ottawa. This usually happens when people fear or dread or have anxiety about the important tasks awaiting them. Oftentimes, we procrastinate because our self-control and motivation, which might be hindered by factors such as exhaustion and rewards that are far in the future, are outweighed by demotivating factors, such as anxiety and fear of failure. As daunting as fear and anxiety can be, we can not and should not let it hinder us from performing important tasks that will benefit our present or future selves. We are the architects of our own lives and worlds and we should stay Committed to ensuring we are the best versions of ourselves daily.
Procrastination if allowed on a consistent daily basis has the potential to waste one’s time,kill dreams and throw a person’s life completely off balance. Emotional stress is often associated with procrastination as the weight of doing things or completing tasks that could have been completed in due time with applauding results become squeezed into tiny moments or hours before its official deadline. It is usually worse off when the procrastinator determines his/her deadline because that means they can keep pushing it off until they don’t do it or eventually agree that it is not so needed. Procrastination ignores the future of a person. It often forgets that one’s future self will benefit or suffer from the decisions and actions of today. Hal Hershfield, a psychologist at UCLA Anderson school of management who studies the present and future self says that when making long term decisions people tend to feel a lack of emotional connection to their future selves. He also believes that even though procrastinators know on some fundamental level that in a year’s time,they’ll still be themselves, they still treat that future self as though he/she were a different person. It is of great importance to do what is needed at an actual time to avoid negative impacts on our future selves and lives.
There is no habit or way of life that can not be changed, adjusted or altered. It could seem difficult at first, but with time, and consistent efforts,it gets easier. The best known way to get rid of procrastination or to manage one’s tendency to procrastinate is to be able to identify and break down into tiny pieces the most important things that one has to do in a day or In a week. It is important to start small,and then work one’s way up. Take each day,one at a time. It might seem like nothing is changing for a while, but as the days go by, the changes will be noticed. Here are some extra tips that can potentially help a person stop procrastinating. Be determined to do better. Imagine your future self, forgive yourself for any mistakes in the past, and alleviate guilt. Whenever you feel like not doing anything and you have so much to do, forget how you feel and just start working, your body will adjust after a few minutes. Irrespective of how enormous the task is,just get on with it. If you feel some moments of panic or fear, take a break for a few minutes, take a glass of water, or simply walk around and then go back to it with a refreshed mind. You can stop procrastinating, you absolutely can. Start Today, don’t push till tomorrow, what you can get done today.
Article on Procrastination by Anna Swanson.