We have the best of intentions. We make our to-do lists; we vow to get everything on that list done; we begin with great gusto. Shortly into our “list,” it starts. We begin to daydream about that great date last night; we get on Facebook “just for a minute,” but the minute turns into 30 or more because there are so many new posts to read and comment on.
And so goes our days. Those tasks begin to loom as unmanageable and hard, and we then begin to justify why we can’t complete them right now.
We are officially procrastinators.
Why We Procrastinate
There can be a number of reasons for procrastination – fear of failure, lack of motivation for the “boring” tasks at hand, version to hard challenges, maybe a bit of ADD, etc. And, perhaps most of all, it’s the easy way out. And, it’s so easy for this pattern of behavior to become a habit.
It’s time to stop the excuses, and here are five reasons why.
1. The Easy Way Out Becomes the Hard Way
The more a task is put off, the more urgent becomes the need to complete it. It’s just easier to just perform a bunch of insignificant tasks and rationalize that we are getting something done – just not the one thing that is most important. Ultimately, we have to attack the challenging complex one, and we have to give up everything, including sleep, to meet a deadline. Or, we don’t meet the deadline and pay the consequences.
2. Get Some Perspective
One of the best reasons to stop procrastinating is to think long-term. It’s not just this current task. It’s all of the task responsibilities that lie in your future. If you “learn” to be a procrastinator now, that habit will stick with you, and it will affect your personal and career goals. Instead, learn how not to procrastinate now, and develop that habit instead.
3. Think of Your Health
People who habitually procrastinate set themselves up for a lot of stress. Ultimately, the work has to get done, but stress takes its toll over time. People who live in constant stress have much higher rates of high blood pressure and heart disease.
4. You Become Sloppy
Students who put off getting those essays and papers done end up rushing through them, and they are then poorly written. This is so unnecessary given the tools they have today. Research can be done sitting at a computer; citations can be generated by tools like Citatior. It’s the same for working adults who must generate reports, memos, manuals, etc.
5. You Give Up Fun
Here’s the thing. While you are procrastinating, chances are you are on social media, daydreaming, or finding little things to do that don’t really matter – anything to avoid what must be done. Then, you have to bear down and tackle the challenge. And you have to give up other pleasant activities while you do that.
Breaking the Habit
The best how to stop procrastination tips are simple:
- Just start. Once you start, you’ll have a better chance of sticking it out and finishing.
- Break it down. Divide a task into chunks and reward yourself after completing each one.