Tips to Beat Procrastination

Your to-do list is growing larger.. pile of papers on your desk is not ready yet ..the red light of deadlines is getting on your nerves.. Welcome to the realm of procrastination!

We were brought up on the proverb “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” which targets the essence of procrastination, yet applying it is not that easy.

A procrastinator is not a lazy person who has been doing nothing, instead, he is overwhelmed by a quarrel deep within and stress is affecting his whole system because of not getting things done. People who struggle with procrastination may spend hours distracting themselves instead of addressing obligations that require time and effort.

Needless to say that everyone has put off a task at some point in their life, but are all of us can relate to the same category of procrastinators?

There’s no single type of a procrastinator. Chronic procrastinators have perpetual problems finishing tasks, while situational ones delay based on the task itself. A perfect storm of procrastination occurs when an unpleasant task meets a person who’s high in impulsivity and low in self-discipline.

But is it the inability to manage time or the inability to regulate moods and emotions that create the gap between intention and action?

It has long been believed that people who procrastinate have a faulty sense of time — that they think they will have more time to get something done than they actually do. On the other hand, there is another suggestion that procrastination is linked to difficulty managing distress. Specifically, it seems that task aversion is to blame — that is, when people view a task in an unpleasant manner (“It will be tough, boring, painful…”), they are more likely to put it off.

While procrastinators may be trying to avoid distress, this approach can ironically cause more distress in the long run. Procrastination can lead to increased stress, health problems, and poorer performance. Procrastinators tend to have more sleep issues and experience greater stressful regret than non-procrastinators. What’s more, procrastination can also hinder your self-esteem with the guilt, shame, or self-critical thoughts that can result from putting off tasks.

But have you ever wondered why you — or others —procrastinate?

1- You aren’t qualified: self-doubt can be your biggest enemy. You may feel like the task is above your skill level. If there’s a steep learning curve, it can be hard to start.  You start creating excuses; a bunch of them is ready (waiting inspiration.. waiting the right moment..waiting to be in the mood. Etc)

2- You don’t know the next task: If you don’t know what will happen after this step, you will procrastinate because you’re afraid of what comes next.

3- You don’t have a schedule: If you plan to start the task when you have time or feel motivated, you will put it off longer and longer

4- The task is uncomfortable: Many of the tasks we do are challenging and not fun, and those are the ones we find most difficult.

So, procrastination does not just happen or that it is a sort of entire laziness and distraction; it has its reasons, however, how to beat it remains the most important part:

  1. Get rid of catastrophizing

One of the biggest reasons people procrastinate is because they catastrophize, or make a huge deal out of something. It may be related to how tough, how boring, or how painful it will be to complete the task. In reality, challenges, boredom, and hard work will not kill you — or even make you sick. Procrastination, on the other hand, is associated with stress

2- Drop the perfectionism

Perfectionists are often procrastinators; it is psychologically more acceptable to never tackle a task than to face the possibility of falling short on performance. Perfectionism is an all-or-nothing mentality: Something is either perfect or it is a failure. People with perfectionistic tendencies tend to wait until things are perfect in order to proceed — so, if it’s not perfect, you cannot be finished. Or if it is not the perfect time, you believe you can’t start. This all-or-nothing mentality can hold you back from starting or completing tasks.

Instead, focus on being better than perfect. This means to still strive for excellence, creating excellence, or setting yourself up with excellent conditions, but at the same time, you focus on getting the job done.

3-Focus on your “why”

Procrastinators focus more on short-term gains (avoiding the distress associated with the task), as opposed to long-term results (the stress of not doing it, as well as the consequences of avoiding this task). Instead, try focusing on why you are doing this task: What are the benefits of completing it? And accept deadlines as your friend not a threat that makes you stressed and unable to think clearly. Encourage yourself by anticipating feeling sweetness of productivity and make it happen and by then all the load would be over.

4-Get rid of excuses

Do any of these sound familiar? “I need to be in the mood.” “I will wait until I have time.” “I work better under pressure.” “I need X to happen before I can start.”

Out!

Try to be the master of your mind; the one behind the wheel. Be honest with yourself, these are nothing but excuses. Sure, it might be nice to ”be in the mood,” but waiting for that to happen can mean you never start your project. If you only procrastinate because the task is uncomfortable, schedule it first thing in the morning and start before you can object.

Finally, procrastination is not an epidemic or a plague; it is a quintessential breakdown of self-control which could be overcome with effort.

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Quotes I Love

1-“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill
2-“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
3-“Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
4-“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” -Stephen Covey
5-“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

Thoughts on Leadership

The most underrated leadership skill is management. A bold vision goes nowhere without setting clear expectations, involving people in decisions, and giving actionable feedback. It’s hard to be a great leader without being a good manager.

So, what is the main difference between types of leaders?

Insecure leaders seek to be dominant, and stoke fear. Confident leaders seek to be respected, and earn trust. Courageous leaders seek to be challenged, and earn admiration.

Quotes I Love

1-“Those who don’t jump will never fly.” – Leena Ahmad Almashat
2-“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo
3-“Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skills to do difficult things easily.” – Friedrich Von Schiller
4-“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
5-“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” -Les Brown

Quotes I Love

1-“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford
2-“Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it.” -Charles Swindoll
3-“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey
4-“Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
5-“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” -Jimmy Dean

Quotes I Love

* “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”
* “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.”
* “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”
* “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”

Are you ready for the next challenge?

There is absolutely nothing in life that is not based on learning. As a kid, you start learning how to drink, eat, talk, walk, etc. And as life goes on, your need for learning becomes more sophisticated and takes another shape.

Every stage of our lives requires new skills, knowledge, and experiences that could only be derived from learning; continuous learning. Moreover, the diversity of new conditions and situations has allowed new challenges to emerge and conquer our daily life, waiting for a flexible and well trained mind to deal with them. And as our world has become fast changing and fierce in its challenges, the importance of continues learning has doubled its necessity and importance as well.

Recently, continuous learning has become a way of survival, not an option. Learning doesn’t stop by graduating and ending your traditional education; however, its importance increases as you enter a more professional field. Then, you turn from a student who studies certain material for exams to a professional who seeks excellence and mastering skills to flourish and achieve better in his career.

Needless to say that experience which could be derived from work is priceless; however, continuous learning will help you be competitive and up to date, and will acquire you the ability to expand your mind. Also reading can inflame your creativity and lessen the fear of taking action as it doesn’t only add up to your knowledge, it also opens doors to new paths you thought have never been existed before.

Where should you start?

Thanks to new technology, you can get all you need with just a click, for nowadays pursuing knowledge has become easier than before. Websites that offer online courses has swiped away all traditional excuses regarding how to get material or reach a professional. Just one click, and new worlds will open before you, and you can explore various fields, for free, anytime.

All you have to do is to enroll in an online course you choose according to your preference, watch online sessions, discuss what you’ve learnt, and share your experience and questions with peers, and get the answer right in your inbox.

Also E-books, blog posts and articles that are available online have made it easier to read more and more as most of our time is spent on our laptop, tablet and cell phone.

But here two challenges arise: time and continuity!

 1- Challenge of time

I think that the main problem facing our generation is the fast pace that the world is going by, in addition to distraction. No time to think clearly, set plans, or even achieve goals completely. And what makes it more difficult is that if you can’t keep pace with the world around, you’ll fell a prey to depression and feeling lost.

Starting to learn new skills isn’t so hard, yet to include it in your daily schedule will be the challenge.

First you should believe in the importance of what you’re doing and how it will affect your career on the long run. Then in your hectic schedule, set 15 to 30 min. daily to discover great ideas through learning a new skill, listening to podcasts, reading a blog post, or expanding your life by reading a book by your favorite author.

2-challenge of continuity

Satisfaction kills curiosity and can finish off the desire to take any step forward. So the best way is to never be satisfied; try always to close the gap between near-perfect and perfect by striving to expand your mind and acquiring new skills, and not spending too much time in the zone; spending too much time in your comfort zone will add nothing to your personal or career life, only would add up to your anxiety while dealing with new challenging situations.

Conclusion

“A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.” Virginia wolf

Changing is the best way to make you feel alive and able to conquer new fields. The ability to adapt to change has become a matter of survival. As long as you stay in your comfort zone, every new thing will have a sweeping power which you would be unable to resist, and would harm your life.

And to achieve the required goals in harmony, you should keep in mind that reading and continuous learning will provide you protection against unexpected situations that will require a flexible mind which can deal with new challenges. So, don’t be comfortable with what you have, always seek knowledge and new experience.