In this post, we are going to discover 5 science-backed strategies to overcome procrastination.
Delaying action until the next day is referred to as procrastination in the Latin term procrastinate.
Even though we know it’s to our best advantage to act immediately, we tend to procrastinate excessively.
Procrastination is a habit that, believe it or not, many of us have without even realizing it.
In order to avoid unpleasant results, we must be aware of our habits so that we can break free of them.
If you asked people what their greatest regret was when they lost a loved one, the most common answer was that they regretted what they didn’t do while they were still alive.
Hence, what’s the point? There is evidence to suggest that procrastination is associated with personality traits such as being easily distracted, impulsive, and lacking confidence in one’s abilities to complete tasks.
5 Types of Procrastinators
Procrastination occurs for a variety of reasons. Here are five types of procrastination and procrastinators to assist you to figure out why you tend to put things off.
Type 1: The Perfectionist
They’re the ones who obsess about the little things. As a perfectionist, you’re scared to get started on a project because you’re so concerned about getting every last detail correct.
Even after they’ve begun, they may get immobilized by their own apprehension and unwillingness to continue further.
To avoid procrastination due to overzealous attention to detail, make sure your activities are clearly defined and give yourself a specific amount of time to complete them.
You’ll be compelled to stay on target and complete your assignment on time this way.
Type 2: The Dreamer
Rather than taking action, this person prefers to come up with the perfect strategy. They have a great deal of talent, yet they have a hard time finishing a project.
Get your feet back on the ground each day by creating clear (and achievable) goals using the SMART framework to avoid being carried away by your boundless imagination while procrastinating.
Break the plan down into manageable chunks so that you can start working on it right away.
Type 3: The Avoider
Afraid of failing, the Warriors avoid taking on challenges they perceive as too great a challenge. They’d rather put off doing their job than face the wrath of others if they made a mistake.
I know it’s tempting to check your email, but don’t put it at the top of your to-do list.
Emails are sometimes insignificant, yet they rob you of your time and mental energy before you know it.
This form of procrastination is best tackled by focusing on the worst first. Your morning should be spent focusing on the tasks that you find most difficult.
This will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you create momentum for the rest of the day.
If possible, try to split your tasks into more manageable subtasks. Calculate realistically how much time and energy you’ll need to complete a certain task.
Type 4: The Crisis-Maker
In order to avoid having to deal with a crisis, the crisis-maker purposely delays work. They enjoy deadlines (crises) because they believe that they do better under pressure, which results in bad time management.
The idea that rushing through the job will improve your performance is a sham because delay eliminates the opportunity to go back and revise it.
Use Francesco Cirillo’s Pomodoro technique if you always put things off till the last minute.
It emphasizes short, intensive bursts of work, followed by a short break to allow oneself to recuperate and begin again.
Type 5: The Busy Individual
They’re the nastiest of all the procrastinators.
They have difficulty prioritizing duties because they either have too many or refuse to work on what they deem to be insignificant.
Their lack of knowledge prevents them from making an informed decision about which job is ideal for them.
This type of procrastination forces you to reevaluate your priorities. When it comes to pressing chores, “urgent” isn’t always synonymous with importance. You don’t want to waste your time and energy on things that don’t matter.
Make a list of the goals and objectives of your project. Long-term benefits are the true measure of importance in a work.
Responding to an email with the subject line “please get back to me asap” may seem urgent, but take a moment to weigh the importance of the email in light of other obligations.
Procrastination: Active vs. Passive
In our minds, the most common form of procrastination is “passive” procrastination. There are many people who don’t even know that procrastination is a form of active delaying. First, let’s talk about this.
They’re kind of “positive” procrastinators, but they’re still procrastinators. They know they perform better under pressure, so they choose to procrastinate.
For example, a procrastinator may realize that they have five reports to write by Friday and decide to put them off. As a result, they resolve to do just one on Monday, one on Tuesday, and three on Thursday, because their brain works better under pressure.
On the other hand, the “negative” procrastinators are the “passive” procrastinators.
It is common for these procrastinators to wait until the last minute to get something done because of their lack of confidence or indecision.
There are a number of reasons why an active procrastinator would put off writing all five reports until Thursday night, such as because they lack confidence in their abilities to complete them effectively or because the anticipation of doing so causes them to experience boredom.
In order to understand how we postpone and why we need to look at the psychology of procrastination. Passive procrastination will be the emphasis of the following list, which will include a variety of tactics.
Why Do We Procrastinate: 5 Psychological Reasons Behind It
#1 – Being Afraid of Failure
Fear of failing can be the root cause of procrastination.
As long as you delay a task long enough, you don’t have to worry about what might happen if you execute it.
Obsessive attention to detail may cause you to put off finishing a task since the stress of getting everything “exactly right” can be too much for some people.
Procrastination is a common response to feelings of insecurity and the desire to avoid appearing foolish. Failure is impossible if nothing is attempted at all.
Sadly, this is an ineffective approach.
Researchers found the following in a 2011 study based on student questionnaires:
Procrastination is often a result of a lack of self-confidence, performance anxiety, and perfectionism.
#2 – Aspiring to Be in Charge of All Situations
You can’t go wrong if you postpone things, can you? Things can’t be put off indefinitely.
Procrastination gives you the greatest degree of control over any given project. However, this also suggests that that particular duty has not been completed, which is certainly the case.
Procrastination may make you feel like you have more control at first, but when your ability to make wise judgments is hampered by your lack of time, this sensation of power often fades away.
#3 – Neglecting the Importance of Timing
When you expect a project to take one week to finish but it ends up taking two, it’s discouraging.
Time management abilities are also a factor in this situation. For whatever reason, the amount of time you allocate to a task isn’t working out for you.
If you frequently underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a task, you may be more likely to delay.
It’s easy to put things off when you think you have plenty of time, but once you realize you don’t, you’ll be scrambling to finish all you had planned.
5 Backed Science Strategies To Overcome Procrastination
For those who want to overcome their procrastination, there are science-based strategies that they can take.
#1 – Learn to put up with a little suffering.
Before starting a task, we often feel bored or apprehensive about what is ahead.
This task is making us feel uncomfortable, and we want to get away from it. Even though this may make us feel better in the short term, it can have long-term consequences.
When procrastination becomes a habit, it signals a preference for near-term rewards over long-term ones.
As soon as they start to feel uneasy, they make it a point to fix their mood and obtain some stress relief.
Delaying for the sake of pleasure might, however, lead to regret, sorrow, and even mental illness in the long run.
In order to combat procrastination, we should sit with our discomfort rather than retreating from it.
Be aware of any bad feelings that arise while you get ready for work, but don’t let them get in the way of getting the job done.
Whatever discomfort you initially experience will pass. Developing self-control and a new perspective on oneself come about as a result of practicing with this temporary discomfort.
You begin to believe that you are capable. And this is where the seed of inspiration is sown.
#2 – Pick an emotion that you wish to pay attention to.
Emotional attention is another choice, but it’s not the only one available. When we sit down to work on a task, we may be annoyed or stressed, but we are also experiencing other emotions.
Regardless of how modest this desire may be, it’s still there for us to pursue, and pursue it we must.
It’s up to us to decide which of the many different emotions we’re feeling at any one time we choose to focus on.
So, rather than dwelling on how much we dread starting a project, we can focus on the desire to improve our minds or careers.
Engaging in the task is made more meaningful since we are able to connect with our core values and motivations in this way.
#3 – Make a mess of it
To get over procrastination and become more motivated, all you have to do is do it sloppily.
You may be unable to undertake a project because you believe it must be done properly or because you lack the necessary skills. As a result, you’ll have to wait.
Do it now, rather than putting it off until you’re better prepared or more motivated. This is true not only in the workplace but in all aspects of your life when faced with a dilemma. It’s simpler to take action and follow through if you do it sloppily, but you can always improve it later.
Anxiety over work can be transformed into enthusiasm and ease if you live by this motto.
#4 – Take action now and motivation will come.
Procrastination stems from the belief that we will be more motivated to do a task if we wait until tomorrow. In contrast, research has shown that humans are terrible at forecasting our own feelings.
For example, you resolve to give up caffeine, but you treat yourself to one last cup before you do so.
The moment you’ve had your fix, you may believe that sticking to your plan won’t be as difficult, but the temptation is all it takes to send you spiraling straight back down the rabbit hole.
We often think that the way we’re feeling now will be the way we will be feeling in the future.
It is common for us to feel good today because we have postponed a task for some time, and we believe that these feelings will continue to be there when we return to the activity. However, this is not the case at all.
A better understanding of our emotional state makes it easier to take action now, because you can begin a task even if you aren’t motivated.
It’s odd, therefore, that momentum begins to build when you first begin to do this. Motivation begins to grow when momentum is gained.
People mistakenly believe that they must first be in the mood or motivated to do something before they can proceed. Action is motivated by motivation.
Further Reading: 12 Best Ways To Boost Your Motivation For Success In Life
#5 – Take a break from daydreaming
Cut back on mind-wandering and daydreaming if you want to lessen the amount of time you spend procrastinating.
When we’re at work or at home, we tend to think about things that aren’t related to our current situation.
The majority of our waking hours are spent thinking about something else or swiping through social media feeds without much thought.
Researchers have shown, however, that people who spend a lot of their time daydreaming have a harder time refocusing and maintaining their attention.
Daydreaming is also physically and psychologically addicting, and the more you do it, the more difficult it is to restrain yourself.
When we daydream, we tend to focus on the self, unfulfilled dreams, or an idealized self that doesn’t align with how we are. As a result, ruminating occurs, which can lead to sadness.
The remedy for this is to focus on the task at hand, or whatever you’re doing, rather than worrying about the future. This is the essence of what it is to be conscious and to be alive.
For More Tips On Procrastination:
- How To Stop Procrastination and Laziness: The Ultimate Guide
- 10 Top Ways To Stop Procrastination Quickly And Get Productive
- 15 Procrastination Quotes To Get Things Done