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Procrastination is an Enemy of Time
Everyone of us occasionally postpones tasks at hand for various reasons, such as fatigue, anxiety, unwillingness to engage in it at the moment, or lack of spare time to spend on the task. Some people get into the habit of delaying things that they have to do, thus disregarding deadlines and causing many problems for themselves and those around them. It is called procrastination which comes from Latin verbs 'Pro' meaning 'forward, forth or in favour of' and 'Crastinus' meaning 'of tomorrow'. Procrastination is the science of delay. This is not a rare phenomenon,almost everyone is guilty of it at some point in their lives.
Why We Procrastinate
The reason for a person procrastinate can be different. It depends on person to person and situation to situation. There are some universal reasons that cause people to delay their tasks and actions. One of the most important ones is the fear of failure. Sometimes a person loses their focus due to lack of goals and objectives. Since they have no end goal in mind, they end up wasting energy in other useless tasks.
Negative Effects of Procrastination
The act of procrastination always refers to a negative act that reduces quality and performance of work. It prevents a person from rising through the ranks, succeeding in training and developing as a personality. For example Alex had an ten pages essay due by the end of the week, yet during the week Alex purposely pushed back doing the essay by doing numerous of small useless tasks such as, checking social media, going out with his friends, spending hours talking on the phone and constantly putting off doing the essay. Which ended with his rushing to finish the essay the night before it was due and sloppily turning it in, as a result receiving a low grade. Once you start doing procrastination a little bit, it slowly adds up in your habits like a drug. Procrastination is the thief of time that's why it can be a major problem in both your career and your personal life. When you keep putting off things,they keep piling up and getting in your way of achieving other things. Then you have missed opportunities,feel stress and guilty, you find you are being overwhelmed easily because there is just so much to do. Every relationship has also been affected by procrastination at one time or another.
Difference Between Procrastinators and Non Procrastinators
Procrastination is mainly caused by personality and mental state and can affect the performance and health of procrastinator. Personality can be defined as "the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual's distinctive character" (Oxford 2011). Some people have the habit of procrastination and some people do not. This shows that the habit of procrastination is caused by the individual's personality. Non procrastinators will get their task completed as soon as possible and on the other hand the procrastinators involve themselves in too many activities will neglect it and procrastinate. That's why procrastinators received lower grades compared to non procrastinators on their term paper. Procrastinators will suffer higher stress level completing the task in a rush while non procrastinators relax more because they have completed their task. This higher stress level in procrastinators leading to other chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and hypertension. This shows that procrastination brings nothing but harm to procrastinators. On the other hand non procrastinators are free of stress and this type of chronic diseases.
Procrastination In My Opinion
If I need to choose one bad habit that affects my daily routine, I would say procrastination as my most annoying bad habit. Procrastination means put off things that need to be done presently. In various aspects this can be happened on me, for example I always hand in my homework just before the deadline, though I know I need to do that long time ago. Sometime I get late in meetings though I have prepared enough time for myself to get ready. It brings a lot of disadvantages therefore it is really a bad habit. I always postpone doing things on time. This makes me stuck and prevent me from keeping up my life, achieving my goals. Procrastination is also a sign of laziness which are no good for me. And I always feel emptiness because I always fail to do things that I supposed to do in a day.
Can We Control Procrastination?
Yes, we can control procrastination as the studies shows you can successfully reduce or overcome your procrastination by using right techniques. For example developing a schedule, planning academic tasks carefully and improving time management skills or learning how to regulate emotions better are all few effective ways to combat procrastination. Studies also shows that self forgiveness can help you to feel positive about yourself and reduce the chances of procrastination in the future.
How To Overcome Procrastination
Procrastination is a tough issue to handle,but if you take necessary steps then you will have an excellent chances to overcoming or reducing your procrastination. There are a variety of strategies we can use to stop procrastinating. Let take a look into some strategies to overcome procrastination.
1. Set Goals
The first step to overcoming your procrastination is to set goals. The most effective goals are specific, clear, achievable and meaningful which means that they should be well defined, possible to accomplish and significantly enough to help you make progress. For example Chelsea set the goal of writing 5000 words for her thesis each day which is meaningful but is generally not achievable, since most people can't write at that rate, which is why such a goal should be avoided. Conversely, the goal of writing 5 words each day is certainly achievable but is not meaningful, since it will take too long to finish Chelsea's thesis at that rate which is why this type of goal should also be avoided. In comparison the goal of writing 500 words per day is both achievable as well as meaningful, which is why it represents a good goal to set for yourself.
2 .Break Large and Difficult Tasks Into Simple Ones
It can be overwhelming to think about finishing a whole project. This step is generally seen as a time management technique, its main goal here is to help you transform overwhelming projects into something that feels manageable, which will prompt you to stop procrastination on them and start taking actions. For example instead of thinking, "I need to finish that project by 11 PM tonight " break it down and given yourself a deadline for each part. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon your task will be so simple that you will thinking "this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!"
3. Eliminate Distraction from Your Environment
Nowadays removing all distractions seem very easy at first, but it takes time to eliminate from your everyday routine. If you can see temptation you are more likely to be distracted by them, and therefore procrastinate. For example if you work at home, maybe there are too many tempting games, books, or even pets around you. Distractions could also be external sources like annoying siblings. Single out these distractions and eliminate them from your work space. If you tend to spend too much time on Snapchat or Instagram when you should be studying then shut your phone off (all the way off). Alternatively you could change study environments all together and head down to the local library or coffee shop, where you can clear your mind and study distraction free.
4. Tackle the Hardest Task First
Write down all the things that you need to do, and place them in order of importance. Identify when you're most effective in the morning or the afternoon? Do the task that you find most difficult at these times, instead of it hanging over your head all day and causing you stress. It will give you a sense of accomplishment,you'll be feeling good and productive the rest of the day.
5. Reward Yourself
As a strategy to avoid procrastinating, it's helpful to reward yourself for having completed the project. Decide in advance what the reward will be, it might be a snacks, a TV show, doing five minutes stretching or something else. For bigger projects it could range from going to a movie, all the way up to taking a weekend vacation or buying yourself something you've been wanting for a long time. This technique also reinforces the habit of getting things done in future.
One Last Tip
Just get to work! Stop reading articles about how to overcome procrastination.
Procrastination is a tough issue to handle, it brings nothing but harm to procrastinators. However procrastinators can overcome procrastination by becoming aware of its causes, effects and prevention and develop their time management skills.