Proven Ways on How to Overcome Procrastination at Work

April 28, 2021

procrastination
Lorraine Lazaro

We often think of ourselves as superhumans. We take on every challenge and our competitive nature wants us to push harder towards our goals and ambitions. But despite this mindset, we reach an impasse. This usually leads us to procrastinate and do other things rather than the task at hand. 

Procrastination is something that even the most well-organized and punctual people succumb to from time to time. Consider the last time you find yourself watching TV when you were supposed to be doing homework. Procrastination, while normal, can harm your life and even take a toll on your work performance.

At some point in their lives, everybody has put off a challenge. Have you ever wondered why you put things off? Although some might attribute it to laziness, there may be other factors at work.


Understanding Procrastination in a More Deeper Sense


The word "procrastination" comes from the Latin verb procrastinare, which means "to put off until tomorrow." But it's more than just putting off something you want to do. Procrastination comes from the Greek word akrasia, which means "doing something against our best judgment."

Procrastination is the act of deferring decisions or acts unnecessarily. Instead of finishing that article or completing that design project, you would rather watch one episode of your favorite series. This often leads to the question, why do we have fun doing other things instead of our task assignments? This is what procrastination looks like. 

Even if we delay doing a certain task, this practice like procrastination is also harmful to people's ability to achieve their goals, as shown by the fact that procrastination is linked to getting lower grades in school and earning a lower salary at work. Furthermore, procrastination is linked to a slew of secondary problems, including increased stress and deterioration of physical and mental health.

People who procrastinate are thought to have a poor sense of time, in which they feel they would have more time to complete a task than they do. While this may be valid for others, new research indicates that procrastination is related to distress management difficulties. When procrastination happens, it is usually caused by one's desire to avoid dealing with the task. This is what is known as task aversion. When people perceive a task as stressful, they are more likely to put it off.

Although procrastinators may be attempting to prevent distress, their actions may, in the long run, cause more distress. Increased stress, health issues, and poor results may all result from procrastination. Sleep problems and stressful regret are more common in procrastinators than in non-procrastinators. Furthermore, procrastination can harm your self-esteem due to remorse, embarrassment, or self-critical thoughts that can arise as a result of deferring tasks.


Why Do People Procrastinate?


People always believe that procrastination is simply a matter of willpower, but the situation is much more complicated. When faced with a difficult decision or a mission to accomplish, we often depend on our self-control to get things done. We procrastinate because demotivating factors such as anxiety and fear of failure outweigh our self-control and motivation, which may be hampered by factors such as fatigue and distant rewards.

This makes us unable to self-regulate our actions, causing us to put things off unnecessarily, even though we know we should, which is why procrastination often results in a disconnect between how we want to behave and how we act.

For many people, procrastination is a powerful and enigmatic force that prevents them from performing the most important and challenging tasks in their lives with the same force that magnets like poles repel each other. Procrastination can be effectively resolved by employing strategies that enable you to address the problems that cause you to procrastinate in the first place.


How Can Procrastination Be Surpassed


1. Stop wallowing in doom and gloom.

Catastrophizing, or making a big deal out of something, is one of the most common reasons people procrastinate. It may be about how difficult, tedious, or unpleasant completing the task would be; whatever the case, the underlying theme is that doing it would be “unbearable.” Procrastination is influenced by several factors, one of which is fear. This may include a fear of failing, making mistakes, or even succeeding.


2. Get the task over and done with.

Focus is the secret to overcoming procrastination. We always assign ourselves too many tasks to complete, causing us to become frustrated. Begin by picking only ONE thing you've been putting off and committing to finishing it over the next week.


3. Make a to-do list.

Begin by making a to-do list of all the stuff you want to get done. If you have a deadline to reach, put a date next to each item if it is appropriate. To avoid falling into the cognitive trap of underestimating how long each project will take, estimate how long each job will take and then double that amount.


4. Projects should be broken down into more manageable segments.

When faced with a large project, the sheer amount of work involved can make you feel daunted, intimidated, or even hopeless. Take individual items on your list and break them down into a sequence of steps at this stage.


5.Recognize the signs of procrastination.

Pay attention to when procrastination thoughts begin to creep into your mind as you begin to tackle things on your list. You should be aware that you are about to procrastinate if you catch yourself thinking "I don't feel like doing this right now" or "I'll have time to focus on it later."


6. Remove distractions from your hindsight.

When you keep turning your attention to what's on TV or reading your friends' Facebook status updates, it's difficult to get some real work done.

Set aside a time when you will turn off all distractions, such as music, television, and social media platforms, and dedicate the time to focusing entirely on the task at hand.


Final Thoughts


It's not easy to break the procrastination phase. After all, if it were simple, there wouldn't be an estimated 80 percent to 95 percent of students who regularly procrastinate. The temptation to put things off can be intense, particularly when there are so many interesting and entertaining distractions available.

Although you may not be able to completely stop procrastination, being aware of why you procrastinate and how to resolve those habits will help. You might find it easier to put your nose to the grindstone and get started on those important tasks if you use these strategies.


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