As we discussed in my previous article, Procrastination technically refers to the avoidance of a specific task or work which needs to be done. In order to understand and solve your procrastination problems, you must carefully analyze those situations where you use procrastination. First, determine whether the cause is poor time management; if so, you will need to learn and develop time management skills. If, however, you know how to manage your time but don’t make use of those skills, you may have a more serious problem. Here are few common causes of procrastination. Identify your cause so that you can analyze in which area you need to work and improve.
First cause is Lack of Relevance – If something is neither relevant nor meaningful to you personally, it may be difficult to get motivated even to begin. The other cause is Acceptance of Another’s Goals – If a project has been imposed or assigned to you and it is not consistent with your own interests, you may be reluctant to spend the necessary time to see it to conclusion. Perfectionism also serves to cultivate procrastination in you. It is having unreachable standards which can discourage you from pursuing a task. Remember, perfection is unattainable. Evaluation Anxiety is also a major reason why we avoid doing certain things. Since others’ responses to your work are not under your direct control, overvaluing these responses can create the kind of anxiety that will interfere with work getting accomplished. Some time Ambiguity is the cause of delay. If you are uncertain of what is expected of you, it may be difficult to get started. Last but not the least Inability to Handle the Task also cause procrastination. If through lack of training, skill, or ability you feel that you lack the personal resources to do the job, you may avoid it completely.
If you can visualize yourself in one or more of these vignettes, you may be ready to overcome your problems with avoidance or procrastination. I am giving you a list of steps which may help you to deal with your avoidance problems:
Cultivate Motivational Characteristics:
It is important to cultivate the following five key characteristics into your psyche and daily actions if you seek to grow and expand your levels of motivation beyond their current levels. Enthusiasmis the first characteristic in this regard. It is very difficult to procrastinate when you are enthusiastic about the task or activity you are undertaking. Enthusiasm is naturally built upon the foundations presented within this post. Discipline is another very important characteristic.When you are disciplined and committed to the task at hand, you naturally create an aura of importance around this activity, which essentially leads to higher levels of motivation. Determination is the key factor for completion of any task. When you are determined to complete a task no matter what obstacles or challenges stand in your way, then you naturally instill the emotion of motivation into your psyche. Your determination unleashes a never quit attitude that creates unstoppable momentum as you move forward towards the achievement of your goals and objectives.
To instill determination into your daily actions, you must establish high importance goals that move you emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. Responsibility is also very vital for accomplishments of goal. When we take full responsibility for our daily life decisions and actions, we naturally instill a deep connection with the tasks we are working on. We no longer blame outside circumstances, people or events, and we no longer make excuses or feel sorry for ourselves. Instead, we bring forth a quiet controlled intentional focus and motivation, that naturally permeates all our tasks and activities with a sense of purpose and confidence that our outcomes rest completely and securely within our hands.
Effective planning can combat procrastination. The larger, more involved, the project, the more difficult it is to plan effectively to carry it out. So first segment the task at hand. The entire job may seem impossible, but smaller segments may seem more manageable. Divide the task into small steps. Distribute the small steps reasonably within the given time frame. Plan realistically so that you can execute your plan smoothly. Monitor your progress on the small steps.
Time management will assist you to better manage the tasks and activities related to your goals and objectives. When you feel in control of your time, your motivation levels naturally soar and create the momentum you need to effectively deal with the challenges and obstacles that stand in your way. The skill of time management will also help you to counter the effects of stress, worry, anxiety, overwhelm and frustration, which all lead to different forms of procrastination.
Organization and Systemization:
These two skills are natural outcroppings of time management. They involve taking the time to organize, arrange, simplify, and systemize your tasks, activities, resources, tools and networks of support in such a way that will boost your motivation and productivity. When you design your work and study environment in such a way that will assist you to become more efficient and effective in your daily actions, then you will naturally find that your confidence levels begin to grow, and this likewise leads to a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that brings forth higher levels of motivation. Given this, take some time today to learn a little more about methods and strategies you could use to organize and systematize your environment that will naturally enhance your levels of motivation.
Reward yourself, at least mentally, for completing each segment of task. Focus on process rather than product. It is not whether the words you’ve just written were brilliant, it is that you sat down and did what you said you would do. Small, concrete rewards are ideal: ten minutes with the newspaper, a phone call to a friend, a relaxing bath, a scoop of ice cream, wearing your favorite shirt, a cup of cappuccino.
Schedule Days Off:
Finally, in order to keep your motivation levels at their peak, it is important to schedule regular days off throughout the month and year allowing you to separate yourself from your daily repetitive tasks and activities. These days can be used for periods of relaxation, for planning, goal setting or simply just for thinking and reflecting. Their purpose is to keep your batteries charged and refreshed for the psychological challenges of procrastination that may squeeze their way back into your life when you least expect them.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have used any of these motivational strategies or would like to share a personal experience about how you overcame procrastination, than please feel free to comment below.