7 Proven Ways To Avoid Procrastination

Regardless of our ages and profession, we are all or have been good old friends to the very famous antagonist in the history of success stories – Procrastination. 

For almost 120 years, psychologists have been trying to figure out the science underlying procrastination.

 Nothing is as exhausting as the everlasting hanging on to an unfinished endeavor.

William James (commonly referred to as the Father of American Psychology)

Many variables contribute to procrastination, like workload, age, motivation levels, level of interest, environment, health, and so on!

According to a study, procrastination has been linked to low self-esteem, illogical beliefs, a fear of failure, depression, and bad study habits, according to studies. Furthermore, procrastinators have been proven to be more worried and more prone to become ill closer to a deadline, which generally leads to poor exam outcomes.

So, how big is the problem, who are the most likely procrastinators, and what can be done about it? We may not have an accurate answer to this, but we can definitely suggest a few ways to avoid procrastination.

  1. Only spend a few minutes on a task.

Procrastinators not only spend more time distracting themselves by doing the “wrong things,” but they also put off doing the “correct” things. This was the conclusion of a study on procrastinating students. The hardest part of any work is usually getting started. If you can simply persuade someone to start doing it for a few minutes, the brain’s urge to finish it should take over.

  1. Take control of your surroundings.

When temptations are visible, you are more likely to get distracted and postpone. According to a recent study, having your phone out and visible, even if you aren’t using it, can cause you to perform 20% worse than if you had put it away. According to the authors of this study, “the simple presence of a cell phone may be enough to elicit reduced attention.” Consider your working environment: is it conducive to the task at hand, or is it conducive to procrastination?

  1. Prioritize the difficult and important tasks.

Our Circadian Rhythm, which governs our daily biological clocks, ensures that we are most awake around 10 a.m. before a mid-afternoon slump. The more difficult the task, the more energy and concentration we’ll need to do it. It makes sense to start with the most difficult and important chores first because starting them when weary is tough, and many people put them off for another day.

  1. Set a short deadline for yourself.

‘It has long been noted that the further away an event is, the less impact it has on people’s decisions,’ researcher Piers Steel writes in his meta-analysis on procrastination. Break the assignment down into smaller parts and set a short deadline for each one.

  1. Improve your skill to self-regulate and your views about it.

The ability to choose acceptable tactics and self-correct them during a task is known as self-regulation. According to the Sutton Trust, this is one of the most efficient and effective techniques for helping Pupil Premium pupils. 

Procrastination has been defined as a “failure to self-regulate,” however procrastination researchers argue that simply understanding the importance of self-regulation is insufficient to overcome procrastination. Students must be confident to use these methods and skills to be effective.

  1. Increase self-confidence and self-belief 

Students who fear failing at a task are more inclined to postpone. Procrastination is more common in people who have low self-esteem. One possible explanation is that procrastination serves as a self-protective technique, providing a convenient excuse to hide behind (e.g., ‘I only failed because I didn’t try). 

One technique to boost their confidence is to show them how others who have been in similar situations have succeeded (this is known as ‘modeling’ by psychologists). This might make the task appear more manageable and provide a model to follow. 

  1. Level up (gradually)

This may appear to be debatable. Isn’t it true that more difficult work will make someone desire to put it off even longer? It appears that this is not the case. When people complete a challenging activity effectively, they report feeling more satisfied. To keep high-achieving pupils from becoming bored, make the assignment a little more difficult, as long as it is still doable.

Being troubled by your habit of procrastinating and regretting the fact that your very visible potential is being wasted, is a common thing. What should not be normalized is getting used to being or living that way. To get the sweetest fruits of their hard work, one must at least attempt to get rid of leeches like procrastination!

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