The Reason Why You’re Procrastinating and How to Stop

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If you’re reading this, you’re probably procrastinating right now. I would tell you to stop reading and do what you’re avoiding. But then you might miss out on some good advice. So, for now, just keep procrastinating and reading this post.

procrastinating time
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I once purchased a book on how to stop procrastinating. But I stopped reading it because I got mad. Do you know why I got mad? Because they were right. I procrastinate out of fear.

Don’t be like me. Read this all the way through and be a better person. Yes, go through denial. Leave, blow off some steam. But, come back and finish what you started. Fear is not a bad thing.

We all get scared especially when it involves our possible successes or failures. We fear what will happen if we succeed. We fear what will happen if we fail.

We find comfort in staying stagnant even though we know we need to be making movements in order to reach our goals. That’s life.  Eventually, I went back and finished the book. I don’t like leaving books unfinished even if I hate them.

I just torture myself through the rest of them. But I digress. I finished the book and I learned some great tips that I want to share with you. I have also developed some of my own ways to combat procrastination along the way. But first, let’s address the reason why you procrastinate.

The Reason Why You Procrastinate

There are a couple of reasons. I’ve already hinted towards the first reason: fear!

procrastinating is fear talking
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Fear is the reason why you procrastinate.

You didn’t start on that paper until the night before because you don’t really know what to do and you’re afraid that your paper is going to sound stupid. You have not submitted that application yet because you are afraid that you won’t get the job.

Or even worse, you might get called for an interview that you may bomb! You hate interviews. You get so nervous and you feel like the interviewer is judging every single word that comes out of your mouth.

You’re a perfectionist!

Yeah, your fear of failure is actually your perfectionism masking itself as procrastination. You fear disapproval so much that you push everything to the last minute.

The longer you prolong the presentation, the further away you are from learning that you suck. Well, not in reality. But, in your head.

Because anything that is not 100% translates into you suck. And that’s not the best feeling so, you do the best logical thing in your head: procrastinate. You’ve mixed your self-worth with the way you perform.

The last reason for procrastinating is disorganization.

Your prioritization is a little out of whack. Yeah, you thought you were being smart by putting the easy tasks first. But you forgot to schedule a time and place for urgent tasks.

Now, all the urgent tasks are due at the same time and in a very close time window that makes you want to cry. I guess this means you’re running on pure coffee again this week. There’s no rest for the wicked.

How to Stop Procrastinating

A lot of people will tell you to just do it. Don’t think about what you need to do and just do it. That’s the way to stop procrastinating. But, that doesn’t always work I know it doesn’t always work for me. So here are some other tips.

Realize What the Stake Is

I know this may seem counterintuitive if you fear failure success or disapproval. But just hear me out. This is one of the times connecting to your why will be imperative.

You may not feel super motivated to do your task afterward. But you will definitely do it. Think about the worst thing that could happen if you don’t complete your task.

If you don’t send in this application, you will be stuck at this job that you hate all your life in the same position with the same people every day. What would happen if you sent the application?

Your application could get rejected. But at least you know you tried. Or you could ace the interview and get the job. That job could be the job to kickstart your dream career.

Learn How to Prioritize

The trick is to not schedule too many things to do in one day. You know what you are capable in one day. If you know six things on your to-do list are your max, schedule 3 easy tasks, and 3 major/urgent tasks.

 That way you are keeping up with hard tasks and easy tasks. And your day won’t be too draining because you waited for too long and now you have 7 major tasks on your list.

Whatever you do not finish today, can move to the next day if it is not urgent. Keep your to-do list short if you can help it. This also helps with your mental sanity.

Take Care of Your Health

This may seem random. But your health can help you stay on task. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating right, and getting adequate mental rest. 

Think about it, when you are stressed and sleep-deprived, you tend to make less responsible choices. You watch more useless shows and scroll through social media longer when you know you should be working on your project.

But that’s because you feel as if you have not gotten enough breaks or sleep. Maybe if you go on social media for a bit you’ll wake up, after all, blue light does affect sleep. Riight. After being on social media for 5 minutes, you get distracted and that 5 minutes becomes 30 minutes.

Thirty minutes in which you could have finished the rest of your project. You then become more stressed and the vicious cycle continues day-in and day-out. Sounds like an exaggeration but you know this is your real life.

Stop Associating Your Worth with Your Projects

Realize that what you turn in and what people say about your work does not define you as a person. That one mistake on your PowerPoint presentation does not make you any less of a person than your co-workers.

No one is perfect. No one expects you to be perfect. Mistakes are normal. As long as you learn from your mistakes and are willing to improve, you should be good.

But in no way, shape, or form does your project define who you are. Your self-worth should not be tied to any physical entity. If that’s what’s happening, you may need to dig deeper for some self-acceptance.

Conclusion

All in all, we all procrastinate every now and then. It’s not a crime. The problem is when procrastinating becomes a habit. And don’t use that excuse, my best work happens under pressure.

Mmhmm, sure. Just make sure you’re not under pressure too much. Too much stress can hurt your health and your ability to discern what you need help with your procrastination.

I’m being shady. Let me stop. Learn how to prioritize. Sometimes that’s all we need in order to help with our procrastination issues. Knowing your limits when it comes to how much you can do in a day certainly helps.

Start thinking about the stakes involved in your project. It won’t always make you happier to do your tasks, but it will get you moving. And last but not least, just do it. Sometimes that tip may not always work. But it doesn’t hurt to start with that thought first.

Thanks for reading my rant,

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Shika Tamaklo is a pharmacy student attending Mercer University. She is a college lifestyle blogger who writes on fitness, health, student life struggles and, occasionally dabbles in creative writing.

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