Reasons Why People Procrastinate and How It Can Be Stopped

Procrastination is the act or habit of delaying an important task and opting for unnecessary, yet more enjoyable and easier activities. This sounds quite bad, but all of us actually procrastinate from time to time. It becomes alarming, though, when we do it all the time. This is called chronic procrastination, and sometimes it can get the best of us.

Why do we do it?

The urge to put off a business project or homework for more fun endeavors can be pretty hard to resist sometimes. There are many reasons behind why we do this and a lot has to do with the different frames of mind and the justifications we say to ourselves that allow us to procrastinate. Here are some of them:

  • Putting the task off nearer the deadline because you “work well under pressure”.
  • Convincing yourself that the task isn’t really that important and that you can do it easily later.
  • Correcting, deleting, and adding things to a task to delay the other.
  • Blaming external conditions beyond your control.
  • Adding others to the mix. (“A co-worker isn’t doing this task yet so maybe I shouldn’t either”).

There are still more excuses that we can say that allow ourselves to procrastinate. But, as many as they are, there are a lot more ways to stop procrastination. So don’t fret! You’ll get yourself out of the procrastination hole, with some of these tips.

Ways to stop procrastination

  • Time your tasks: Set a time for yourself to finish your assignments or undertakings. Plan ahead and set a time for each task. For example, set 15 minutes for a certain task then take a 5-minute break, then head on to the next.
  • Clean: Having a clean workplace allows you to move and do things easier. Seeing clutter or a messy environment can have psychological effects that can increase stress and trigger procrastination. Also, cleaning beforehand doesn’t give you the “I can’t do this yet ‘cus I have to clean” excuse.
  • Break big tasks to smaller ones: Splitting big tasks to smaller, more manageable ones can help you finish it slowly but surely. By doing this, you’re not likely to procrastinate because the work becomes less intimidating.
  • Identify the consequences: Sometimes scaring yourself can also be a good motivator to stop procrastinating. Think about the consequences if you don’t do a task in time. When you push a task for later, think about the possibility that you won’t finish it in time, and all the consequences that come after that.
  • Reward yourself: Last but not least, acknowledge yourself for finishing your work even the small tasks. If you finish a big project, go eat some chilli crab if you can or if you really want to. Or take a relaxing walk at Hort Park, after a day of successful work maybe.

These are only few of the many ways you can stop yourself from procrastinating.

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