Of course, there are moments you have to put a hold on a task. However, this can very easily lead to a habit of procrastinating. ‘’I’ll do that tomorrow’’ or ‘’I’ll finish that some other time’’ are classic examples of procrastinating. Because let’s be honest, do you actually finish your task the next day?
What makes someone a procrastinator?
A procrastinator is someone who can’t resist the temptation to procrastinate. This often goes hand in hand with negative feelings such as insecurity, guilt and anxiety because the task has not been solved yet. Furthermore, a procrastinator rationalises his behaviour with excuses. This is a form of avoidance behaviour because you temporarily avoid confrontation with yourself. The negative feelings accompanied by procrastinating also have a negative impact on your self-esteem. This in turn, leads to less activity and more procrastinating.
Am I a procrastinator?
You could be. However, no one is born as a procrastinator. Procrastinating is a form of self taught behaviour that serves as a short term solution to relieve anxiety and fear when having to perform a confronting task. The positive side about this is that because the behaviour is learned, it can be unlearned. A negative point is that it’s not that simple to unlearn it. However, there are a few points that can help you with this.
Tip 1: What is causing the procrastinating?
Find the cause or reason. Being easily distracted or fatigue are possible reasons. Also, people who are perfectionistic have problems with procrastinating because they are afraid that they aren’t able to complete the task in the perfect way. It’s important to find the reasons behind your procrastinating because only this way you can solve the problem.
Tip 2: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
A quote by Mark Twain (famous writer) that is also used as a rule of thumb in many books on procrastination.‘Eat that frog’ shows you that beginning with the least liked task will help you do the tasks that you procrastinate the most. Did you know that the tasks you procrastinate the most, have most often the biggest (positive) influence on your life?
Tip 3: Stay motivated!
Stay motivated by rewarding yourself and by taking breaks when you are confronted with a tough or annoying task. Both big and small rewards can help you to stay motivated. Furthermore, it’s important to evaluate your thoughts to stay motivated. Negative or critical thoughts won’t help you to become or stay motivated. If you experience these thoughts, try to test them to reality. Most of these negative thoughts are exorbitant or just not true.
NiceDay: Try to write down the thoughts you have about yourself during the execution of a task. Do the same when you feel the urge to procrastinate a task. Reflect on these situations together with your professional to get a better understanding of your procrastination behaviour.