Procrastination is when we tend to delay and put off our tasks for the very last minute. It’s the act of intentionally and habitually postponing the task at hand that should have been completed. It is considered a self-regulation failure because we tend to postpone the task even after knowing that it may cause some negative consequences. It is like having a lot of things in mind, but being able to accomplish nothing. It can have a negative impact on you if done regularly, like poor performance in academics or stunted growth in professional life. We all seem to fall prey to procrastinating sometime or the other, but it is really important to be able to control it and regulate yourself so that you function effectively.
Commit to the task while regulating distraction – It is very important to build inside yourself the commitment to complete any task. Think about why you want or need to do it, and how it will benefit you on its completion. With this, it is very important to manage your environment and control any distractions around you. You can only stay focused on the task when the environment around you is conducive, which can be working in a workspace, away from your devices and social media. Figure out what works for you and what makes you more productive. Find an environment filled with positivity and where you feel like working. That would help you to stop affixing a “later” to the tasks you need to do now.
Divide your tasks into smaller segments – It’s always harder to focus when you try to sit in the same place at a stretch and concentrate for long periods. Whereas, dividing larger tasks into smaller parts and allotting a certain time for each of them would help you complete the task much efficiently. You can also plan and take a break between two segments which would re-energise you.
Reward yourself – This is like adding motivation for completing each task. You can make the whole idea of achieving your to-dos enjoyable by attaching a small reward to each of them. It can be as small as having a coffee or talking to a friend. Remember to enjoy the reward only after the task is completed. This will train your brain and drive you to complete your tasks.
Schedule your time – It’s always easier to get started on tasks when the agenda for the day is ready. It is quite natural to procrastinate and put off tasks when you are not sure of what are the things which you need to do. Making to-do lists where tasks are arranged on a priority basis is essential to help you stop procrastinating. It helps you know where you need to start and things you need to complete at a given point in time.
Recognise when you are procrastinating – It is very important to recognise when you are procrastinating for you to be able to control it. Minimise thoughts like – “I will do this later”, “It is okay if I do it tomorrow” or “I don’t feel like doing this now”. The times when you say these things to yourself are the ones where you are procrastinating. Instead, inculcate a positive mindset where you set goals for yourself and try to achieve them on most days. Do not linger around, but take action. Remember – it is only difficult to complete a task until you start it.