“It started with procrastination.” This is how the conversation usually starts by many who have finally given up on searching for excuses for not getting their butts off the sofa and getting a job done, on time, might I add. But what is procrastination?
“Procrastination” what an ugly word! Just saying it is enough to give anyone the willies. But sadly, it is something which all of us have had to deal with at some point in our lives. The beauty of procrastination is that it comes packaged as “leisure time,” which disarms a person, making them put off otherwise urgent tasks even though they realize the urgency of it all. This in turn leads to piled up chores that remain incomplete because of, you guessed it, procrastination.
Different cultures define this time management pandemic as a personal issue, rather than a social one. The excuses are quite good too. Tired or stressed out? That’s your problem, just remember to pay the bills and come to work, preferably on time.
There is a good reason why TV commercials don’t advertise feelings and lifestyles. They commercials just show up with pretty faces who sell stuff by merging the lines between a dominant lifestyle and an existing feeling. Sure, they won’t say we are out of control; they just assume it and offer a solution, which is their product.
This brings us to the question, can a person mistake their own priorities? Sure we can, because we are perfectly capable of doing that. The main difference here is that the process of living your life is much more complex than jotting down a list of priorities on a piece of paper. Which is the reason why people would consider both the urgency and importance of the things they write down while making a list. If by now, you feel like you should go back and make a few changes in that list, that’s okay because it’s your life and your list.
Now that we have been properly introduced to procrastination, here are the reasons why people procrastinate in the first place.
It is been noted that the following reasons are reasons enough for people to move a task up the list or the opposite direction.
Being afraid of being able to do a job at hand is a hard thing to admit to others, and even more so to ourselves. What the fear of denial does is that it is consciously recognized and that knowledge manifests itself in strong aversion which later on leads to procrastination. This constant denial is the number one reason which keeps people from getting the job done. A good way of tackling this fear is by first identifying your fear and then tracking it to the source. This will enable you to deal with your fear and allow you to get on with the task which needs to be accomplished. The following are some other good examples why people procrastinate.
To make a point clear, try considering that a college student flunks in class. He can always say to himself that, “I could have passed the stupid exam if I only studied harder.” That would be true in most cases, but what if he did study hard and still failed.
The point here is that dealing with “won’t” is a lot easier than dealing with the word “can’t.” And most people are under the idea that if they just don’t try it, they can shield themselves from the possibility that they “can’t” do it. Which is the real reason behind the fear of failure. The truth is that procrastination only leads to further contempt in one’s own abilities. So the next time you thing of leaving something important for later, think about it for a while and reconsider.
On the flip side of the fear of failure, there is the fear of success. That is, passing an exam successfully will lead to people having a higher expectation of you. This is also one of the reasons why people buckle under the pressure of the fear of success. If you don’t try you will never have to worry about the fear of success. Journaling is a good tip which can be used as a remedy for your fear of success. Journaling also has its therapeutic benefits as it allows you to process your thoughts.
This may seem weird to some, but the fear of finishing a task can also lead to procrastination. Often times, people think is along the lines of something like this. “If I pass the exam, I’ll finally graduate and then….? Well, then what?
The easy answer to this question is that if you don’t get on with it, you will never ever know what will happen next. Just like if you never write that novel, you will never know what feedback it gets. If you don’t finish college, you will never know what you could be or achieve in life.
Sometimes the not knowing part, seems much more acceptable than the fear of the unknown consequences. But if you never try, you will never find out for sure. To confront the fear of finishing a task, you must first, imagine the outcome of your actions or non-actions as objectively as you can. And remember, the fear won’t go away until you are able to act despite the fear.
Thats the sound we make when we are sleeping. The point is, if you procrastinate long enough, chances are, your body is going to sign off and you will become sleepy. PS: you will not be doing yourself any favors either.
The worst thing about procrastinating is that it may sometimes lead to violating a person’s trust, as in, not being able to keep promises, et cetera. Which is the reason why this unhealthy habit should be eradicated ASAP. To do that, first you must, identify the reason for the procrastination, confront your attitudes and fears. Weigh the consequences. Then deal with it!