You might be familiar with this popular statement:
Procrastination is the thief of time
– Edward Young
For me, I dislike it when I have that looming feeling of an unfinished task. It irks me a lot, and this pushes me to want to get it done as soon as possible.
Psychology tells us that it’s in our natural human tendency to gravitate towards pleasure and away from pain.
This is why we often find ourselves postponing tasks we deem “unpleasant”, choosing instead ones we find enjoyable. However, the thing is that postponing those tasks doesn’t ever make them go away. Instead, the thought and reminder of it hangs over in our minds like a doom cloud, waiting to pour its rain of despair.
I find it rather profitable to accomplish the painful task first and quickly, then live free and unburdened. Seriously, you should try it, you’d be amazed at how much more productive you’d be and how much more enjoyable life would be in general.
In practising the principle of “Delayed Gratification”, we find that we’d be able to accomplish a whole lot more. It’s postponing pleasure, to a later time when it can be much more enjoyed. It may not sound so enticing, but it’s productive and rewarding.
You can use it as a rewards system whereby you celebrate your wins and achievements with a reward scheme, sort of like baiting.
I’d give an example; let’s say you need to clean your house and even though the results of a clean home is a reward in and of itself, by putting a benefit ahead, it serves as motivation to work.
The reward can be anything from food, to a nap, or a gift. Really you decide what sort of reward you want to give yourself or that you deem commensurate with the work. A note of caution not to splurge though, all for the sake of a reward. By this I mean, it’s not expedient to spend an hour studying and then reward yourself with six hours of tv time. That’s not matching up, the reverse would be much better; you can go six hours reading and go for an hour break of tv watching.
As you think about it, looking at the “prize” makes it easier to pay the “price”. So in essence, you pay the price of work for the purpose of attaining whatever prize is at the end of the goal.
I prefer to avoid the bane of multitasking, most deem it productive, but I think it’s actually often counterproductive.
The difference between multitasking and being single-focused is like comparing being efficient with being proficient.
I believe that whatever is worth being done, is worth being done well. Quality vs Quantity.
It helps to be proactive as well. Being proactive means choosing to do things ahead of time. This helps greatly in reducing the chances of procrastinating on tasks and events because you’ve already handled them in advance.
Creating a to-do list helps in properly itemizing and organising tasks that need to be done. The sense of accomplishment with performing each item on the list also serves to spur you on to the next one, it’s self-motivating. Giving you the confidence that you can do it.
Have you ever thought about it, the fact that procrastination creates a whole lot more stress and tension? Yes, it does. It creates that pressure and time constraint, knowing that you have to achieve so much within a short time frame as time had already been wasted postponing things.
One key principle to achieving and doing more is a mindset change. To try to make mundane work more fun and exciting. Then a seemingly unpleasant task becomes pleasant. It’s a school of thought that music makes everything sweeter and better, I actually do agree with that. There are also other ways to add joy to everyday life activities, we just have to be creative about it. Anything can be made fun if the right approach is given to it. It’s all in the methodology. Let’s not limit our minds to what it can create and achieve. Where there’s a will, there’s most certainly a way.
In the end, procrastination is the water that lies under the bridge between time management and discipline. The moment we can merge the two and close that gap is when we discover our unlimited abilities and the potential to do so much more.
Procrastination has been deemed a sort of coping mechanism in emotional psychology. A tactic to do away with challenges deemed out of control or scope, stuff too difficult to handle.
A way to overhaul the mindset is to be able to attach some form of purpose to every work or task to be done. A purpose that personally means something to you. Work must have significant value. This is how we get our bodies to cooperate with the mind in getting stuff done.
Do remember to forgive yourself if ever you’ve procrastinated at something before. A failed task doesn’t make you a failure. Extend some grace to yourself and push forward.
Love and Grace,
© Zizi 2020
So tell me, in what ways have you battled procrastination before?
How did you deal with it?
Do share some of your tips in the comment section below, I’m eager to read them.