Procrastination is the action driven by several thoughts of pending or putting off tasks till the last moment or past their deadline because one believes they won’t enjoy it. According to some scientists, it is also characterised as a self-regulation failure. As easy and comforting as procrastination might seem, it can become a bad habit if you continue to do it. Students should make sure to avoid procrastination. In the long term, it can cause problems like physical health problems, mental health problems, poorer work performance, making poor decisions, a bad impact on other people, etc.
Types of Procrastination
Procrastination not only delays work but also compiles loads of work until the last moment, increasing the workload at the end. It gives gratification momentarily in the beginning but immense stress and pressure in the end. Procrastination is caused by learned behaviour, and it can be unlearned. There are two types of procrastination –
Chronic procrastination: People who have problems constantly tackle or finish tasks on time, and
Situational procrastination: People who delay work only on specific tasks.
Techniques to Overcome Procrastination
Here are some useful techniques to overcome the habit of procrastination.
Organise your time
To begin with, organising your time, initially, you need to have a plan of action. If it’s a full-blown colour-coded planner or just a simple to-do list, it will become easier to complete the to-do list. One of the advantages is that you can see deadlines and set milestones to complete different sections. Having a plan will help you break it down to know where your time is going.
Balance work with breaks
Taking a break between work not only helps you refresh but also takes your mind off the topic. It acts as a refreshing nap. Working for long hours straight is not productive or effective. The brain needs a break now and then. A great method is POMODORO, in which 25 minutes of intense work is done, followed by immersive and uninterrupted work followed by a 5-minute break most effectively. One can change the time as per your convenience. Time limit creates a sense of urgency in the brain, which gives this signal of having a deadline and doing the task fast.
Your friends will stay there after exams for you
Often, when everyone seems to be busy having a social life, humans tend to feel left out or commonly called fear of missing out. It takes a lot of self-discipline and self-control to turn down invites to parties that might seem so tempting and fun to attend. However, you can ask to shift the party to sometimes when you are free. You don’t have to work the entire day and avoid seeing anyone. You need to balance it out. Exam season is just about a few weeks, and you need to take a break from all the fun during that.
Make use of the in-between times
As it said, even Mother Teresa had 24 hours in a day, and Albert Einstein also had
24 hours a day. It’s not about how busy one’s schedule is. It depends on you making use of those 24 hours in a day. One always has time in between the major tasks. Students can do small tasks like reading essays and articles for reference, and while walking, they can listen to voice notes on a subject. Such small tasks can help you in a bigger thing.
Your phone isn’t always your friend
At present time electronics are inevitable. They contribute to procrastination. To overcome this, students should use features like setting up a time limit on different apps, especially those that are more distracting. Setting a time limit will help you to focus on studying. Please make sure students should put their phones on notification mode so that they don’t disturb them when they flash up on the screen. Distracting apps can also be deleted and downloaded later after exams.
Keep your body moving
The flow of blood keeps stimulated by moving the body. You can not only move your body by doing gym or running or any other intense exercise. It could be not very interesting a task such as tidying your workspace, taking a shower, stretching, taking a walk, or making a meal. Sitting in the same place is not a good way to keep your body since there’s no stimulation of blood taking place. It’s preferred to work by starting the work with somebody’s movement.
Break the deadline down
The best method is to set deadlines for work. It’s good to set deadlines for tasks within a week and a month. You can set yourself a series of targets in a month, which can be completed within the deadline. Like you can complete the research by the first week, you can finish the first few paragraphs, and by week three, you can complete the conclusion and critical references. By the end of week 4, you can complete the bibliography and proofread it.
Layout out tasks to be done visually
Visual representation of any concept or task makes it easier for anyone to memorise it. Seeing the tasks ahead of you visually can help. If one uses post-it notes with each task that has to be carried out, the person can see what they have left and experience the satisfaction of taking it off once the task is done. It’s better to have piles of paper than work. The layout can be a very good technique.
Reward yourself for the little achievements
Make sure to reward yourself after completing one deadline. It helps to condition your brain to complete a task to get something that will make you feel good. There might be chances when a student wants to watch Netflix badly. However, it is better to delay the need for gratification. It helps propel you forward, especially with hard tasks, as the students might want relaxation. After completing one deadline, you might reward yourself with a good meal or treat.
Get out of your usual surroundings
You cannot study in an environment where you relax. Your brain has that place conditioned as a place to relax. Stop lying to yourself. Try going to a coffee shop or library or any other suitable place. A change in environment will do you good. Even though it might be a change in the environment within the house, a change in environment by stepping out of the house is preferred. Students who go to coaching centres like Akash have a good environment to study.
Study with friends
Having a study group is a great way to overcome procrastination. A group of friends can help to study and help to stay focused on what your mind is learning. It can be hard, but one can focus on it and pursue good marks with the right tools and focus.
Whenever you feel like giving up, the rest of the group can encourage you and motivate you to perform and keep studying without getting distracted. Also, friends might help you when you feel stuck somewhere.
How can you make a to-do list work
Making a schedule and a to-do list is something all the students have done at a point in their life? However, the real problem is when one cannot keep up with the to-do list, and I keep on increasing instead of decreasing. Starting with easy things from the to-do list gives a psychological boost to the individual. A good way to get done with it is to decide a night before what you will do the next day. And if there is some prior work to be done before the work, make sure to do it that night only so that you can immediately start with work the next day. It’s one of the surest ways to get rid of procrastination.
1. Do you think procrastination is another term for laziness?
No, many people assume they are lazy and happy with themselves. They do tasks at the last moment. They put off the tasks and do them when they feel like doing them. However, procrastinators tend to spend their work and don’t have a valid reason for explaining why they are not doing it. Procrastinators usually end up missing out on a lot of things.
2. Why do some people become habitual of procrastination?
If individuals daily continue to form the habit of avoiding tasks perceiving them to be unpleasant and unappealing. It might just end up becoming a habit. Habitual procrastination often grows into a very enfeebling habit, and if one is trapped in it, it becomes difficult to get out of the clenches.
3. Can procrastination end up giving depression?
Procrastination slowly can become habitual procrastination, and gradually it can lead to an individual feeling helpless, hopeless, low self-esteem, depression, and ultimately, severe despair. The feeling, if continued, can lead to suicidal tendencies. It is better to sign beforehand and start improving it.
4. Can a person become a habitual procrastinator avoiding depression?
Yes, this phenomenon is rare. But there have been times when individuals liked to procrastinate on purpose because that way, they felt tied to obligations. However, fewer people believe or give such a response. Most people usually become depressed after they become habitual procrastinators.
5. How can a young child who procrastinates be helped?
Children are no different from adults when it comes to procrastinating. The best way to develop anti-procrastination habits in the kid is to teach the kid patience. The habits discussed can be developed in the kids as it is easy to develop in childhood. Habits like timetable and doing tasks whenever you get time should be developed from a young age.
6. At what point should intervention be necessary for the person experiencing chronic procrastination?
It varies if a person suffering from procrastination procrastinates at home, at school, at work, or in relationships. Suppose any inappropriate delay causes them to be emotionally upset across settings, so it is suggested to get therapy for them. Procrastination is not just a lack of good time management, laziness, or pending work. It’s avoiding the task for the longest time possible without any valid reason.
There are several techniques to overcome procrastination. However, it comes down to one thing: it depends on the person. Different techniques might work for different individuals. What technique is suitable for one individual might not work for another individual. There are other techniques too to avoid procrastination. Like a 2-minute rule, creating an unscheduled, increasing motivation, etc., whereas procrastination works well like working under pressure might end up in good work for some people.